Research by John Hagan FTDNA kit 646978    Updated November 2021

Using DNA analysis to determine some early history of peoples in Ireland. This is an Ireland's TG4 series broadcast September 2020. Very interesting! They are spoken in both Irish and English. At the bottom right hand side if the film subtitles may be switched on.

Series 1 part 1 This episode takes us from the very earliest time of human settlement to the end of the neolithic period..
Series 1 Part 2  This episode explores how the slow change from Paganism to Christianity evolved.
Series 1 Part 3  In this final episode the story of the Earls battles against the English up to the fateful Battle of Kinsale and the ´Flight of the Earls´

Early history

The Celtic tribes of Ireland spoke Gaelic. The Celtic culture was destroyed after 1603 at the destruction of the site and coronation chair by the Mountjoy forces.

A very interesting brief history of the Irish Celts may be found from this link: Pre Norman Celtic Irish History

Ireland's written history begins towards the end of the 5th century. Until then much of Celtic history is shrouded in mystery because it was written much later from the sagas. However it is well known that Irish clan names predate most surnames elsewhere. Many children could recite their family history up to 20 generations.
Shortly after the death in 405 AD of Niall of the Nine Hostages, his sons Eoghan (Owen) and Conall, leaders of the Connatcha sept, fought their way northwards to Aileach on the Innishowen pensula, (in county Donregal). They divided the lands and made Aileach the Northern Ui Neill capital It was already a prehistoric stone built fortress on a hill near Derry. Conall took the land on the west of Donegal and Eoghan to the east..
After the collapse of the Roman Empire at the end of the 4th century Europe entered the "Dark Ages", but because Ireland had not been invaded it entered a "Golden Age". It was a seat of learning not only for the Irish but also for Europeans.  St Patrick was sent by Pope Celestine the First as a misionary to Ireland in 432 AD. It is thought he visited Aileach and converted some clan members to Christianity. St Columba left Ireland in 565 AD to found a monastery at Iona. In 635 AD St Aidan left Iona to found a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne.
Incidentally towards the end of the 4th century some Irish clans, called Scoti fought the Picts and formed a base in south west Scotland.


about 800 AD



about 1300 AD/CE

From: Dal Cuinn website member;
Note: below and with Ó NÉILL is AODHA (fire, anglisiced > Hugh); also hAodhagin

Fergus was the son of Éogain (Owen) who was a son of Néill Noígiallaig (Niall of the nine hostages). His clan name (Tuath) was Cenél Fergusa (kindred of Fergus). Fergus was an ancestor of the O'Hagans, O'Quins and others. Ua hOgain (O'Hagan) and O'Maelfhabhuill are cited as chiefs of Cinel-Fearghusa in the Annals. Cenél Fergusa are also known as the Cenél Coelbad because the descended septs are through his son Coelbad. The clan originally settled around Inishowen, County Donegal before battling their way to Tullyhogue, County Tyrone. Cenél Fergusa of the Cenél Eóghain later held territory south of the Sperrin Mountains in Derry. There they became masters of Tyrone as brehons (judges, law givers) and leaders for the O'Neills. Interesting that the O'Hagan clan fostered Hugh O'Neil (born about 1550) as was the Gaelic custom.

From Library of Ireland: Lords of Tullaghoge and beginning with High King of Ireland, Niall of 9 Hostages son:-
Fergus > Eogan mac Neill > Fergus > Caolbath > Caibre > Felim > Dermod > Conall Bracaidh > Cuanach > Dongaile > Cumuscach > Oilioll > Maolgarbh (splits here to O'Cuinn/O'Quinn sept) > Cionaoth > Ogan, also called Agan, son O'h-Ogain anglicised to O'Hogan and son O'h Again, Ó hAodhagáin, anglicised to O'Hagan.

A very appropriate book by An TAth Éamon Ó Doibhlin: O Neill´s "Own Country" and its Families". Pages 3 to 23 give an early history of and relationship to the O´Neills and Clann Feargusa, Cineal Eoghain plus Tulach Óg.

A pdf excerpt is here: ONeills Own Country



Names are confusing because current names are English phonetic translations from modern Irish, middle irish and old Irish) O´Hagan < Ó hÁgáin < Ócán > Ua hócáin hence eventually O'Hagan

The name Hagan was anglisised from the pre 10th century Old Gaelic Ó hÁgáin. It was originally spelt Ó hÓgáin (meaning Little Flamboyant Fire from the Sun). Aodh was the pagan sun god and Og meant young. The personal name fire was added.

The pedigree of Ogan/Ogain, below, is estimated that he lived about 900 AD. There are different spellings for Irish clan members as may be seen above and below. Clan Feargusa descended from Fergus Cerrbél mac Conaill Cremthainne (Fergus with the crooked Mouth), a grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages (d c406).

Cenel Eoghan

Outline History
O'Hagan clans to 1602 AD

The hereditary Chief or Clan chief was Ua hÓgáin(O'Hagan).
The Septs (finte) were O'Quinns, Ua Mael Fhabaill (Mulfoyle, et al.) and O'Mallons (O'Mellans).They were located in the county, barony or townland of upper Dungannon.
The kinship (or Cinéal) was Cenél nÉógain.
Briefly: Cinéal Fergusa

Clan name (Tuath);  Cinéal Fergusa
Progenitor; Fergusa m. Éogain m. Néill Noígiallaig
Hereditary Chief or Clan chief; Ua hÓgáin (O'Hagan)
Septs (finte); O'Quinns, Ua Mael Fhabaill (Mulfoyle, et al.) and O'Mallons (O'Mellans)
Location - county, barony or townland; Dungannon (Upper)
Cenél (Kinship); Cenél nÉogain

There are a number of hOgains, Hagans, mentioned in the Annals. For example at the time of The Age of Christ 1122.7 (July 1122 AD/CE) "Donnsleibhe Ua hOgain, chief of Cinel-Fearghusa, and lawgiver of Tealach-Og, died."

Following the reformation of the English Church, Elizabeth I sent Mountjoy against O'Neill (Ui Néill) to Tullyhogue (Tealach-O). Hugh O'Néill's inauguration in 1595 was the last Gaelic inauguration of a chief of Ireland and was the last to hold out against the English crown. In 1602 Mountjoy smashed the inauguration stone at Tullyhogue and destroyed the surrounding area. This marked the end of sacral kingship in Ireland and the end of the O'Néill's.
In 1081 the Annals of the Four Masters recorded that Magrath O'Hagan, Lord of Cinel Fergus, was slain. Some of the O´Hagan sept moved to north of O'Mellans territory, Lurga Ui Meallan (the Low Ridge of O'Mellan) now Lurgyvallen, Armagh.

Possible Hagan clan history or histories

  • Hagan, formerly O'Hagan is the Anglisised name, (possibly after about 1610), from perhaps the pre-10th century Old Gaelic name Ó hÁgáin, meaning "Little Flamboyant Fire from the Sun", (derived from Aodh the pagan sun god) and Og (young). A northern variant of Ó hÁgáin, maybe either: a) of a distinguished family of Cinel Eoghain, who were chiefs of Cinel Fearghusa and were seated at Tullaghoge, in Co. Tyrone, where it was O'Hagan's privilege to inaugurate O'Neill; or b) of another family of the same race who were chiefs of Cinel Tighearnaigh, in Ulster. (Ref. from LibraryIreland). The very first recorded O'Hagan was a descendant of King Owen (Eóghan), and was a district justice of the peace, (from Wikipedia).

  • Until the destruction of Gaelic order in the 17th century the O'Hagans were one of the most powerful and influential families in Ulster, as Chief Brehons (upholders, Judges of Celtic Brehon law) to the Cinel Eoghain, and holding the title Lord of Tullyhogue (Tulach Óg, Hill of Youth, in Irish) in County Tyrone Barony of Dungannon (Upper), parish of Desertcreat. The chief exercised the hereditary right of inaugurating O'Neill as king or overlord of Ulster, as depicted on the family coat of arms. In medieval times, members of the sept were territorial magnates in Counties Monaghan and Armagh.

  • According to tradition, O'Hagan inaugurated O'Neill by putting on his slipper hence the shoe always appears in the Coat of Arms. O'Hagan Gaelic meaning on coat of arms. "Vincere aut mori" meaning to either conquer or die. Quoted from family coat of arms crest/shield. The inauguration is said to have taken place at the coronation chair on the O'Hagan lands at Tullyhogue Fort. In the 16th century the 'Leac na Rí, or Stone of the Kings, inauguration stone, which is said to be blessed by Saint Patrick, was embedded in the coronation chair. The chair was destroyed in 1603 at the orders of Lord Mountjoy before the surrender of Hugh O'Neill to Mountjoy. The O'Hagans are one of the oldest families in Omeath Co.Louth; they arrived when O'Neill attacked Mountjoy at Narrowwater on his journey to Carlingford. Reference - Wikipedia Assault_on_the_Blackwater_Fort

  • During the 17th century O'Hagans staunchly opposed English aggression and a number were at the Battle of Kinsale 1601 - 1602, suffering great losses with the dispossessions that followed. Some were hanged at Carrickfergus County Antrim. There were several O'Hagans among the 98 who fled from the north of Ireland in 1607 with Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone and Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell in an event commonly referred to as the Flight of the Earls which marked the end of the Gaelic order in Ireland.

    Hugh O Neill hurridly wrote a Will before 1607, part of which is copied here

  • Turlough O'Hagan Chief of the Name who journeyed to Wicklow in 1590 to escort Hugh O'Donnell and two children of Shane O'Neill to Ulster following the latter's dramatic escape from imprisonment in Dublin Castle. Turlough is also the fictional narrator in the Hiberian Nights stories published by the Dublin College Press from 1863 - 1865 Ivor O'Hagan tutor of St Malachy, first recorded spelling of family name which was dated circa 1100, Medieval Records of County Armagh, during the reign of High Kings of Ireland, "with opposition", 1022 - 1166.

  • Irish surnames have been used from a very early date and a son's family name (surname) is usually prefixed by either Ó meaning he is a descendant of ... or Mac meaning he is a son of ...

  • Many Irish surnames are not as they seem because their education, culture, genealogy and history were taken away from them along with 95% of their Native Family territories. Elizabeth 1st decreed, " No Irishman was to ever know his grandfather" and total mayhem was followed by ethnic and religious cleansing on a grand scale. The Irish, (prior to the Anglo - Norman - English invasion and their oppression which lasted for nearly 800 years), had a great ancient history and culture based on their Families. Besides the actual spelling change to their Irish names the English passed a Law in 1623 that stated all Irish names had to be anglicised and many O's - meaning - descended from, - and Macs / meaning - descended from a son of, - were dropped from their names such as the O HAGANS. Confusion also reigned when many names were also written down "as sounded" to an "official" when the Native Irish were forced to emigrate so this also created many more variations.

  • O Hagan or Aiken (Irish- Ó HÁgán) which was originally "O hOgain", from Og – meaning "young". They were Chiefs of Tullaghogue who had their Native Irish territory around Tulach where they were an important Sept branch of the "northern" Ui Niall Tuath True Family. They had the right, along with the O Kanes (O Cathains) to inaugurate the "northern" Ui Niall Kings on the inauguration mound at Tullaghogue in Ulster Province, in their territory at Laggan in the east of Co. Donegal. They had their original Native Irish territory in the Coleraine / Derry area but in the 11th Century the Ui Niall had a fort at Tullaghogue, which remained the Ui Niall seat until well after the Ui Niall transfer to Dungannon in the 13th Century. The burial place for all of the Ui Hagans was at Donaghrisk across the road from the fort. This was the site of the Leac na Ri Stone where the "northern" Ui Niall Kings swore to uphold the Brehon Law after a Mass had been said by the Primate. The main Ui Niall sub­Chiefs, the O Cathains, threw a golden sandal over the head of the King and the O Hagans who were the hereditary guardians placed the shoe on his foot while St. Patrick´s bell was rung.

    This Sept is descended from the Cineal nEogain family of Owen directly through a son of Eoghan, the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the 1st Ui Niall High King of Tara, Ireland, who in turn was descended from hEremon the Milesian Gaelic King who came into Ireland in 1699 BC. O Hagan (Irish - O hAodhagain) - A Sept, family branch, who had their Native Irish territory in the ancient kingdom of Airgialla, Oriel from the Clann Cholla founded by Colla Mac Uais also descended from hEremon the Milesian Gaelic King who came into Ireland in 1699 BC. Colla Mac Uais is the ancestor of the Kings of Oriel, Uriel and Airgialla in the Ulster Province. Due to the close proximity of Co. Tyrone and Co. Armagh both the above Septs are now indistinguishable but nevertheless, both are descended from Conn of the Hundred Battles the Gaelic King of Ireland in the 2nd Century. He in turn was a descendant of hEremon the youngest surviving Milesian Gaelic brother from the initial Milesian Gaelic expedition in 1699BC. hEremon was descended from Gaedhal "Glas" the ancestor of all the Gaelic Celts whose mother was Scota / Scotia / the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt and his father was Niul / Niall the second son of Feinias "Farsaidh" the King of Scythia. Feinias "Farsaidh" in turn was descended from Magog the ancestor of all the Celts who was the second son of Japheth the second son of Noah whose ancestor was Adam who existed in 5199BC. O Hagan, a Sept, family branch, who had their Native Irish territory in Co. Offaly have become extinct as a separate Sept as they were absorbed by the O Egans in the Leinster Province.

  • Further Reading & References

  • Ireland's history in maps
  • Irish history timeline
  • Gaelic Lordship, County Tyrone and Tudor conquest
  • The Sean Patrick OHagan family WebsiteHagan surname
  • NiallFergusHagan history 11
  • NiallFergusHagan history 22
  • Wikipedia history
  • Hagan surname
  • Ireland Library - Hagan
  • Wikipedia - Tullyhogue Fort
  • Wikipedia -9 Years war 1593-1603
  • attrib Quinn family history/Ancestry websites
  • Keaney family history
  • Cenél Fergusa and hÓgáin
  • Niall of the Nine Hostages
  • McLaughlin family history
  • Plantation in Ulster,1608-1620
  • Discrepancies
  • OHagan & Tullaghog
  • Earl Essex & Ulster
  • Plot against Tyrone 1601
  • Plot against Tyrone 1601
  • Starvation 1602
  • Wikipedia Ireland Plantations
  • For further reading
  • A Y-Chromosome Signature of Hegemony in Gaelic Ireland
  • Return to Home Page