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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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.


The surname lanigan was 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.

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.


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 and printed products wherever possible.


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


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
  • Margaret Lanigan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • John Lanigan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1839

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

  • 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

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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    Other References

    1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    4. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
    5. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    6. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
    7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    8. 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).
    9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    10. 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.
    11. ...

    The lanigan Family Crest was acquired from the 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 17 March 2016 at 10:58.

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