The Clan/Sept History
The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely over time. The
original Gaelic form of the name Hartagan is O hArtigain, which connotes a
descendant of Art.
Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's
name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading
result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings.
Numerous spelling variations of the surname Hartagan are preserved in the
archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were
found include Hartigan, O'Hartigan, Hartagan, Hartegan, Hartigon, Hartagon and
First found in counties Clare and Limerick, where they held a family seat from
Many Irish Families boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th
century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination at that
time. Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on
to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and
Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many
early immigrants to North America bearing the Hartagan family name: James,
Michael, Patrick and Thomas Hartigan arrived in Canada in 1839; Michael Hartigan
arrived in Baltimore with his wife and five children in 1820. In Newfoundland,
Denis settled in St. John's in 1804.
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