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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish

The Pendergast surname belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are thought to have originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads in Normandy. In Ireland, the name was turned into a Gaelic form as de Priondragás; however, the name has also been replaced with MacSherone.


The surname Pendergast was first found in Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro), a county in south-west Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth, where they held a family seat from early times and were Lords of the manor of Prendergast and estates in that shire. Maurice, Lord of Prendergast was a great friend and neighbor of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke. He accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo\ Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172. He was summoned back to England by Henry II., in 1175 to escort the rebellious Robert, Earl of Essex, captive into Normandy in 1177. Upon his return to England he once again returned to Ireland and was rewarded with lands in Ireland in Waterford and south Mayo. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.

Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Pendergast revealed many spelling variations including Prendergast, Prendegast, Pendergast, Pendegast, Prendregast, Pendergrass, Pendergrist, Pender and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pendergast research. Another 347 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1641, 1660, 1689, 1725, 1660, 1709, 1703 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Pendergast History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pendergast Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Pendergast:

Pendergast Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Phillipp Pendergast, who landed in Virginia in 1643
  • Robert Pendergast, who arrived in Maryland in 1678

Pendergast Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Pendergast, who landed in America in 1810
  • Charles M Pendergast, aged 42, arrived in Harford County, Maryland in 1835
  • Edward Pendergast, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1840
  • James Pendergast, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876
  • William Pendergast, who arrived in Arkansas in 1885

Pendergast Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Michael Pendergast, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1819
  • Patrick Pendergast, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

  • Thomas Joseph "Tom" Pendergast (1873-1945), American who controlled Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri as a political boss
  • David Michael Pendergast (b. 1934), American archaeologist
  • James Francis Pendergast (1856-1911), Democratic politician who was to be the first Big City Boss of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Clancy Pendergast (b. 1967), American former defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Victoria "Tori" Pendergast (b. 1991), Australian F58 athletics shotput competitor and LW12.1 classified para-alpine skier at the 2014 Winter Paralympics
  • Leeanna Pendergast (b. 1962), Canadian politician, member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2007 to 2011
  • Christopher-Paul Peter Pendergast (b. 1986), Scottish born Gaelic Footballer

Pendergast Historic Events

Halifax Explosion

  • Mrs. Mary Ann  Pendergast (1837-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

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: Vincit veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers.


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  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Pendergast Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Pendergast Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 January 2016 at 16:27.

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