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

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

While the Anglicized versions of Irish names are familiar to most people, many Irish names have a long and proud Gaelic heritage that is often unknown. The original Gaelic form of the name Hourihan is O hArgain.

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During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Hourihan revealed many variations, including Horgan, O'Horgan, Horgon, Hourigan, Horrigan, O'Hourigan, O'Horrigan, Arragan, O'Arragan, Aragan, Harrigan, O'Harrigan 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 were part of the main tribe in prehistoric times, known as the Corca Laoidhe.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hourihan research. Another 308 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1715, 1849, and 1880 are included under the topic Early Hourihan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Hourihan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Hourihan: John Horgon, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1853; Michael and Mary Horgan settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1847; John Horgan settled in Frederick Co. Maryland in 1798.

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  • Chip Hourihan, American film producer and director
  • Joseph J. Hourihan, American naval officer, captain of USS Merrick on Operation Highjump, 1946-1947, led by Admiral Byrd, eponym of Hourihan Glacier, Antarctica


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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  9. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Hourihan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hourihan 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 30 November 2013 at 16:26.

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