Finnegan Family History
The family history of the ancient name Finnegan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Finnegan
include O'Finnegan, Finegan and Finnigan. There were two distinct septs of Finnegan whose name in Irish is O'Fionnadain meaning 'fair-headed'. One of these septs was located on the border of counties Galway and Roscommon where there are two places called Ballyfinnegan, one in the barony of Ballymoe and the other in the barony of Castlereagh. The other is a Breffney sept. The present day bearers of the name hail chiefly from the localities of their origin, the majority belonging to Cavan and adjacent counties. The Elizabethan Fiants suggest that in mediaeval times Finnegans were also located in County Wicklow.The Finnegan
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Finnegan