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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

Irish surnames are linked to the long Gaelic heritage of the Island nation. The original Gaelic form of the name Ragan is O Riagain. In County Waterford, the Gaelic form O Reagain is used.

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The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The standardized literary languages of today were not yet reached. Research into the name Ragan revealed spelling variations, including Reagan, Regan, O'Regan, O'Reagan and others.

First found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ragan research. Another 249 words(18 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Ragan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name Ragan or one of its variants:

Ragan Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • James Ragan, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1750
  • John Ragan, who came to Philadelphia in 1798

Ragan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Eleanor Ragan, who arrived in Baltimore in 1825
  • James Ragan, aged 21, arrived in Missouri in 1840
  • John Ragan, aged 31, landed in New Orleans, La in 1852
  • Michael Ragan, who arrived in New York in 1853
  • Daniel Ragan, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1857


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  • Don Carlos Patrick Ragan (1885-1956), American Major League Baseball player
  • Sam Ragan (1915-1996), American journalist, author, poet and champion of the arts
  • David William Ragan Jr. (b. 1935), American professional PGA golfer
  • Amanda Ragan (b. 1954), American politician, Member of the Iowa Senate (2002-)
  • Arthur Edgar "Rip" Ragan (1878-1953), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played one season with the Cincinnati Reds in 1903
  • David Ragan (b. 1985), American NASCAR stock car racer who has been in over 237 races over the past 8 years
  • Randolph "Randy" Lee Ragan (b. 1959), former Canadian elite professional soccer player, inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame


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  • The Lineage of the Amos Ragan Family by Elizabeth H. Ragan.
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  1. 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.
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  3. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  9. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Ragan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ragan 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 12:45.

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