O'Reagan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames are linked to the long Gaelic heritage of the Island nation. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Reagan is O Riagain. In County Waterford, the Gaelic form O Reagain is used.

Early Origins of the O'Reagan family

The surname O'Reagan was first found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

One of the oldest records of the family was Morice Regan ( fl. 1171), an Irish interpreter. He is stated in an old French poem, of which the only text begins 'Par soen demeine latimer.' He is thought to have acted as an interpreter and herald, or envoy in the service of Diarmaid MacMurchada, King of Leinster. [1]

Early History of the O'Reagan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Reagan research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1172 are included under the topic Early O'Reagan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Reagan Spelling Variations

One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname O'Reagan were found in the many archives researched. These included Reagan, Regan, O'Regan, O'Reagan and others.

Early Notables of the O'Reagan family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the O'Reagan family

A great wave of Irish migration occurred during the 19th century as a direct result of English colonial rule and tight-fisted absentee landlords. Many of these Irish immigrants boarded passenger ships bound for North America. Those who migrated early enough were given land in either British North America or the United States; those who came in the late 19th century were typically employed in industrial centers as laborers. At whatever age they undertook the dangerous passage to North America, those Irish immigrants were essential to the speedy development of the two infant nations to which they arrived, whether they broke and settled land, helped build canals, bridges, and railroads, or produced products for consumer consumption. An examination of immigration and passenger lists has uncovered a large number of immigrants bearing the name O'Reagan or one of its variants: John Regan, who settled with his wife and three children in Prescott, Ontario, Canada, in 1825; James, John, Patrick, Thomas and William O'Regan, who all arrived at Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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