Menu Check out your Irish Roots and get help with your genealogy research

Irish Surname - Finnegan/Finnigan

The Irish surname Finnegan, along with its variations, has a rich history deeply rooted in the cultural and historical tapestry of Ireland. This surname is derived from the Gaelic "Ó Fionnagáin," which means "descendant of Fionnagán." The prefix "Ó" indicates "grandson of" or "descendent of," while "Fionnagán" is possibly derived from derived from the "fionn" (fair or white) and "ceann" (head).

Historically, the Finnegans were part of the ancient Gaelic sept that originated in the Connacht province and were traditionally associated with the area around Druim Finn (meaning "Ridge of the Fair Ones") in County Leitrim. Due to the social and economic changes in Ireland, including the Great Famine in the mid-19th century, many bearing the surname Finnigan emigrated to various parts of the world, notably to the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. This migration has made the Finnigan surname well-known beyond the shores of Ireland.

Interesting aspects of the Finnigan surname include its connection to the land and Gaelic culture, as well as its notable presence in the areas of politics, arts, and sports globally. Statistically, the surname Finnigan and its variations remain more common in Ireland, but significant populations can be found in English-speaking countries where Irish diaspora communities have settled.

Interesting People with the Surname Finnigan

Variations of the Irish Surname Finnigan

Coat of Arms and Motto of the Irish Surname Finnigan

Due to the surname's Gaelic origin, there isn't a single official coat of arms associated with all Finnigans. However, some Finnigan families may have adopted arms based on their specific lineage or affiliation with regional septs. While specific designs can vary, traditional elements often include symbols of strength, such as lions or eagles, and elements that represent the family's origins, such as colors and patterns associated with Ireland. The coat of arms is a heraldic representation of the family's legacy and achievements over the centuries.

The motto associated with the Finnigan surname, when present, typically reflects values of courage, loyalty, and perseverance. Mottos are chosen to inspire and reflect the ideals and ethos of the family line. However, it's important to note that mottos and coats of arms can vary significantly among families and over time, depending on the branch of the family and its historical context.

Also see the article on Finnegan's Wake and Finnegans Wake

Please Note

There is often limited information available on a specific coat of arms and motto for an Irish surname. Sometimes there are many variations, sometimes none, we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection. Please visit our Coat of Arms and Motto page for more information.

DNA And Your Irish Roots


Interesting Irish Connections