Show ContentsPendergast History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Pendergast family

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

Early History of the Pendergast family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pendergast research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1641, 1660, 1689, 1703, 1709, 1710 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Pendergast History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pendergast Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Pendergast family

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Thomas Prendergast (d. 1725) of Croane, County Limerick; and his son, Brigadier-General Sir Thomas Prendergast (c. 1660-1709), 1st Baronet Prendergast, of Gort, Member of Parliament for Monaghan Borough (1703-1710.)Both hail from an ancient...
Another 41 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.

Pendergast Ranking

In the United States, the name Pendergast is the 9,786th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

United States Pendergast migration to the United States +

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 3
  • Robert Pendergast, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 3
Pendergast Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Pendergast, who landed in America in 1810 3
  • Charles M Pendergast, aged 42, who arrived in Harford County, Maryland in 1835 3
  • Edward Pendergast, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1840 3
  • James Pendergast, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 3
  • William Pendergast, who arrived in Arkansas in 1885 3

Canada Pendergast migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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

Contemporary Notables of the name Pendergast (post 1700) +

  • 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

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Mary Ann  Pendergast (1837-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) 4
Victoria steamboat disaster

The Pendergast 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: Vincit veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers.

  1. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook