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

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

The Irish name Flanagan was originally written in a Gaelic form as "O Flannagain," from the word "flann," which means "red" or "ruddy."

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Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Flanagan were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Flanagan, Flanaghan, Flanagen, Flannagan, Flannagen, Flanigan, Flannigan, Flanigen, Flannigen, Flanagin, Flannagin and many more.

First found in County Roscommon, where they claim descent from the O'Connors as shown by the similarities of the Coat of Arms. Today the surname is more frequently found in County Roscommon, Mayo, Galway and Clare, no doubt branches from their ancestral roots. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Flanagan research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1308 are included under the topic Early Flanagan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Flanagan family in North America:

Flanagan Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Antho Flanagan, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Andrew Flanagan, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Owen Flanagan, who landed in New York in 1798

Flanagan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Michael Flanagan, aged 34, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Peter Flanagan, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Flanagan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Patk Flanagan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Patrick Flanagan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816


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  • James Showers Flanagan (1884-1937), American gold medalist Olympic rower
  • John Flanagan (1865-1952), American sculptor and medalist
  • Thomas Lee Flanagan (1930-2001), American jazz pianist from New York City
  • Michael Kendall "Mike" Flanagan (1951-2011), American left-handed pitcher, front office executive, and television color commentator
  • Bob Flanagan (1952-1996), American performance artist, comic, writer, poet, and musician
  • Caitlin Flanagan (b. 1961), American writer and social critic
  • Crista Flanagan (b. 1976), American comedic actress
  • Edward "Ed" Joseph Flanagan (b. 1944), former American NFL football center
  • James Winright Flanagan (1805-1887), American merchant and politician, Lieutenant Governor of Texas (1869 to 1870)
  • John Flanagan (1873-1938), American three-time Olympic gold medalist in the hammer throw

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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: Certavi et vici
Motto Translation: I have fought and conquered.

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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Flanagan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Flanagan 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 23 April 2014 at 10:06.

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