Kerrigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are multitude of rich histories underlying the many Irish surnames in use today. The name Kerrigan originally appeared in Gaelic as O Ciaragain, which is derived from the word "ciar," which means "black" or "dark brown."

Early Origins of the Kerrigan family

The surname Kerrigan was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht.

Early History of the Kerrigan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerrigan research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerrigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kerrigan Spelling Variations

In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research into the Kerrigan family history revealed numerous spelling variations of the name, including Kerrigan, Kerigan, Keragan and others.

Early Notables of the Kerrigan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Kerrigan migration to the United States +

In the 18th and 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants landed on North American shores. Although many of them were merely looking for a free plot of land and living of their very own, many later immigrants were desperately fleeing an overcrowded land that did not have sufficient food for its inhabitants. The exodus from Ireland was greatest during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine had stricken the island. Although this large influx of Irish was unpopular with the great majority of people already established within the major centers, these Irish were critical to the speedy development of the United States and those colonies that would eventually become known as Canada. These immigrants provided the cheap labor required to build modern roads, bridges, canals, and railways. Research of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of immigrants to North America baring the name of Kerrigan:

Kerrigan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Kerrigan, aged 33, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Patrick Kerrigan, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [1]
  • Pat Kerrigan, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Edward Kerrigan, aged 10, who arrived in New York, NY in 1855 [1]
  • Ellen Kerrigan, aged 8, who landed in New York, NY in 1855 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Kerrigan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kerrigan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Kerrigan, who arrived in Canada in 1813
  • Joseph Kerrigan, who landed in Churchill Factory, Canada in 1813
  • James Kerrigan a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Zephyr" in 1833
  • Biddy Kerrigan, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Zephyr" in 1833
  • Honor Kerrigan, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland

New Zealand Kerrigan 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:

Kerrigan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Bridget Kerrigan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [2]
  • Miss Mary Ann Kerrigan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [2]
  • Miss Elizabeth Kerrigan, British governess travelling from London aboard the ship "Glenmark" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1867 [2]
  • Patrick Kerrigan, aged 25, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
  • Mary Kerrigan, aged 20, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Kerrigan (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Sherman "T. S." Kerrigan (b. 1939), American lawyer and poet
  • Kait Kerrigan, American playwright and musical theater lyricist
  • Nancy Kerrigan (b. 1969), American two-time Olympic figure skating medalist
  • Joseph "Joe" Kerrigan (b. 1954), American former Major League Baseball pitcher, manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2001
  • J Warren Kerrigan (1879-1947), American actor, by 1914 he was considered America's most popular screen actor
  • John E. Kerrigan (1906-1973), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, 1945-46; defeated, 1945; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1952, 1964 (alternate) [3]
  • John Kerrigan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1889-91, 1893, 1913-15 (New York County 17th District 1889-91, 1893, New York County 11th District 1913-15) [3]
  • James E. Kerrigan, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 5th District, 1876 (Republican), 1878 (Greenback) [3]
  • James Kerrigan (1828-1899), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from New York 4th District, 1861-63 [3]
  • Charles H. Kerrigan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1960, 1964; Candidate for Delegate to New York State Constitutional Convention 1st District, 1966 [3]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

SS Alcoa Puritan
  • Joseph Kerrigan, American from New York City, New York, who was working aboard the SS Alcoa Puritan traveling from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Mobile, Alabama when it was torpedoed by U-boat U-507; he survived the sinking [4]


  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  4. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Alcoa_Puritan_(1941) - (Retrieved 2018, February 8th)


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