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 O'Lenihan, 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 O'Lenihan family originally lived in the settlement of Llanaghan, which is in the Welsh county of Brecon.
Early Origins of the O'Lenihan family
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 O'Lenihan family
Another 305 words (22 lines of text) covering the year 1249 is included under the topic Early O'Lenihan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Lenihan Spelling Variations
Spelling variations for the name O'Lenihan include: Lanigan, Lanahan, Lenaghan, Lanaghan, Linehan and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Lenihan family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the O'Lenihan family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name O'Lenihan: Michael Lanagan, who came to Newfoundland in 1814; Edward Lanaghan, who arrived at St. John, New Brunswick in 1834; Cornelius, Biddy and George Lanagan, who all arrived in Philadelphia in 1828.
Contemporary Notables of the name O'Lenihan (post 1700)
The O'Lenihan 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.
O'Lenihan Family Crest Products