Clanahan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo- Norman Conquest of Ireland lead by Strongbow introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo- Normans brought some traditions to Ireland that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames. One of the best examples of this is the local surname. Local surnames, such as Clanahan, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England, but were almost non-existent within Ireland previous to the conquest. Originally, these place names were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The Clanahan family originally lived in the settlement of Llanaghan, which is in the Welsh county of Brecon.

Early Origins of the Clanahan family

The surname Clanahan was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they were granted lands by Strongbow after his invasion of Ireland in 1172.

Early History of the Clanahan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clanahan research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1249 is included under the topic Early Clanahan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clanahan Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes spelled names as they sounded; therefore, single person, could have his name spelt many different ways during their lifetime. While investigating the origins of the name Clanahan, many spelling variations were encountered, including: Lanigan, Lanahan, Lenaghan, Lanaghan, Linehan and many more.

Early Notables of the Clanahan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Clanahan migration to the United States +

Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Clanahan:

Clanahan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Clanahan, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]


The Clanahan Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Patriae infelici fidelis
Motto Translation: Faithful to an unhappy country.


  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)


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