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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish lanigan family come from? What is the Irish lanigan family crest and coat of arms? When did the lanigan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the lanigan family history?

The Anglo- Norman Conquest of Ireland lead by Strongbow introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo- Normans brought some traditions to Ireland that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames. One of the best examples of this is the local surname. Local surnames, such as lanigan, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England, but were almost non-existent within Ireland previous to the conquest. Originally, these place names were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The lanigan family originally lived in the settlement of Llanaghan, which is in the Welsh county of Brecon.

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Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name lanigan revealed many spelling variations including Lanigan, Lanahan, Lenaghan, Lanaghan, Linehan and many more.

First found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they were granted lands by Strongbow after his invasion of Ireland in 1172.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our lanigan research. Another 305 words(22 lines of text) covering the year 1249 is included under the topic Early lanigan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early lanigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The Irish emigration during the late 18th and 19th century contributed to the melting pot of nationalities in North America, and the building of a whole new era of industry and commerce in what was seen as a rich, new land. Ireland's Great Potato Famine resulted in the worst economic and social conditions in the island's history. And in response to the hunger, disease, and poverty, during this decade the total number of emigrants to leave for North America rivaled all the previous years combined. Those from this decade that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Research into early immigration and passenger lists has shown many people bearing the name lanigan:

lanigan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Lanigan, who landed in America in 1805
  • George Lanigan, who arrived in New York, NY, in 1811
  • Peter Lanigan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868

lanigan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Lanigan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1804
  • Catherine Lanigan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1806

lanigan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Anne Lanigan, aged 2, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa"
  • Ellen Lanigan, aged 23, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk"
  • Mary Lanigan, aged 21, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • Richard Lanigan, aged 26, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Stamboul"

lanigan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Lanigan, aged 16, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878

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  • John Lanigan (b. 1943), American radio and TV personality, best known as the longtime morning host at WMJI/Cleveland (1985-2014)
  • Ernest John Lanigan (1873-1962), American professional baseball statistician an d author of the first encyclopedia of baseball
  • Michael "Mike" Lanigan, American entrepreneur and IndyCar Series team owner
  • Jim Lanigan (1902-1983), American jazz musician
  • Paddy "Icy" Lanigan (1881-1945), Irish hurler who played for Kilkenny (1904-1914)
  • James "Jimmy" Lanigan (b. 1911), Irish hurler, Tipperary Senior Hurling Captain (1936-1937), All- Ireland Senior Hurling Final winning captain in 1937
  • Michael "Mick" Lanigan (b. 1938), retired Irish company director and Fianna Fáil politician from County Kilkenny
  • John Lanigan (1758-1825), Irish Church historian
  • Damian Lanigan, British writer, best known for his two novels Stretch 29 and The Chancers


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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: Patriae infelici fidelis
Motto Translation: Faithful to an unhappy country.

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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The lanigan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The lanigan 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 25 August 2015 at 08:35.

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