Branagan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of Branagan was O Branagain, derived from bran, which means raven.

Early Origins of the Branagan family

The surname Branagan was first found in the counties of Armagh and Monaghan (Irish: Muineachán) located in the Northern part of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Ulster, and were a part of the Cenel Eoghain (Clann Owen) one of the important septs (clanns) who are descended from Eoghan (Owen) son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, perhaps the greatest of all Irish General Kings whose history makes King Arthur's romances pale.

Early History of the Branagan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Branagan research. Another 52 words (4 lines of text) covering the year 1610 is included under the topic Early Branagan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Branagan Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname Branagan can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Branagan, Branigan, Brangan, Brangen, Branghan, Branikan, Brankin, Brannagan, Brannahan, Brannaghan, Brannaghin, Brannigan, Braendigan, Brandigan, O'Branagan and many more.

Early Notables of the Branagan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Branagan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Branagan migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Branagan name:

Branagan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Branagan, who settled in Charleston in 1796
Branagan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Branagan, who landed in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [1]
  • Felix, Francis, James, John, Lawrence, Michael, Patrick, and Thomas Branagan, who, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1834 and 1870

Canada Branagan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Branagan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Branagan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
Branagan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edmund Branagan, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Saguenay" departing 5th June 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 22nd August 1847 but he died on board [2]
  • Mr. Thomas Branagan, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Saguenay" departing 5th June 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 22nd August 1847 but he died on board [2]

Australia Branagan migration to Australia +

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

Branagan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ann Branagan, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Violet"
  • John Branagan, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham" [3]
  • Thomas Branagan, aged 16, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham" [3]

New Zealand Branagan 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:

Branagan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Sarah J. Branagan, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Caroline Coventry" in 1869 [4]
  • Patrick Branagan, aged 23, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880

Contemporary Notables of the name Branagan (post 1700) +

  • Carolyn Whitney Branagan (b. 1954), American Republican politician [5]
  • James "Jim" Patrick Stephen Branagan (b. 1955), English footballer
  • Ritchie Peter Branagan (b. 1991), English-Irish footballer
  • Ken Branagan (b. 1930), English football fullback
  • Keith Graham Branagan (b. 1966), English-born football goalkeeper

HMS Dorsetshire
  • Charles Stanley Branagan (d. 1945), British Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 66)
  3. ^ South Australian Register Monday 20th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sir Thomas Gresham 1858. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sirthomasgresham1858.shtml.
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2012, January 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html


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