Show ContentsHolligan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Holligan family

The surname Holligan 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 Holligan family

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

Holligan Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Holligan are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Halligan, Holligan, Hollegan, Hologhan, Hallihan and many more.

Early Notables of the Holligan family

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

United States Holligan migration to the United States +

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Holligan or a variant listed above:

Holligan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Holligan settled arrived in Philadelphia in 1855
  • Patrick Holligan, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1880

Contemporary Notables of the name Holligan (post 1700) +

  • Patrick Holligan, Professor at the National Oceanography Centre of University of Southampton
  • Andy Holligan (b. 1967), British Light Welterweight boxer
  • Bridget Holligan, Science Projects Officer at The Oxford Trust

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Michael Holligan, British Pay Midshipman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [1]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Michael Holligan, British Paymaster Cadet with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [2]

  1. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  2. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook