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

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

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Dunagan originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnagain. The first portion of the name is probably derived from "donn," which means brown, while the second portion of the name is probably derived from and ancient Irish personal name.

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Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Dunagan family name include Donegan, Donnegan, Doneghan, Donneghan, Donagan, Donnagan, Donnaghan, Dunnegan, O'Donegan, O'Dunnegan, O'Donnaghan, Dongan, Donegin, Donnegin, Donnagen, Donagen, Donnegen, Donegen, Donnigan, Donigan, Dunnican, Dunican, Dunnigan, McDunnigan, McDonegan, Dongane, Dongin, Dongen and many more.

First found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat at Muskerry, later moving to Limerick, Kildare and Dublin.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunagan research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1300, 1395, 1412, 1413, 1634 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Dunagan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunagan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Dunagan:

Dunagan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Dunagan, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

Dunagan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Roscoe Dunagan, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1923

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  • Deanna Dunagan (b. 1940), Chicago based American actress
  • Donald "Donnie" Roan Dunagan (b. 1934), semi-retired American former child actor
  • Kern W. Dunagan (1934-1991), United States Army officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration
  • Randy Dunagan (b. 1975), American professional football player


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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  10. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  11. ...

The Dunagan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dunagan 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 February 2015 at 10:39.

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