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

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

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Scanlon originally appeared in Gaelic as O Scannlain or Mac Scannlain, which are both derived from the word "scannal," which means "contention."


Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Scanlon family name. Variations found include Scanlan, O'Scannell, O'Scanlan, O'Scanlon, MacScanlan, Scanlin and many more.

First found in County Louth (Irish: Lú) the smallest county in Ireland, located on the East coast, in the Province of Leinster.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scanlon research. Another 394 words(28 lines of text) covering the year 1272 is included under the topic Early Scanlon History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Scanlon or a variant listed above, including:

Scanlon Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Peter Scanlon, who landed in America in 1810
  • Brien Scanlon, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Mancy Scanlon, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Maney Scanlon, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • John, Patrick and William Scanlon arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870

Scanlon Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Henry Scanlon, who arrived in Arkansas in 1905


  • Thomas Michael "Tim" Scanlon (b. 1940), Harvard philosopher
  • Bethany Kennedy Scanlon (b. 1975), American Christian author and speaker
  • Bill Scanlon (b. 1956), retired American tennis player, the only professional ever to achieve a golden set
  • Dewey Scanlon (1899-1924), American football head coach in the National Football League (1924 to 1929)
  • Joseph Scanlon (1970-1969), American Democratic politician who served in the Pennsylvania State Senate (1969 to 1970)
  • Michael Scanlon (1843-1929), Irish-born, American Major League Baseball manager (1884 to 1886)
  • Patrick J. "Pat" Scanlon (1861-1913), Canadian-born, American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • James Patrick Scanlon (b. 1952), American former Major League Baseball third baseman
  • Thomas E. Scanlon (1896-1955), American politician, Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1941 to 1945)
  • Brigadier-General Martin Francis Scanlon (1889-1980), American President of the Army Air Force Evaluation Board (1944-1946)



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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  11. ...

The Scanlon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Scanlon 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 27 June 2014 at 07:33.

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