The Irish name Hennegan originally appeared in Gaelic as "O hEanain," but sometimes is an abbreviated form of the surname Henagahn.
from ancient times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hennegan research.Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Hennegan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname Hennegan are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Heenan, Henaghan, Henehan, Heenon, Hanegan, Hannegan, Hanigan, Hannigan, Haneghan and many more.
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
for the distant shores of North America and Australia
. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England
. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence
. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Hennegan family relocated to North American shores quite early: Dennis, James, John, Martin, Mathias, Michael, Patrick and Robert Heenan, all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860; Mrs. Ellen Henegan settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1850.