Flanagin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Flanagin 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 Flanagin family

The surname Flanagin 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 Flanagin family

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

Flanagin Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Flanagin family name include Flanagan, Flanaghan, Flanagen, Flannagan, Flannagen, Flanigan, Flannigan, Flanigen, Flannigen, Flanagin, Flannagin and many more.

Early Notables of the Flanagin family (pre 1700)

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


United States Flanagin migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Flanagin to North America:

Flanagin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Flanagin, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [3]
Flanagin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Flanagin, who settled in Philadelphia in 1841
Flanagin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mary Flanagin, aged 16, who immigrated to the United States from Tulla, Ireland, in 1907
  • Bridget Flanagin, aged 19, who settled in America from Ballinlough, Ireland, in 1914
  • Annie Flanagin, aged 29, who landed in America, in 1916
  • Joseph Flanagin, aged 19, who landed in America, in 1920

Canada Flanagin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Flanagin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Lachlan Flanagin, who arrived in Quebec in 1784

Contemporary Notables of the name Flanagin (post 1700) +

  • Harris Flanagin (1817-1874), American politician, 7th Governor of the State of Arkansas (1862 to 1865)
  • Harris Flanagin (1817-1874), American politician, Delegate to Arkansas State Constitutional Convention, 1874 [4]


The Flanagin 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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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