Flanagan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Flanagan was originally written in a Gaelic form as "O Flannagain," from the word "flann," which means "red" or "ruddy." Collectively the name means "descendants of the red-complexioned man." [1]

Early Origins of the Flanagan family

The surname Flanagan was first found in County Roscommon, where they claim descent from the O'Connors as shown by the similarities of the Coat of Arms. Today the surname is more frequently found in County Roscommon, Mayo, Galway and Clare, no doubt branches from their ancestral roots. [2]

Sources agree that Roscommon and the aforementioned counties on the western seaboard is where the lion's share of the family originate. However, as there are at least five distinct branches of the family: Ely O'Carroll; Connaught; Fermanagh; Orgiall; and Uactar Tire ("Upperthird", in the northwest of the county of Waterford.) "The O'Flanagans of the Upperthird were dispossessed shortly after the English [Strongbow] invasion by the family of Le Poer (now 'Power'), who still possess a large portion of that territory." [1]

The O'Flanagan, of Ely O'Carroll branch claim descent from O'Flannagain Ele, a direct descendant on the O'Carroll Ely pedigree. O'Flanagan, Chiefs of Kinelargy in Ely O'Carroll similarly claim descent through the O'Carroll Ely pedigree. Note: Kinelargy is an ancient territory the corresponds with the present barony of Balllybrit, in the King's County. Both of these branches claim descent through the Heber line of Irish kings. [1]

The O'Flanagans of Fermanagh claim descent through Niall of the Nine Hostages, the 126th Monarch of Ireland and the O'Flanagans of Orgiall similarly claim a similar descent. These latter two branches claim descent through the Heremon line of ancient Kings of Ireland. [1]

Early History of the Flanagan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Flanagan research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1308 are included under the topic Early Flanagan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Flanagan Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Flanagan were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Flanagan, Flanaghan, Flanagen, Flannagan, Flannagen, Flanigan, Flannigan, Flanigen, Flannigen, Flanagin, Flannagin and many more.

Early Notables of the Flanagan family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Flanagan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Flanagan migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Flanagan family in North America:

Flanagan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Antho Flanagan, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [3]
  • Andrew Flanagan, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [3]
  • Owen Flanagan, who landed in New York in 1798 [3]
Flanagan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Flanagan, aged 34, who arrived in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Peter Flanagan, aged 26, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Samuel Flanagan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • Patk Flanagan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • Patrick Flanagan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Flanagan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Flanagan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • George Flanagan, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
Flanagan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Flanagan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1825
  • Patrick Flanagan, aged 50, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • Nancy Flanagan, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • Betty Flanagan, aged 11, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • James Flanagan, aged 7, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Flanagan migration to Australia +

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

Flanagan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Flanagan, a mason, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Miss Mary Flanagan, Irish convict who was convicted in County Offaly (Kings County), Ireland for 10 years for receiving stolen goods, transported aboard the "Blackfriar" on 24th January 1851, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Honor Flanagan, aged 22, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Coromandel" [5]
  • Mary Flanagan, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Coromandel" [5]
  • Catherine Flanagan, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Flanagan (post 1700) +

  • John Mack Flanagan (1946-2018), American Top 40 radio DJ, and a member of the Broadcast Legends, inducted into the National Disk Jockey Hall of Fame
  • Edward S. "Ed" Flanagan (1950-2017), American politician, Member of the Vermont Senate (2005-2011), Vermont Auditor of Accounts (1993-2001)
  • James Loton Flanagan (1925-2015), American electrical engineer and academic, Vice President for Research at Rutgers University until 2004
  • Jon Jesus Flanagan (1873-1938), American three time gold and one time silver Olympic medalist for hammer throw and weight throw during 1900, 1904 and 1908
  • John Flanagan (1873-1938), American three-time Olympic gold medalist in the hammer throw [7]
  • James Winright Flanagan (1805-1887), American merchant and politician, Lieutenant Governor of Texas (1869 to 1870)
  • Edward "Ed" Joseph Flanagan (b. 1944), former American NFL football center
  • Crista Flanagan (b. 1976), American comedic actress
  • Caitlin Flanagan (b. 1961), American writer and social critic
  • Bob Flanagan (1952-1996), American performance artist, comic, writer, poet, and musician
  • ... (Another 15 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Guy S. Flanagan Jr., American Ensign working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [8]


The Flanagan 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: Certavi et vici
Motto Translation: I have fought and conquered.


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blackfriar
  5. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 9th January 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Coromandel 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/coromandel1855.shtml
  6. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Europa 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/europa1855.shtml
  7. ^ Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes. (Retrieved 2012, June 4) John Flanagan. Retrieved from http://www.olympic.org/content/olympic-athletes/generic-athlete-page/?athleteid=58691
  8. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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