Show ContentsMcClenaghan 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 McClenaghan, 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 McClenaghan family originally lived in the settlement of Llanaghan, which is in the Welsh county of Brecon.

Early Origins of the McClenaghan family

The surname McClenaghan 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 McClenaghan family

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

McClenaghan Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name McClenaghan included: Lanigan, Lanahan, Lenaghan, Lanaghan, Linehan and many more.

Early Notables of the McClenaghan family (pre 1700)

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

United States McClenaghan migration to the United States +

Ireland went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name McClenaghan:

McClenaghan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John McClenaghan, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1772 [1]
McClenaghan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William McClenaghan, aged 17, who arrived in New York, NY in 1833 [1]

Canada McClenaghan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McClenaghan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Nancy McClenaghan, aged 50 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "New Zealand" departing 20th May 1847 from Newry, Ireland; the ship arrived on 3rd July 1847 but she died on board [2]

New Zealand McClenaghan 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:

McClenaghan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John McClenaghan, aged 28, a ploughman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Elizabeth McClenaghan, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • John McClenaghan, aged 45, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • Henry McClenaghan, aged 21, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name McClenaghan (post 1700) +

  • Rhys Joshua McClenaghan, Irish gold and bronze medalist artistic gymnast
  • Kim McClenaghan (b. 1974), South African poet and writer
  • Stewart McClenaghan (1866-1944), Canadian politician from Oxford Mills, Ontario who was Member of Parliament for Ottawa (1925-1926)
  • Mitchell John McClenaghan (b. 1986), New Zealand cricketer from Hawkes Bay
  • Kim McClenaghan (b. 1974), South African-born poet and writer who now lives in London

The McClenaghan 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. ^ 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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 86) on Facebook