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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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)
  • 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
  • James Brannigan, British Professor of Chemistry at the University of York, England
  • Jim Brannigan, Scottish-born, Canadian folk singer
  • Kenny Brannigan (b. 1965), former Scottish association footballer


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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. 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 20 January 2015 at 11:23.

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