Halligan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Halligan family

The surname Halligan was 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.

Early History of the Halligan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Halligan research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Halligan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Halligan Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Halligan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Halligan migration to the United States +

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, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Bridget Halligan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [1]
  • Daniel Halligan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [1]
  • James and Margaret Halligan, who settled in New York in 1820
  • Peter Halligan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Halligan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Halligan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Ann Halligan who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing 16th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 23rd June 1847 but she died on board [2]
  • Mr. James Halligan, aged 31 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lady Flora Hastings" departing 11th May 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 26th June 1847 but he died on board [2]
  • Miss. Jessie Halligan, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but she died on board [2]
  • Mr. John Halligan, aged 22 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing 16th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 23rd June 1847 but he died on board [2]
  • Mr. John Halligan, aged 19 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing 16th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 23rd June 1847 but he died on board [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Halligan migration to Australia +

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

Halligan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Halligan, aged 25, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"

New Zealand Halligan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Halligan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Halligan, (b. 1852), aged 22, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Varuna" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th May 1874 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Halligan (post 1700) +

  • Bob Halligan Jr. (b. 1953), American founder of and lead vocalist for the band Ceili Rain
  • James Halligan, American head coach of the University of Massachusetts football team
  • John Halligan Jr. (1876-1934), admiral of the United States Navy
  • William E. "Jocko" Halligan (1868-1945), American professional baseball player
  • Caitlin Joan Halligan (b. 1966), American lawyer and the Solicitor General of the state of New York
  • Victor H. Halligan (1892-1973), American football player
  • Richard Halligan (b. 1943), American musician and composer
  • John Halligan, Irish independent politician
  • Brendan Halligan (b. 1936), Irish economist and a former Labour Party politician
  • William "Billy" Halligan (1886-1950), Irish professional association football player
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 78)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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