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Subject: Re: Surname Origin Help!
Author: Jim Young   (guest)
Date: July 28, 2005 at 7:31 AM
Reply to: Re: Surname Origin Help! by Nakia

I've always wondered about the origins of this name as it seems to be purely American. Anyway your enquiry prompted me to find out and there's some interesting stuff on the net about Goins.
Apparently it started with a family named Gowan or Gowen, but I'm not sure that all bearers of the surname descend from this family.
Gowen/Gowen looks like it might derive from the Irish O'Gowan, which in Ireland has always been changed to Smith (the GOW part may mean "blacksmith"). Otherwise it might be from the Irish and Scots MacGowan.
A third possibility is that it's from the Breton (of France) GOUIN, which means "white". Le Gouin is a common Breton surname.

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