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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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

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


The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Brannigan revealed spelling variations, including Branagan, Branigan, Brangan, Brangen, Branghan, Branikan, Brankin, Brannagan, Brannahan, Brannaghan, Brannaghin, Brannigan, Braendigan, Brandigan, O'Branagan and many more.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brannigan research. Another 369 words (26 lines of text) covering the year 1610 is included under the topic Early Brannigan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


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 Brannigan name:

Brannigan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Michael Brannigan arrived in New York 1846

Brannigan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • James Brannigan, aged 19, who settled in America from Tyrone, in 1900
  • Jas. Brannigan, aged 39, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1903
  • John Brannigan, aged 27, who emigrated to America from Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1904
  • Joseph Brannigan, aged 24, who settled in America from Tyrone, in 1906
  • Elizabeth Brannigan, aged 2, who emigrated to America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907

Brannigan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Bernard Brannigan, aged 24, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • Mary Brannigan, aged 21, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833


  • Felix Brannigan (1844-1907), Irish soldier who received the Medal of Honor for valor during the American Civil War
  • Francis L. "Frank" Brannigan (1918-2006), American writer and teacher in the field of fire protection engineering, best known as the author of "Building Construction for the Fire Service" which was in its third edition when he died
  • Joseph C. Brannigan (1931-2015), American social worker and politician, Member of the Maine Senate (2006-2012)
  • Joseph C. Brannigan, American Democrat politician, Member of Maine State House of Representatives 35th District, 2001
  • James W. Brannigan Jr., American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, 1993
  • James W. Brannigan Jr., American politician, U.S. Attorney for Maine, 1979-80
  • Eimear Brannigan (b. 1980), Irish camogie player who has won All- Ireland Junior titles with Dublin in 2005 and 2006
  • Colleen Corradi Brannigan, Irish-Italian artist
  • Owen Brannigan OBE (1908-1973), English bass, known in opera for buffo roles
  • Paul Brannigan (b. 1986), Scottish BAFTA Scotland Award winning actor, best known for his roles as Gareth O'Connor in Scottish soap opera River City



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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  3. 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.
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Brannigan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brannigan 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 17 November 2015 at 11:52.

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