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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"


  • 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
  • Bob Halligan Jr. (b. 1953), the American founder of and lead vocalist for the band Ceili Rain
  • 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



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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  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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