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The Scottish Nation

GAVIN, a surname, which has assumed various forms, as Given, Givin, Gavine, &c., derived from Govan, (pron. Guvan) the name of a parish on the Clyde, partly in the lower ward of Lanarkshire and partly in Renfrewshire, and anciently called Guuen or Guuan. Govan itself is conjectured to be compounded of two Saxon words, God win (good wine), the parish, according to Lesly, being said to have obtained its name from the excellence of its ale, which, in his days, was famed over the whole country, and tasted like Malvoisie. [Regionet. Insul Scotiae Descriptio, Joanne Leslaeo Espicopo Rossensi, pp. 4, 10, Romaeo, 1558, Reprinted 1675.] In charters of the 12th century, the name appears in the form of Guvan, and, subsequently of Gowan and Govan. The former, in the British, as Gova in the Gaelic, signifies a Smith. The name has also been derived from Gamhan, prounced Gavan, the Gaelic for a ditch [Chalmers’ Caledonia, v. 3, p. 674] Robert, 6th Lord Boyd, had a charter of the lands of Gavin and Risk, in Renfrewshire, 9th June 1620. In the west and north of Scotland Gavin is often used as a baptismal name.

      Gavin of Whiteriggs, Kincardineshire, entailed his estate in 1749.

      In 1758 David Gavin, Esq. Purchased the estate of Langton, Berwickshire, anciently the ossession of the Cockburns, and two years after built the village of Gavinton. He married Lady Elizabeth Maitland, eldest daughter of the Earl of Lauderdale. His eldest daughter and heiress, Mary Turner, married in 1793, the first marquis of Breadalbane. The 2d daughter, Christina Maria, became the wife of Robert Baird of Newbyty. Mr. Gavin died in 1773.

      In Ireland are the families of Gavin of Kilfeacon House, near Limerick, and Giveen of Rock Castle, settled for many generations in the county of Londonderry.

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