Show ContentsLenahan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 Lenahan, 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 Lenahan family originally lived in the settlement of Llanaghan, which is in the Welsh county of Brecon.

Early Origins of the Lenahan family

The surname Lenahan 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.

Early History of the Lenahan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lenahan research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1249 is included under the topic Early Lenahan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lenahan Spelling Variations

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 Lenahan revealed many spelling variations including Lanigan, Lanahan, Lenaghan, Lanaghan, Linehan and many more.

Early Notables of the Lenahan family (pre 1700)

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

Lenahan Ranking

In the United States, the name Lenahan is the 18,602nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Lenahan migration to the United States +

Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Lenahan:

Lenahan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Lenahan, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1852 [2]
  • Patrick W Lenahan, aged 25, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [2]
  • Jerry Lenahan, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Lenahan (post 1700) +

  • James L. Lenahan, American publisher, owner of the McClure Newspaper Syndicate from 1946 to 1952
  • Pat Lenahan, American publisher of Fortune magazine
  • Tim Lenahan, American head men's soccer coach at Northwestern University
  • John Lenahan (b. 1961), American illusionist and entertainer
  • John Thomas Lenahan (1852-1920), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1907-1909)
  • John Thomas Lenahan (1852-1920), American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1896, 1916; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 11th District, 1907-09 [3]
  • Charles B. Lenahan, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Justice of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, 1918; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1924 [3]

The Lenahan Motto +

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.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook