Handrahan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name Handrahan originally appeared in Gaelic as O hAnrachain, which may be a variant of O hAnradhain, which is derived from the word anradh, which means warrior.

Early Origins of the Handrahan family

The surname Handrahan was first found in Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Handrahan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Handrahan research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Handrahan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Handrahan Spelling Variations

Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Handrahan revealed many variations, including Hanrahan, O'Hanrahan, Hanraghan and others.

Early Notables of the Handrahan family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Handrahan family

Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Handrahan: Margaret Hanrahan, an indentured individual on record in Pennsylvania in 1772; James Hanrahan, naturalized in New York in 1802; John Hanrahan, on record in North Carolina in 1812.


Contemporary Notables of the name Handrahan (post 1700) +

  • James E. Handrahan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1912 [1]
  • James Vernon Handrahan (1936-2016), Canadian Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Kansas City Athletics (1964-1966)


The Handrahan 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: An uachtar
Motto Translation: The champion.


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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