Flanagan Surname Genealogy
Irish surname Flanagan
derived from the Old Gaelic word flann
meaning “red” or “ruddy.” From this
source came the Old Gaelic septs by the name of O’Flannagain
(or “descendant of the ruddy one”), of which there
were a number in Ireland. Flanagan is
the main anglicization of this name. The
name has also appeared as O’Flanagan and Flanigan.
Flanagan Resources on
- Flanagan Clan
Flanagan clan website.
- Flanagan One Name Surname Study
- Flanagan Genealogy Report
Flanagans of Russell county, Kentucky.
Ireland. The Flanagan sept of
believed to have been descended from one Flanagan who was of the same
the O’Connors and whose line held the hereditary office of Steward to
of Connacht. Their main home was in Roscommon, between Mantua and
Elphin, and they
were known as the chiefs of clan
Cathal. Donough O’Flanagan of this
line became the Bishop
of Elphin in 1303.
were also minor septs of the same name in other parts of the country,
in NW Fermanagh (dating from the 14th century) and at Ballybrit in
Offaly. Some descendants are still evident
areas. But today the surname is most often found in Roscommon and
westward in Clare,
Galway and Mayo. Clare in 1762 was the birthplace of Theophilus
O’Flanagan who was a
leading figure in the Gaelic revival movement of his time.
America. There were early Flanagan
arrivals in New Jersey:
arrival, according to family lore,
consisted of three brothers who came in 1732. The
main line went through James Flanagan and his son
Whittle of Red Hill in Louisa
county, Virginia. Whittle’s
grandson James Flanagan moved to
Texas in 1843 where he was a close friend of Sam Houston. He
of Texas in 1870.
line began with Robert Flanagan in Hunterdon county in the
1740’s and continued later in the 1830’s in Tucker county, West
Ebenezer Flanagan was an early settler.
there was John
Flanagan who came to Philadelphia from New Jersey in the
Flanagan line in Kentucky began with
John Flanagan who was born in North Carolina around 1768 and moved to
county, Kentucky in 1810. Another John
Flanagan arrived in Philadelphia from Ireland in 1802.
He later moved his family to Peoria, Illinois
– then on the western frontier – where his son John, a judge, built Flanagan House, an imposing
Father Edward Flanagan was a Roscommon native who came to America in
1904 and in 1917 established the Boys Town orphanage in Nebraska, an
institution made famous by the 1938 Spencer Tracy film.
England. Flanagans came to
England and a good number of them were to be found in the port city
Elizabeth Flanagan married Charles Hamilton in Liverpool in
1775. In 1847, at the time of the Famine
in Ireland, John and Ellen Flanagan came to Liverpool where John found
a dock laborer. Catherine Flanagan was
born in Liverpool in 1829 and her sister Margaret in 1843.
They earned notoriety as the
Black Widows of Liverpool for poisoning their victims in order
to gain insurance money.
The best-known Flanagan in England, however, was not
Irish but the son of Polish Jewish immigrants in London.
Flanagan took his name from a sergeant major he served under
Australia. Roderick Flanagan came out to
a boy with his parents from Roscommon in 1840.
He made his mark in Melbourne as a journalist and as an early
of Australia until his early death from TB at the age of 34.
Flanagan stole food to feed his family during the Great Famine in
1847. For this crime he was transported
to Tasmania along with his brother John.
Later he was able to bring out his wife and eight children to
start up a
new life as a tenant farmer. His line
descended to Arch Flanagan,
a man who
survived the Burma Death Railway during World War Two and later wrote
about it. He had two very talented
Martin and Richard.
The brothers Michael and Patrick Flanagan from Drogheda in county
Louth were lured to Australia by gold rush fever in 1857.
They moved onto the New Zealand goldfields in
the mid-1860’s. By 1870 they had
migrated to California. Their letters
home to Louth, covering the period from 1864 to 1909, were published in
and provide an insight into Irish life abroad at that time.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
was a leading figure in the Gaelic revival movement of the late 18th
Flanagan was a three-time Olympic gold medalist in the hammer
throw – in 1900,
1904, and 1908.
Father Edward Flanagan founded the
orphanage known as Boys Town in Nebraska, made famous in the 1938 film
born Chaim Weintrop to a Polish Jewish family in
a popular English music
hall and vaudeville entertainer from the 1930’s onwards.
Flanagan is a novelist from Tasmania, considered by many to be the
Australian writer of his generation.
Select Flanagans Today
- 12,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 10,000 in America (most numerous in New York)
- 17,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Ireland)
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