Welcome to the O'Gowan Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the O'Gowan surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching O'Gowan ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The O'Gowan Family Tree
Everyone has different reasons for building a family tree; your personal motiviation will influence whether the O'Gowan family tree has more depth or breadth. Have you struck a O'Gowan brick wall? Read "Know Where to Begin Your Genealogical Search" for some helpful advice.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering O'Gowan Ancestors
Patronymics is the practice of naming children using the given name of the father, grandfather, or other male ancestor preceeded by a prefix. In the case of O'Gowan, it is possible that one of your Gaelic/Irish ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Gowan." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
Keep an open mind when searching through O'Gowan records. Years ago many people were unable to read and write, thus a given ancestor's name could be spelled in a variety of ways depending on who recorded it. If you want to know How can the census help in locating my O'Gowan ancestor's marriage record?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for O'Gowan
Census records are among the most useful records available for family tree building. There are currently matching O'Gowan records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online O'Gowan family history resource today.
Origins of the O'Gowan Surname
It is quite possible for two people with the O'Gowan last name to have been given that surname for entirely different reasons. Discovering the country from which your O'Gowan ancestors originated can often yield additional clues for the meaning of the surname. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
O'Gowan DNA Projects
DNA testing for genealogy continues to improve. If you had some of your O'Gowan relatives tested several years ago, it may be worthwhile to have them retested. Likewise, as DNA testing companies have gathered more results and samples, you may be able to find more matches if you search again with your test results. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your O'Gowan research, read "Utilizing DNA in Family History Research".
O'Gowan Family History
There is more to exploring your O'Gowan ancestry than just gathering a bunch of names and dates. Understanding where your ancestors lived, how they were employed, and what they did for fun, may give you a better appreciation of your heritage. Whether you are a beginner or expert genealogists, knowing How can I decipher the handwriting in old O'Gowan documents? is always useful.
Networking with O'Gowan Researchers
In the course of genealogy research, collaboration is key -- we really cannot do it alone, and one of the great benefits of participating in community message boards is building relationships that not only enlightens our research but strengthens bonds across the miles. The article "Looking for John Smith - Focusing a Query" provides some valuable tips for posting successful O'Gowan queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive O'Gowan ancestors.
O'Gowan Achievements & Celebrities
Web Sites & Blogs with O'Gowan Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of O'Gowan, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Upcoming O'Gowan Family Reunions
Whenever possible, consider holding the family reunion in place where you have a strong O'Gowan family history, which provides opportunities to share stories and visit cemeteries or old home sites; you may even want to consider as a one-day activity, having each family take on the task of gathering information from the local courthouse, school district, public library, etc. -- this, of course, requires advance planning and assignment, but could generate considerable interest and results. The article "Family Reunions Don't Always Turn Out as one has Pictured" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful O'Gowan reunion.