Show ContentsReagan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Reagan family

The surname Reagan was 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.

One of the oldest records of the family was Morice Regan (fl. 1171), an Irish interpreter. He is stated in an old French poem, of which the only text begins 'Par soen demeine latimer.' He is thought to have acted as an interpreter and herald, or envoy in the service of Diarmaid MacMurchada, King of Leinster. [1]

Early History of the Reagan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reagan research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Reagan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reagan Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, scribes recorded people's names as they saw fit. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations. For Reagan some of these variations included: Reagan, Regan, O'Regan, O'Reagan and others.

Early Notables of the Reagan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Reagan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reagan Ranking

In the United States, the name Reagan is the 2,000th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [2]

United States Reagan migration to the United States +

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 Reagan or one of its variants:

Reagan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Reagan, who landed in Texas in 1835 [3]
  • Bernard H Reagan, aged 28, who landed in Missouri in 1847 [3]
  • James, John, Michael, and Patrick Reagan, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Patrick Reagan, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1875 [3]
  • Eliza Reagan, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States, in 1892
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reagan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Danl. Reagan, aged 9, who landed in America from Tulla, in 1900
  • Cornelius Reagan, aged 73, who immigrated to the United States from Cork, in 1903
  • John Reagan, aged 22, who landed in America from Castlesea, Ireland, in 1905
  • James Reagan, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Chester, England, in 1906
  • Joseph Reagan, aged 4, who immigrated to the United States from Limerick, Ireland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Reagan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Reagan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Reagan, (b. 1820), aged 18, Irish labourer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 29th December 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. Jeremiah Reagan, (Yatt, George), English convict who was convicted in London, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [5]
  • William Reagan, aged 23, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Coromandel" [6]
  • Henry Reagan, aged 23, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Confiance" [7]

New Zealand Reagan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Reagan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Reagan, aged 40, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lauderdale" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Reagan (post 1700) +

  • President Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004), American actor and politician, 40th President of the United States, 33rd Governor of California and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Nancy Davis Reagan (1921-2016), born Anne Frances Robbins, who served as First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Marcum "Marc" Reagan (b. 1967), American Station Training Lead in Mission Operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
  • Francis Xavier "Frank" Reagan (1919-1972), American NFL football player who played from 1941 to 1951
  • John Edward "Jack" Reagan (1883-1941), American father of United States President Ronald Reagan
  • Joshua Reagan (b. 1989), American pair skater, cowinner of the 2011 U.S. Junior championship
  • Maureen Elizabeth Reagan (1941-2001), first child of Ronald Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman
  • Michael Edward Reagan (b. 1945), born John Flaugher, American author and former radio host, best known for his nationally syndicated radio show, The Michael Reagan Talk Show, adopted son of Ronald Reagan and his first wife Jane Wyman
  • John Henninger Reagan (1818-1905), American politician, United States Senator from Texas (1887-1891)
  • Timothy G. Reagan (b. 1956), American educator
  • ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Reagan +

  • Smoky Mountain Clans by Donald B. Reagan.
  • The Way I See It: An Autobiography by Patti Davis.
  • The Invincible Irish: Ronald Wilson Reagen-Irish Ancestry and Immigrantion to America by Patricia Meade White.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. 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. Convict Records Australia. Retrieved on 18th March 2022 from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from
  6. South Australian Register Tuesday 9th January 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Coromandel 1855. Retrieved
  7. South Australian Register Tuesday 30th November 1858. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Confiance 1858. Retrieved on Facebook