Dictionary of Irish Latin American Biography

Eduardo A. Coghlan
(The Southern Cross, Número del Centenario)

Coghlan, Eduardo Aquilio (1912-1997), genealogist and civil servant, was born on 29 October 1912 in the province of Corrientes, Argentina, the son of Patricio Coghlan (1883-1952) and María Dolores, daughter of Miguel Jantus and Arcelia Baigorri. Patricio Coghlan, the only son of Joseph Coghlan (1853-1892) of Ballylarkin, Co. Wicklow, and Elisa Byrne (d. 1884), was a notary public and landowner. Joseph Coghlan's father Patrick was first cousin to John Coghlan (1824-1890), civil engineer who built the drinking water and sewage systems of Buenos Aires. 

Eduardo Coghlan graduated in 1937 at the school of law in the university of Buenos Aires. After graduation he was appointed as Director of Statistics in Mendoza Province, then Director of the Institute of Transportation Economic Studies in 1944, Director of the National School Census in 1945, and Director of Population and Housing at the National Census in 1947. As a lawyer, Coghlan was appointed to the Federal Court of Buenos Aires in 1957 and retired as a judge in 1978.

President of the Argentine Genealogical Institute in 1979-1980. He was vice-president of the Irish Argentine Federation and member of the Irish Catholic Association. Eduardo Coghlan contributed articles to the Review of the River Plate, The Southern Cross and La Nación newspaper.

On 20 December 1945 Eduardo Coghlan married Margarita, daughter of José Jaime O'Farrell and his wife Margarita Imelda Duggan. "He never had the opportunity to visit Ireland but many Irish Argentines who did are in his debt as his researches enabled them to pinpoint their Irish relations and often the very farm and house from which their great-grandparents left for Argentina. Eduardo Coghlan did not engage in self-promotion although he made himself generously available to all who wished to call on his knowledge of the Irish in Argentina. He cooperated closely with Bill Meek of RTE who, in 1987, visited Argentina and who made a successful radio documentary series on the Irish Argentines. [...] We are all in Eduardo's debt for the detailed and painstaking research he did over a life-time on thousands of Irish emigrants and their descendants from the date of their arrival in Argentina through the succeeding generations. His work will ensure that the Latin-American component of the Irish Diaspora is recorded for posterity" (obituary in the Irish Times, 2 March 1998). Eduardo Coghlan died on 1 August 1997 in Buenos Aires. 

Eduardo Coghlan published Fundadores de la Segunda Epoca: los irlandeses (Buenos Aires, 1967), Los irlandeses (Buenos Aires, 1970), Orígenes y evolución de la colectividad hiberno-argentina in: 'The Southern Cross', Número del Centenario (Buenos Aires, 1975), Andanzas de un Irlandés en el Campo Porteño 1845-1864 (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Culturales Argentinas, 1981), El Aporte de los Irlandeses a la Formación de la Nación Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1982), and Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987). In 1987 the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved the purchase of copies of Eduardo Coghlan's catalogue 'to be distributed to institutions abroad' (Dáil Éireann 1988).

Coghlan's Los Irlandeses en la Argentina (1987) is a 963-pages genealogical catalogue of the Irish-Argentine community, including 4,349 Irish-born emigrants to Argentina and most of their families up to the third and sometimes fourth and fifth generations. The book includes an alphabetical index, two introductory articles, the genealogies, cattle brands of Irish ranchers, an essay on genealogy by Félix F. Martin y Herrera, and depictions of Irish family arms. Sometimes there is a tendency to select landowners and professionals, disregarding less fortunate Irish settlers like cattle hands and labourers. For this reason there is little information about return migration and re-emigration to other countries. However, it is a unique piece of research throughout the Irish Diaspora and an indispensable source for students of the Irish in Argentina. Several entries of this Dictionary of Irish Latin American Biography include Coghlan's catalogue as one of their references.

Edmundo Murray

Rev. 8 February 2010


- MacLoughlin, Guillermo, The forgotten people The Irish in Argentina and other South American countries: In memory of Edward A. Coghlan in: "The Scattering Ireland and the Irish Diaspora: A Comparative Perspective" (University College Cork, 24-27 September 1997).

- Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987), p. 155.

- The Irish Times, obituary, 2 March 1998.

- Dáil Éireann, Volume 377, 02 February 1988, Written Answers, Grant Payments.

Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

Online published: 1 November 2005
Edited: 08 February 2010

Murray, Edmundo, '
Coghlan, Eduardo A. (1912-1997)' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" November-December 2005 (


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

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