Regent 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 Regent is O Riagain. In County Waterford, the Gaelic form O Reagain is used.

Early Origins of the Regent family

The surname Regent 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 Regent family

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

Regent Spelling Variations

Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Regent revealed many variations, including Reagan, Regan, O'Regan, O'Reagan and others.

Early Notables of the Regent family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Regent family

Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name Regent or one of its variants: John Regan, who settled with his wife and three children in Prescott, Ontario, Canada, in 1825; James, John, Patrick, Thomas and William O'Regan, who all arrived at Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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