Plunkitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish already had a system for creating hereditary surnames established when the followers of Strongbow settled in eastern Ireland. Although there was relatively little friction between the two systems because they operated according to very similar principles, the Strongbownians frequently used local surnames. In Ireland, local surnames were almost unheard of, but in England they were probably the most common form of hereditary surname. Local surnames, such as Plunkitt, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born.

The surname Plunkitt is derived from living in the settlement of Plouquenet in Ille-et-Vilaine in France. The surname Plunkitt belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Some sources indicated that the surname Plunkitt is a corruption of the Old French word blanchet, which means white. The Gaelic form of the surname Plunkitt is Pluincéid.

Early Origins of the Plunkitt family

The surname Plunkitt was first found in County Louth (Irish: Lú) the smallest county in Ireland, located on the East coast, in the Province of Leinster, where they were granted lands when they accompanied Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, in the invasion of Ireland.

"Little of certainty is to be gathered concerning this name before its appearance in Ireland. So early, however, as the 11th century, we find John Plukenet seated at Beaulieu, co. Meath : and from him springs the distinguished Irish families of the name, ennobled under the titles of Fingall Dunsany, and Louth." [1]

"A nephew of Lord Plugenet [in England] founded the family still existing in Ireland, though their pedigree declares that they are of Danish origin, and were seated at Bewley (Beaulieu) in co. Louth as early as the eleventh century. " [2]

"The younger branch was the more distinguished of the two. 'These 'Plunkets in Ireland,' says Camden, ' have been very eminent ever since Christopher Plunket (a person of great valour and wisdom who was deputy to Richard Duke of York, Viceroy in Henry VI. time) was raised to the dignity of Baron of Killin, which came to him by his wife, as heir to the family of the Cusacks.' Sir Christopher was Sheriff of Meath prior to 1442, and had married the only child of Sir Lucas de Cusack, Lord of Killeen, Dunsany, and Gerardstown in that county. All his three sons founded families. The eldest was the ancestor of the Earls of Fingall ; the second, Sir Christopher, was the first Lord Dunsany ; and the third, Sir Thomas, had to wife the heiress of Rathmore, which remained the home of his descendants. His son Sir Alexander 'a person of great account,' was appointed Chancellor of Ireland in 1492." [2]

Early History of the Plunkitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Plunkitt research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1182, 1410, 1463, 1503, 1492, 1555, 1649, 1668, 1445, 1461, 1602, 1680, 1644, 1629, 1681 and 1920 are included under the topic Early Plunkitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Plunkitt Spelling Variations

Medieval scribes and church officials spelt names simply the way they sounded, which explains the various name spelling variations of the name Plunkitt that were encountered when researching that surname. The many spelling variations included: Plunkett, Plunket, Plunkitt, Plunkit, Plunked, Plunkedd, Plunkidd and many more.

Early Notables of the Plunkitt family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Sir Christopher Plunkett, 1st Baron of Dunsany (1410-1463); Alexander Plunket (died 1503), appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland by King Henry VII of England in 1492; Oliver Plunkett, 1st Baron Louth (d. c. 1555), an Irish peer; and Christopher Plunkett, 2nd Earl of Fingall (died 1649). Patrick Plunket (died 1668), was 9th Baron of Dunsany, co. Meath. An ancestor, Sir Christopher Plunket (d. 1445), was active in the Irish wars during the early part of the fifteenth century, and is said to have been deputy to...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Plunkitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Plunkitt migration to the United States +

During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Plunkitt:

Plunkitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bryan Plunkitt, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1812 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Plunkitt (post 1700) +

  • George Washington Plunkitt (1842-1924), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 17th District, 1869-70; Member of New York State Senate, 1884-87, 1892-93, 1899-1904 [4]


The Plunkitt 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: Festina lente
Motto Translation: Be quick without impetuosity.


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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