Show ContentsDeegan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Gaelic form of the Irish name Deegan was Ó Dubhaigan. The first portion of the name is the word dubh, which means black; the second portion is likely some obsolete Irish personal name.

Early Origins of the Deegan family

The surname Deegan was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'DuilAgin, O'Dugan, (or O'Deegan), chief of Muintir ConIochta, a district in the parish of Tomgraney, in the barony of Tullagh.

The family line is directly traceable to Fergus Mor (Fergus the Great). In turn his ancestry is associated with King Ir, brother of the equally famous Heremon. The name was first found near what is now the town of Fermoy, in the territory formerly known as Roche's Country. This territory encompassed the junction of the counties Cork, Tipperary and Waterford. In modern times, the surname is generally found in these three counties.

However, there was another O'Dugan sept in the territory called Ui Maine, also called Hy Many, which spans eastern county Galway and southern county Roscommon. This sept gave their name to the place called Ballyduggan, near Loughrea. 1

Early History of the Deegan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Deegan research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1813, 1823, 1884 and 1896 are included under the topic Early Deegan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Deegan Spelling Variations

Throughout the early history of this name, spellings of the surname in various records changed frequently largely due to the recorder's interpretation of how the name sounded at the time of the entry. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Deegan family name include Dugan, Duggan, O'Duggan, Dougan, Douggan, Dewgan, Deugan and many more.

Early Notables of the Deegan family

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Deegan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Deegan Ranking

In the United States, the name Deegan is the 9,348th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

United States Deegan migration to the United States +

Irish families began to migrate to North America in the late 18th century in the hopes of gaining their own plot of land. The majority of these early immigrant families were relatively well off because the transatlantic passage was costly. As a result the decision to immigrate was carefully made. Those immigrants that arrived in the late 1840s differed because their decision to leave was in direct response to the Great Potato Famine. Many of the families that crossed the Atlantic during this decade were destitute, either having spent all they had on the fare or even starting with nothing, but being sponsored by a philanthropic society. Whenever, these Irish families came to North America, they were made great contributions to the developing nations of the United States and what would come to be known as Canada: the earlier settlers as land clearing homesteaders, and the later immigrants as the muscle that would build the industries and routes of transportation so critical to a powerful nation. Research into the passenger and immigration lists has shown many early and significant Irish immigrants bearing the name Deegan:

Deegan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Miss Kitty Deegan, aged 21, Irish settler who arrived in New York in 1846 aboard the ship "Stephen Whitney"
  • Patrick Deegan, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868 3

Canada Deegan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Deegan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Deegan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1820
  • Patrick Deegan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • Patrick Deegan, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
  • Mr. Denis Deegan, aged 7 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Pandora" departing 11th June 1847 from New Ross, Ireland; the ship arrived on 4th August 1847 but he died on board 4
  • Miss. Elizabeth Deegan, aged 5 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 4
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Deegan migration to Australia +

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

Deegan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Pat Deegan, (Houlahan), (b. 1790), aged 30, Irish brewer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for felony, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 5
  • Patrick Deegan, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Confiance" 6
  • Mr. Joseph Deegan, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Lancashire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Belgravia" on 4th April 1866, arriving in Western Australia 7

New Zealand Deegan 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:

Deegan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Deegan, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1864 8

Contemporary Notables of the name Deegan (post 1700) +

  • William Joseph Deegan (1874-1957), American pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • William Francis Deegan (1882-1932), American architect
  • Patricia E. Deegan, American disability-rights advocate, psychologist and researcher
  • William Edward John "Bill" Deegan (b. 1935), former American Major League Baseball umpire
  • Brian Deegan (b. 1980), American professional Freestyle Motocross rider
  • Donna Deegan, currently an American author, breast cancer awareness advocate, and weekday television anchor
  • Mildred Eleanor Deegan (1919-2002), American pitcher, outfielder and second basewoman
  • John M. Deegan, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1956, 1964 9
  • J. A. Deegan, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Bridgeport, West Virginia, 1944-46, 1949-50 9
  • Deborah Deegan, American politician, Socialist Workers Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1972 9
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. 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. 72)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th July 2021). Retrieved from
  6. South Australian Register Wednesday 13th September 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Confiance 1854. Retrieved
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th September 2020). Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook