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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Prendergast family come from? What is the Irish Prendergast family crest and coat of arms? When did the Prendergast family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Prendergast family history?

The Prendergast 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.


A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Prendergast has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: Prendergast, Prendegast, Pendergast, Pendegast, Prendregast, Pendergrass, Pendergrist, Pender and many more.

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 was a great friend and neighbor of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke. He accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo\ Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172, and was rewarded with lands in Ireland in Waterford and south Mayo.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prendergast research. Another 181 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1725, 1660, 1709, 1703 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Prendergast History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Prendergast Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Prendergast:

Prendergast Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Phillip Prendergast who settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Phillipp Prendergast, who arrived in Virginia in 1643

Prendergast Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Prendergast, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772

Prendergast Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward Prendergast, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824
  • Michael Prendergast, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1856
  • Richard and Miles Prendergast arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1858
  • James Prendergast, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1867
  • John Prendergast, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1878

Prendergast Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Johanna Prendergast, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1825

Prendergast Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Eliza Prendergast arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1849
  • Thomas Prendergast, aged 28, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas"
  • Bridget Prendergast, aged 24, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"
  • Honora Prendergast, aged 20, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"
  • Thomas Prendergast, aged 32, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Utopia"

Prendergast Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Mary Prendergast arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Patrick Prendergast arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Telegraph" in 1863
  • Bridget Prendergast arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Telegraph" in 1863
  • Robert Prendergast, aged 37, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864
  • Mary Prendergast, aged 34, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864


  • Mike Prendergast (1888-1967), American Major League Baseball player
  • Edmond Francis Prendergast (1843-1918), American Archbishop of Philadelphia
  • John Prendergast (b. 1964), American author and human rights activist
  • Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858-1924), Canadian-born, American Post-Impressionist artist
  • Michael "Mike" Thomas Prendergast, American Major League Baseball player
  • Thomas Francis Prendergast (1871-1913), American Medal of Honor recipient
  • Frank Prendergast (b. 1933), Irish politician
  • Paudie Prendergast, retired Irish hurler
  • Seamus Prendergast (b. 1980), Irish hurler
  • Christopher Prendergast, professor of French at the University of Cambridge



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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. 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).
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  6. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  11. ...

The Prendergast Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Prendergast 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 14 December 2014 at 21:01.

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