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

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

The Halligan surname originally appeared in Gaelic as O hAilechain or O hAileagain.


Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Halligan revealed many variations, including Halligan, Holligan, Hollegan, Hologhan, Hallihan and many more.

First found in County Armagh (Irish: Ard Mhacha) located in the province of Ulster in present day Northern Ireland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Halligan research. Another 208 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Halligan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Halligan or a variant listed above, including:

Halligan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Richard Halligan, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Bridget Halligan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • Daniel Halligan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • James and Margaret Halligan settled in New York in 1820
  • Peter Halligan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832

Halligan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Halligan, aged 25, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"


  • Richard Halligan (b. 1943), American musician and composer
  • Bob Halligan Jr. (b. 1953), the American founder of and lead vocalist for the band Ceili Rain
  • Victor H. Halligan (1892-1973), American football player
  • Caitlin Joan Halligan (b. 1966), American lawyer and the Solicitor General of the state of New York
  • William E. "Jocko" Halligan (1868-1945), American professional baseball player
  • John Halligan Jr. (1876-1934), admiral of the United States Navy
  • James Halligan, American head coach of the University of Massachusetts football team
  • William "Billy" Halligan (1886-1950), Irish professional association football player
  • Brendan Halligan (b. 1936), Irish economist and a former Labour Party politician
  • John Halligan, Irish independent politician



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  1. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  2. 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).
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  9. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  11. ...

The Halligan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Halligan 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 16 November 2014 at 10:17.

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