Hogan – ‘young warrior’ descendant of Brian Boru

The name Hogan is a popular name around the world today. Wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan and Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan are just two of the famous figures that have the name.

It is a common name in America, Australia, Britain and Ireland, and is also now a popular first name for baby boys.

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The name originated in ancient Ireland. It comes from the Gaelic word ‘og’ which meant young. It is believed that the first person to be given the name was a descendant of the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru.

The name hÓgáin would have been given to a young warrior, intent on building his own kingdom in Ireland. The first records of the hÓgáin clan claiming territories in Ireland come from the 13th century, when they had land in the area now known as Tipperary.
History of the Irish name Hogan. Image copyright Ireland Calling
As time moved on, the leadership of the clan would have been passed down from father to son. The name evolved in this period, with the prefix ‘O’ being added to the front of the name. In ancient Ireland, ‘O’ meant the ‘descendant of’, so as time passed by the family name changed to O’hÓgáin, meaning the descendants of hÓgáin. In the period after the 13th century, the O’hÓgáin clan spread further into the neighbouring counties of Clare and Limerick.

The clan was one of many in Ireland that fell victim to the British invasion led by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century. The British military were too powerful for most Irish clans to resist. The Irish land was confiscated and given to British settlers.

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The O’hÓgáins were left to re-integrate themselves into society, no longer with the status as a powerful family clan. Many of them changed their name in the following years to make them sound less Gaelic and more English. Several O’hÓgáins became known as Hogan or Hagan as the more English sounding names offered a better chance of finding work.

The name was taken around the world in the 19th century. Like millions of other Irish people, the Hogans and Hagans were facing starvation following a series of failed potato crops. Thousands of Hogans and Hagans left Ireland for America, Britain and Australia to start a new life.

Famous Hogans and Hagans from around the world

Crocodile DundeeNow the name is common in most English speaking names around the world. There have been many notable people that have distant family ties with the ancient Irish O’hÓgáin clan.

Michael ‘Galloping’ Hogan was one of the leading Irish figures in the resistance to Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland. He was reportedly the man who lit the fuse on as Irish rebels blew up a Williamite siege train at Ballyneety, Co. Limerick in 1690.

One Paul Hogan is an Australian actor, most famous for his role as hard man Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee. Hogan starred in two films as the Australian bushman in the 1980s, and managed to win the heart of a beautiful American woman played by Linda Kozlowski, both on and off camera, as the two actors ended up getting married.

Terry Gene Bollea is a recognisable face all over the world, but his name is unfamiliar to most. Bollea is the man behind American superstar wrestler Hulk Hogan. He has also starred in several Hollywood movies as Hogan.

Hogan’s Heroes was the name of an American television sitcom set in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. It was named after the main character in the show Colonel Robert E. Hogan played by Bob Crane.

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