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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Corcoran family come from? What is the Irish Corcoran family crest and coat of arms? When did the Corcoran family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Corcoran family history?

The name Corcoran comes from the Gaelic Mac Corcrain or O Corcrain, both of which are derived from the word "corcair," which now means purple, but originally meant ruddy.

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The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the Corcoran family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including MacCorcoran, O'Corcoran and others.

First found in County Fermanagh (Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Corcoran research. Another 511 words(36 lines of text) covering the years 1001, 1172, 1373, 1641, 1691, 1827, 1861, and 1863 are included under the topic Early Corcoran History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Corcoran Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Under the rule of England, land ownership in Ireland changed dramatically, and many native Irish families found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of Corcoran or one of its variants:

Corcoran Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Jacobi Corcoran settled in St Patrick's Parish with his wife, where his daughter Joanne, was baptized in 1774

Corcoran Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Corcoran who settled in New York State in 1811
  • Win Corcoran, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Wm Corcoran, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • David Corcoran, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Andrew Corcoran, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1832


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  • Bob Corcoran, American television host during the late 1960s and early 1970s
  • Timothy Hugh Corcoran (b. 1978), American Major League Baseball player
  • Tommy Corcoran (1869-1960), American Major League Baseball player
  • William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888), American banker, philanthropist and art collector
  • Ann Corcoran (b. 1951), Australian politician
  • James Desmond "Des" Corcoran (1929-2004), Australian politician
  • Jim Corcoran (b. 1949), Canadian musician
  • Mr. Denny Corcoran (d. 1912), aged 33, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In fide et in bello fortis
Motto Translation: Strong in both faith and war.

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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  11. ...

The Corcoran Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Corcoran Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 June 2014 at 21:30.

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