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

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

The surname is one of the Anglo-Norman names that arrived in Ireland in the wake of the 12th century invasion by Richard "Strongbow" de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. The surname Nugent belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. The name of the Nugent family comes from one of the many places called Nogent in France. The Gaelic form of the surname Nugent is Nuinseann.

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Since church officials and medieval scribes spelt each name as it sounded to them; as a result, a single person could accumulate many different versions of his name within official records. A close examination of the origins of the name Nugent revealed the following spelling variations: Nugent, Nogent, Newgent, Neugent, Newgant, Newgeant, Nuegent, Nougent, Newjeant, Nujent, Noigent, Nuigent, Nuijent, Nushend, Newshent, Newshand, Neushant and many more.

First found in county Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where they held a family seat after 1172.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nugent research. Another 289 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1213, 1486, 1544, 1602, 1583, 1642, 1607, 1621, 1684, 1680, 1669, 1714, 1715, 1669, 1752, 1671 and 1754 are included under the topic Early Nugent History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 235 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nugent Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Nugent:

Nugent Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Christopher Nugent who settled in Virginia in 1638

Nugent Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Arthur, Charles, Daniel, Edward, Hugh, Henry, Isabella, Jane, John, Margaret, Martin, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Richard, Robert, Terence, Thomas, and William Nugent, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

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  • Theodore "Ted" Nugent (b. 1948), American rock guitarist
  • Elliott "John" Nugent (1899-1980), American actor, director and playwright
  • John Frost Nugent (1868-1931), American politician, United States Senator from Idaho
  • Lieutenant-General Richard Emmel Nugent (1902-1979), American Acting Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Office of the Director of Personnel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. (1950)
  • Gilbert Charles Nugent (1880-1971), 12th Earl of Westmeath
  • Michael Nugent (b. 1961), Irish writer and activist
  • Keith Alexander Nugent (b. 1959), Australian (English born) physicist, Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne


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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  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. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Nugent Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nugent 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 26 March 2014 at 10:10.

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