Organ History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While the Anglicized versions of Irish names are familiar to most people, many Irish names have a long and proud Gaelic heritage that is often unknown. The original Gaelic form of the name Organ is O hArgain.

Early Origins of the Organ family

The surname Organ was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they were part of the main tribe in prehistoric times, known as the Corca Laoidhe.

Early History of the Organ family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Organ research. Another 174 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1715, 1849, and 1880 are included under the topic Early Organ History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Organ Spelling Variations

The search for the origins of the name Organ family name revealed numerous spelling variations. These variants can be somewhat accounted for when it is realized that before widespread literacy people only recognized their name by pronunciation; it was up to scribes to decide how it was to be formally recorded. Variations found include Horgan, O'Horgan, Horgon, Hourigan, Horrigan, O'Hourigan, O'Horrigan, Arragan, O'Arragan, Aragan, Harrigan, O'Harrigan and many more.

Early Notables of the Organ family (pre 1700)

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


United States Organ migration to the United States +

A massive wave of Irish immigrants hit North America during the 19th century. Although many early Irish immigrants made a carefully planned decision to leave left Ireland for the promise of free land, by the 1840s immigrants were fleeing a famine stricken land in desperation. The condition of Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s can be attributed to a rapidly expanding population and English imperial policies. Those Irish families that arrived in North America were essential to its rapid social, industrial, and economic development. Passenger and immigration lists have revealed a number of early Irish immigrants bearing the name Organ:

Organ Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry and Lawrence Organ, who settled in America in 1654
  • Lawrence Organ, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [1]
  • John Organ, who settled in Virginia in 1663
  • John Organ, who arrived in Maryland in 1680 [1]
Organ Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Organ, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1820 [1]
  • Cornelius, James, and Mark Organ all, who settled in Philadelphia between 1850 and 1870
  • George Organ, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1885 [1]

Australia Organ migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Organ Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Organ, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 13th March 1828, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [2]
  • Miss Jane Organ, (b. 1834), aged 23, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 29th December 1856 aboard the ship "Mount Stuart Elphinstone" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 10th April 1857 [3]
  • Mr. Nicholas Organ, (b. 1838), aged 19, Cornish farm labourer departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Fitzjames" arriving in Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia on 1st April 1857 [4]

New Zealand Organ 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:

Organ Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Organ, British settler referred to as the Parkhurst Boys travelling from London aboard the ship "Mandarin" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th November 1843, he had been taught trades and pardoned to live in New Zealand [5]
  • Mr. Richard Organ, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Inchinnan" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 27th May 1852 [5]
  • Richard Organ, aged 41, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • Frances Organ, aged 36, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • Sarah Ann Organ, aged 9, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Organ (post 1700) +

  • Bryan Organ (b. 1935), English painter
  • Gerry Organ (b. 1944), Canadian former placekicker for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1971-1983 of the Canadian Football League
  • Diana Mary Organ (b. 1952), British Labour Party politician
  • Michael Keith Organ (b. 1956), Australian politician
  • Sir Geoffrey Organ, Professor of Anesthetics


  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1850_59.pdf
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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