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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


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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  • Arthur Edgar "Rip" Ragan (1878-1953), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played one season with the Cincinnati Reds in 1903
  • Amanda Ragan (b. 1954), American politician, Member of the Iowa Senate (2002-)
  • Philip E. Ragan, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 9th District, 1952
  • Martin Ragan (b. 1899), American Democrat politician, Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Brooke County, 1965-67
  • John M. Ragan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1888
  • Hugh Ragan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1912
  • Daniel T. Ragan, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Gaston County, 1858-59
  • Robert C. Ragan, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Mayor of Maumee, Ohio, 1939, 1941
  • Rusty Ragan, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Mexico, 2008
  • Terrell M. Ragan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1928

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  • The Lineage of the Amos Ragan Family by Elizabeth H. Ragan.
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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  2. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  6. 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).
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. 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).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

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 13 January 2016 at 16:47.

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