Show ContentsBerrigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of Berrigan was O hAimheirgin. Aimhirgin means "wondrous birth."

Early Origins of the Berrigan family

The surname Berrigan was first found in County Offaly (Irish: Uíbh Fháilí) originally the Kingdom of Uí Failghe, located in central Ireland in the Province of Leinster.

Early History of the Berrigan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berrigan research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1314 and 1655 are included under the topic Early Berrigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berrigan Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Berrigan family name include Bergin, Berrigan, Baragan, Bergan, Bergen, Mergin, O'Bergin, O'Bergyn, MacBergin and many more.

Early Notables of the Berrigan family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Berrigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canada Berrigan migration to Canada +

The English-ruled Ireland of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Berrigan:

Berrigan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • David Berrigan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • Martin Berrigan who settled in Newfoundland in 1841 [1]
  • David and Peter Berrigan who settled in Nova Scotia in 1833 and 1842
  • Peter Berrigan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1842

Australia Berrigan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Berrigan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Esther Berrigan, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constant" in 1849 [2]

New Zealand Berrigan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Berrigan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Denis Berrigan, aged 38, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "India" in 1875 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Berrigan (post 1700) +

  • Daniel Joseph Berrigan S.J., (1921-2016), American Jesuit priest, one of the Catonsville Nine who burned their draft cards in protest the Vietnam War on May 17, 1968
  • Helen Ginger Berrigan (b. 1948), United States federal judge
  • Ted Berrigan (1934-1983), American poet from Providence, Rhode Island, best known for his work The Sonnets
  • Philip Francis Berrigan (1923-2002), American peace activist and former Roman Catholic priest
  • Barry Berrigan (b. 1975), Australian retired professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s
  • Shaun Berrigan (b. 1978), Australian professional rugby league footballer

  1. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  2. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CONSTANT 1849. Retrieved from
  3. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook