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

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

While the Anglicized versions of Irish names are familiar to most people, many Irish names have a long and proud Gaelic heritage that is often unknown. The original Gaelic form of the name Hourihan is O hArgain.

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During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Hourihan revealed many variations, including Horgan, O'Horgan, Horgon, Hourigan, Horrigan, O'Hourigan, O'Horrigan, Arragan, O'Arragan, Aragan, Harrigan, O'Harrigan and many more.

First found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they were part of the main tribe in prehistoric times, known as the Corca Laoidhe.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hourihan research. Another 308 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1715, 1849, and 1880 are included under the topic Early Hourihan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Hourihan: John Horgon, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1853; Michael and Mary Horgan settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1847; John Horgan settled in Frederick Co. Maryland in 1798.

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  • Chip Hourihan, American film producer and director
  • Joseph J. Hourihan, American naval officer, captain of USS Merrick on Operation Highjump, 1946-1947, led by Admiral Byrd, eponym of Hourihan Glacier, Antarctica


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  7. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  8. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Hourihan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hourihan 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 30 November 2013 at 16:26.

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