My name is Jan Patrick Mongoven. My g-g-g-grandfather was JAMES MUNGOVAN, born in/near Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland circa 1801. He emigrated to the US with his family around 1850 and soon found his way to Iroquois County, Illinois. Some of his children produced many more children...and they more...until now there are thousands of descendants of this man and his wife, CATHERINE COSTELLO.
We Mongoven's (Mongovan's, Mungovan's, etc., etc.) know that we are descended from Co. Clare. The surname was primarily found in West Co. Clare, but we have little proof of the origin of the name. Two authors offer us this: "The family name stems from O' Mongavain [O' Mongevaine -- Mongavan, Mungavan, Mungavin]; descendant of Mongvan [white hair]; an old County Clare surname." [From "Irish Names and Surnames" by Rev. Patrick Wolfe; 1923; Irish priest of Limerick; O = grandson or any male descendant.] "(O) Mungovan - O Mongabhain (mongbhan, white hair). A west Clare family." (from "The Surnames of Ireland" by Edward MacLysagh; Irish Academic Press).
Some claim that the name is of Norman origin. I tend to lean toward this hypothesis. Since so many records of the time were not kept or were lost...frustrating to us all...we need help from science. That's where DNA testing comes in. It is my understanding that I will be the first Mongoven (Mongovan/Mungovan, etc.) to be tested. My Y-chromosome will be tested to determine my Y-chromosome's 37 genetic markers. I inherited this chromosome from my father, who got it from his, and so on back to James Mungovan...and to HIS father and so on back into the ages.
With my information in the database, I hope someday to be able to connect my markers with those of families from the Norman region of France. Time (and the wonder of science!) will tell. I'm also having a full mitochondrial DNA test done as well for my maternal (Swedish) side...but that's another story and doesn't apply to our Mongoven side.
I urge any Mongoven men (since men are the only ones with Y-crhomosomes) to visit the website (Family Tree DNA) that is performing my test ( http://www.familytreedna.com/
) for information and pricing of the simple test kits.
I ask that you inform yourselves and then decide whether or not you wish to participate in this process. We need to solve our ancestral mystery with regard to the origin of the Mongoven (Mungovan) name. The Mongoven Family DNA Project honors the memories of our ancestors. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Jan Patrick Mongoven