Harrigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While the Anglicized versions of Irish names are familiar to most people, many Irish names have a long and proud Gaelic heritage that is often unknown. The original Gaelic form of the name Harrigan is O hArgain.

Early Origins of the Harrigan family

The surname Harrigan was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they were part of the main tribe in prehistoric times, known as the Corca Laoidhe.

Early History of the Harrigan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harrigan research. Another 174 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1715, 1849, and 1880 are included under the topic Early Harrigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harrigan Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Harrigan family name include Horgan, O'Horgan, Horgon, Hourigan, Horrigan, O'Hourigan, O'Horrigan, Arragan, O'Arragan, Aragan, Harrigan, O'Harrigan and many more.

Early Notables of the Harrigan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Harrigan migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish migrating out of their homeland in a great measure due to the oppressive imperial policies of the English government and landowners. Many of these Irish families sailed to North America aboard overcrowded passenger ships. By far, the largest influx of Irish immigrants to North America occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These particular immigrants were instrumental in creation of the United States and Canada as major industrial nations because the many essential elements such as the roadways, canals, bridges, and railways required an enormous quantity of cheap labor, which these poor immigrants provided. Later generations of Irish in these countries also went on to make valuable contributions in such fields as the arts, commerce, politics, and education. Extensive research into immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Harrigan:

Harrigan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Harrigan, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1855 [1]
  • Patrick Harrigan, aged 25, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [1]
  • Benjamin, Cornelius, Edmond, James, John, Patrick, Michael and William Harrigan all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1849 and 1874

Canada Harrigan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harrigan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Harrigan, who settled in Carbonear, Newfoundland in 1803 [2]
  • Margaret Harrigan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1835
  • David Harrigan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1836
  • Mr. John Harrigan, aged 3 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Gilmour" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In June 1847 [3]
  • Miss. Catherine Harrigan, aged 5 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Free Briton" departing 25th May 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th July 1847 but she died on board [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Harrigan migration to Australia +

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

Harrigan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Harrigan, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Hannah Harrigan, aged 23, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Flora" [6]
  • Catherine Harrigan, aged 23, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • Thomas Harrigan, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "David McIvor"

New Zealand Harrigan 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:

Harrigan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Harrigan, aged 28, a farm labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hannibal" in 1875
  • James Harrigan, aged 26, a farm labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hannibal" in 1875
  • Denis Harrigan, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name Harrigan (post 1700) +

  • Matt Harrigan, American television writer, producer, and voice actor
  • Daniel Lee Harrigan (b. 1955), American gold and bronze medalist competitive swimmer, recipient of the NCAA Top Five Award (1979)
  • Edward Harrigan (1844-1911), American actor and vaudevillian, dramatist, playwright and composer, member of Harrigan and Hart, famous collaborators in American musical theatre
  • Lori Harrigan (b. 1970), American three-time Olympic gold medalist softball player
  • William Harrigan (1893-1966), American actor
  • John Harrigan (b. 1990), American actor, writer & filmmaker
  • David Xavier Harrigan (1948-2000), American singer, actor, and painter
  • J. C. Harrigan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1920 [7]
  • Edward R. Harrigan, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 15th District, 1938, 1940 [7]
  • Daniel P. Harrigan, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bridgeport, 1926 [7]
  • ... (Another 13 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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ 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. 34)
  4. ^ 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. 79)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  6. ^ South Australian Register Monday 9th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Flora 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/flora1855.shtml
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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