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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The name Coughlin has undergone many variations in the time that has passed since its genesis. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Cochlain or O Cochlain.


The surname Coughlin was first found in Munster where Dealbha, brother of King Blad of Munster, is the traditional ancestor of this family. There were two different septs which have become known as Coughlan: the MacCoughlans, who dwelled in the barony of Garrycastle in Offaly, and the O'Coughlans, who lived in the baronies of Carbery and Ballymore in Cork. In Cork, they occupied the territories known as the baronies of Carbery and Ballymore. The MacCoughlans were the more important of the two septs until they dissolved and scattered during the 18th century. They were a Dalcassian sept, and their chief was referred to as Chief of Delvin MacCoughlan. In 1858, they were still recorded as landlords at Cloghan, near Banagher, but they vanished within fifty years. However, the O'Coughlans, who were recorded in large numbers at the time of the 1659 census, still continue to be numerous in those territories. This census shows the prefix O to have been largely discarded by that time. The MacCoghlans lost most of their extensive territories during the Anglo Norman invasion of Ireland by Strongbow in 1172, and lost even more during the Cromwellian Invasion in 1641.

Within archives, many different spelling variations exist for the surname Coughlin. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in the name of the single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Coghlan, Coughlan, MacCoughlan, McCoughlan, Coglan, Couglan, Coughlin and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coughlin research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 159 and 1590 are included under the topic Early Coughlin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


North America accepted thousands of Irish immigrants during the 19th century as their homeland suffered under foreign imperialistic rule. Although settlers from the early portion of the century came to North America by choice in search of land, by far the largest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Many of these Irish families left the country destitute and in some cases suffering from disease. However, those who survived the long ocean voyage were especially vital to the development of industry in the United States and what would become known as Canada. Research of immigration and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the name Coughlin:

Coughlin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ann Coughlin, who arrived in Maryland in 1679

Coughlin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Margaret Coughlin, who arrived in Virginia in 1725

Coughlin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Coughlin, aged 36, landed in New York in 1800
  • Ann Coughlin settled in New York in 1833
  • John K Coughlin, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1840
  • Jane Coughlin, who arrived in New York in 1849
  • Thos Coughlin, aged 21, landed in New York in 1854

Coughlin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John Coughlin, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Coughlin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Ann Coughlin, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"


  • William Paul "Bill" Coughlin (1878-1943), American Major League Baseball third baseman
  • Thomas M. "Tom" Coughlin (1949-2016), American businessman, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc who pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return
  • Thomas Richard Coughlin (b. 1946), American football coach, current head coach for the New York Giants, credited with two Super Bowl wins
  • Roscoe Coughlin (1868-1951), American Major League Baseball player
  • John Coughlin (b. 1985), American pair skater, 2012 U.S. national champion
  • Jack Coughlin (b. 1932), American artist
  • Jack Coughlin (b. 1966), retired Gunnery Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and author, recipient of the Bronze Star
  • Fr. Daniel P. Coughlin STL (b. 1934), 59th Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives (2000 to 2011)
  • Robert Lawrence Coughlin (1929-2001), Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Natalie Anne Coughlin (b. 1982), United States Olympic swimmer, winner of two gold medals, two silver medals in 2004



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: Fortis in arduis
Motto Translation: Brave in difficulties.


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  1. 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.
  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. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Coughlin Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Coughlin 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 4 April 2016 at 09:34.

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