Brogan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Brogan originally appeared in Gaelic as O Brogain. Broccán Clóen (Saint Brogan) was an Irish cleric who lived in the sixth or seventh century. Various spellings were used to denote him including: Brogan, Broccan, Bracan, Bearchan and Bearchanus. Saint Broccán of Rosstuirc (of 17 September), is believed to be the author of the hymn to Saint Brigid. He was possibly the nephew of Saint Patrick. Some people believe that were in fact more than one Saint Brogan.

Early Origins of the Brogan family

The surname Brogan was first found in counties Mayo and Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, in north Connacht where they had been a part of the ancient Ui Fiachrach since before recorded history. [1]

They were of the Ui Fiachrach Muaidhe, or northern branch, descended from a chieftain, O'Brogain, which, translated literally, means descendant "of the young sorrowful one."

Brocan was a younger brother of Lughaidh, ancestor of O'Duana, anglicized Downs, Duane, Devan and Dwaine was the progenitor of the family. Brocan, a quo O'Brocain, or Brogan in English, literally meant "little badger." [2]

As is often the case, Gaelic translations into English can have multiple meanings.

Early History of the Brogan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brogan research. Another 126 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brogan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brogan Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Brogan that are preserved in archival documents are Brogan, Brogin, Brogon, O'Brogan, Brogen, Brochain and many more.

Early Notables of the Brogan family (pre 1700)

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

Brogan Ranking

In the United States, the name Brogan is the 4,273rd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [3]


United States Brogan migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Brogan to North America:

Brogan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Brogan, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773
Brogan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Brogan, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811 [4]
  • Thomas Brogan, who arrived in America in 1811 [4]
  • Patrick Brogan, who settled in New York, NY in 1815
  • Patrick Brogan, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [4]
  • William Brogan, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1818
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Brogan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Brogan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Arthur Brogan, who arrived in Ontario in 1830
  • Bridget Brogan, who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834
  • James Brogan, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • Bridget Brogan, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • Miss. Catherine Brogan, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John Bolton" departing 13th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [5]

Australia Brogan migration to Australia +

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

Brogan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Nathaniel Brogan Mr. settled in New South Wales, Australia in 1823 [6]
  • M. Brogan, aged 10, a domestic servant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [7]
  • Biddy Brogan, aged 22, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851 [8]
  • Biddy Brogan, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" [8]
  • Martha Brogan, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Brogan 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:

Brogan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Pat Brogan, aged 32, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Emma Brogan, aged 27, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • John Brogan, aged 9, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Catherine Brogan, aged 8, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Ann Brogan, aged under 1, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Brogan migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Brogan Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Nico Brogan, aged 28, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [4]
  • Mr. Nicholas Brogan, (b. 1607), aged 28, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Brogan (post 1700) +

  • James Riley "Jim" Brogan (b. 1958), retired American basketball player
  • Frank T Brogan (b. 1953), American educator and Republican politician
  • Thomas C. Brogan, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1972 [11]
  • Thomas A. Brogan, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933; Member of New York Democratic State Committee, 1942 [11]
  • Patrick H. Brogan, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Clairton, Pennsylvania, 1933 [11]
  • Margaret Brogan, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1940 [11]
  • Joseph Hilary Brogan (1880-1940), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Missouri State Senate 33rd District, 1909-40 [11]
  • John J. Brogan, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Green Bay, Wisconsin, 1936-44; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1952 [11]
  • John C. Brogan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 3rd District, 1875, 1884 [11]
  • John Brogan, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1916 [11]
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Navarino.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HYDASPES 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Hydaspes.htm
  9. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  10. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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