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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

The Prendergast surname belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are thought to have originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads in Normandy. In Ireland, the name was turned into a Gaelic form as de Priondragás; however, the name has also been replaced with MacSherone.

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A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Prendergast has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: Prendergast, Prendegast, Pendergast, Pendegast, Prendregast, Pendergrass, Pendergrist, Pender and many more.

First found in Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro), a county in south-west Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth, where they held a family seat from early times and were Lords of the manor of Prendergast and estates in that shire. Maurice was a great friend and neighbor of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke. He accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo\ Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172, and was rewarded with lands in Ireland in Waterford and south Mayo.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prendergast research. Another 181 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1725, 1660, 1709, 1703 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Prendergast History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Prendergast Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Prendergast:

Prendergast Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Phillip Prendergast who settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Phillipp Prendergast, who arrived in Virginia in 1643

Prendergast Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Prendergast, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772

Prendergast Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edward Prendergast, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824
  • Michael Prendergast, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1856
  • Richard and Miles Prendergast arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1858
  • James Prendergast, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1867
  • John Prendergast, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1878

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  • Mike Prendergast (1888-1967), American Major League Baseball player
  • Edmond Francis Prendergast (1843-1918), American Archbishop of Philadelphia
  • John Prendergast (b. 1964), American author and human rights activist
  • Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858-1924), Canadian-born, American Post-Impressionist artist
  • Michael "Mike" Thomas Prendergast, American Major League Baseball player
  • Thomas Francis Prendergast (1871-1913), American Medal of Honor recipient
  • Frank Prendergast, Irish politician
  • Frank Prendergast (b. 1933), Irish politician
  • Paudie Prendergast, retired Irish hurler
  • Seamus Prendergast (b. 1980), Irish hurler

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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: Vincit veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers.

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  1. 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.
  2. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  4. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  11. ...

The Prendergast Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Prendergast 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 December 2013 at 19:54.

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