The Anglo- Norman Conquest
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
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
The surname O'Lenihan 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
Early History of the O'Lenihan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Lenihan research.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
Church officials and medieval scribes often simply spelled names as they sounded. As a result, a single person's name may have been recorded a dozen different ways during his lifetime. 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)
More information is included under the topic Early O'Lenihan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
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)
- Dennis O'Lenihan, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Lackawanna County, 1879-80 CITATION[CLOSE]
The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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.