genealogies of the families
(Mac) DURKAN The only Gaelic-Irish surname to have an anglicized form beginning with the letter Z is Mac Dhuarcain, normally Durkan or Durkin, but also sometimes spelt Zorkin and Gurkin. Zorkin I may add is recorded by Matheson as having been used also as a synonym of Bodkin. The word duarcan, from which Durkan is presumably derived. means a pessimist. Durkan is a very numerous name in Mayo and Sligo: it is estimated that there are well over 2,000 persons so called in north Connacht and very few elsewhere. It originated in Co. Sligo and is said to have been adopted by a branch of the O'Haras: a Duarcan who died in 1225 does appear in the O'Hara pedigree. In an Inquisition made in the reign of James I the name appears as MacDurcan, several so called being landholders in the barony of Gallen. In the Strafford Inquisition of Co. Mayo (1635) there is one MacDurkain, while MacCurkan is of frequent occurrence in the barony of Gallen and it is unquestionably the same name. A modern representative of these was Most Rev. Patrick Durcan, Bishop of Achonry from 1852 to 1875.
Source:More Irish Families by Edward MacLysaght MA, D Litt, MRIA - Irish Academic Press 1996