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

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

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Ronan family in Ireland was O Ronain, which means descendant of Ronan. The popular personal name Ronan may derive from the word ron, which means a seal.


Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Ronan family name include Ronane, Ronayne, O'Ronayne, O'Ronan, Roonane, O'Roonane, Roonan, O'Roonan and many more.

First found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. John Ronayne is recorded in the County of Cork in the year 1139. The name is from the old Gaelic O'Roynian and they were apparently an old Munster family until the Anglo/ Norman invasion of 1172, when their lands were forfeited and the family dispersed.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ronan research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1139 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Ronan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Ronan to North America:

Ronan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Morrich Ronan, who landed in Maryland in 1675-1680

Ronan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Michael and Timothy Ronan settled in Philadelphia in 1828 and 1853 respectively
  • Bridget Ronan, aged 20, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1834
  • James Ronan settled in Philadelphia in 1836
  • Patrick Ronan settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849
  • Barbara Ronan, aged 5, arrived in New York, NY in 1850

Ronan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Ronan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1812
  • Michael Ronan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1819
  • Patrick Ronan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1822
  • David Ronan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • John Ronan settled in Canada in 1840

Ronan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Michael Ronan, aged 28, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag"
  • Kate Ronan, aged 10, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"

Ronan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Mary Ronan, aged 20, a housemaid, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875


  • Daniel John Ronan (1914-1969), American politician, U.S. Representative from Illinois
  • Edward Marcus Ronan (b. 1969), retired American Major League Baseball catcher
  • James A. Ronan, American Democrat politician, Illinois Democratic State Chair, 1955-67; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1972; Member of Illinois Democratic State Central Committee, 1967
  • J. D. Ronan, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1880
  • Genevieve F. Ronan, American politician, Representative from New York, 1980, 1982
  • Frank J. Ronan, American politician, Mayor of Highland Park, Illinois, 1942
  • Frances Ronan, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1960
  • Edward D. Ronan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Albany County 3rd District, 1870
  • Daniel John Ronan (1914-1969), American Democrat politician, Member of Illinois State House of Representatives, 1948-52; U.S. Representative from Illinois 6th District, 1965-69
  • Barbara Ronan, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1964



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: Ipse fecit nos
Motto Translation: For he is our maker.


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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Ronan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ronan 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 20 October 2015 at 11:55.

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