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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

Irish surnames are linked to the long Gaelic heritage of the Island nation. The original Gaelic form of the name Ragan is O Riagain. In County Waterford, the Gaelic form O Reagain is used.

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The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The standardized literary languages of today were not yet reached. Research into the name Ragan revealed spelling variations, including Reagan, Regan, O'Regan, O'Reagan and others.

First found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ragan research. Another 249 words(18 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Ragan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Ragan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name Ragan or one of its variants:

Ragan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Ragan, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1750
  • John Ragan, who came to Philadelphia in 1798

Ragan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Eleanor Ragan, who arrived in Baltimore in 1825
  • James Ragan, aged 21, arrived in Missouri in 1840
  • John Ragan, aged 31, landed in New Orleans, La in 1852
  • Michael Ragan, who arrived in New York in 1853
  • Daniel Ragan, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1857


Ragan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Henry Ragan, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on March 6, 1848, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

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  • Don Carlos Patrick Ragan (1885-1956), American Major League Baseball player
  • Sam Ragan (1915-1996), American journalist, author, poet and champion of the arts
  • David William Ragan Jr. (b. 1935), American professional PGA golfer
  • Amanda Ragan (b. 1954), American politician, Member of the Iowa Senate (2002-)
  • Arthur Edgar "Rip" Ragan (1878-1953), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played one season with the Cincinnati Reds in 1903
  • David Ragan (b. 1985), American NASCAR stock car racer who has been in over 237 races over the past 8 years
  • Randolph "Randy" Lee Ragan (b. 1959), former Canadian elite professional soccer player, inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame


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  • The Lineage of the Amos Ragan Family by Elizabeth H. Ragan.
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  1. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  10. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
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The Ragan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ragan 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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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