The McGahan or McGann Family

McGahan or McGann family crest

(Crest No. 256. Plate 43.)

THE McGahan or McGann family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The McGahans belonged to the Dal Fiatach tribe, or race of the Earnochs, also called Deagades of Lough Earn, founded by Fiatach Finn, King of Ireland, A. D. 70. The ancient name was Gannach, meaning “Handsome,” and the possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Galway.

There have been many learned and eloquent writers of this name. Of these the best known in our time was the famous war correspondent and journalist, the late Januarius Aloysius McGahan of Ohio. His ride across the Kizite-Kum Desert, in Central Asia, in the face of untold dangers and obstacles, during the Russian campaign against Khiva, was, perhaps, the greatest feat of its kind ever accomplished. Where four Russian armies failed to reach the goal, McGahan succeeded alone and unaided. He died in Constantinople during the late Russo-Turkish war. That war was mainly caused by McGahan. It was his description of the “Bulgarian atrocities” that horrified all Europe and supplied Mr. Gladstone with ammunition to overthrow his political opponents, and opened the way to Russia to declare war against the Turk. His name is a household word in Bulgaria to-day, where he is styled “the Liberator.” His body was brought home a few years ago by the Legislature of Ohio, his native State, where the remains were interred and a public monument erected to his memory.