Show ContentsFinigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Finigan family in Ireland was "O Fionnagain," derived from the word "fionn," denoting a fair-headed person.

Early Origins of the Finigan family

The surname Finigan was first found in counties Galway and Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Finigan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finigan research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1405 is included under the topic Early Finigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Finigan Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Finigan were encountered in the archives: Finnegan, O'Finnegan, Finegan, O'Finegan, Finigan and many more.

Early Notables of the Finigan family (pre 1700)

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

United States Finigan migration to the United States +

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Finigan family came to North America quite early:

Finigan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Finigan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [1]
  • James Finigan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • Matthew Finigan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • George Finigan, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1847 [1]
  • Peter Finigan, aged 20, who arrived in New York in 1854 [1]

Australia Finigan migration to Australia +

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

Finigan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Peter Finigan, a cooper, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Owen Finigan, (Finnigan, Finnegan), (b. 1823), aged 15, Irish labourer boy who was convicted in County Down, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 11th May 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Finigan (post 1700) +

  • Robert Finigan (1943-2011), American wine and restaurant critic, known for his newsletter, "Robert Finigan's Private Guide to Wines"
  • Thomas J. Finigan, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Mechanicville, New York (1930-1935) [3]
  • Pearle F. Finigan, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1964 [3]
  • Vinny Finigan (b. 1989), English professional rugby league player
  • Anthony "Tony" Finigan (1926-2009), British theatre, television, radio and film actor
  • James Leroy "Jim" Finigan (1928-1981), Major League Baseball infielder who played from 1954 to 1959

  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)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th February 2021). Retrieved from
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook