Hannigan – from all corners of Ireland

Alyson Hannigan
Alyson Hannigan

The name Hannigan is commonly found in many English speaking countries around the world.

It originated in Ireland sometime in the 12th century following the Norman invasion.

It is believed that Hannigan was a translation for the Norman ‘son of Hann’, with Hann being a shortened version of the name Johann.

As the Norman invaders settled and integrated into Irish communities, the name became more common.

It also saw an Irish variation emerge, with O’Hannigan being the name given to the grandson or descendent of Hannigan.

Interestingly, there were Hannigan and O’Hannigan clans from all around Ireland, from as far as Tyrone, Dublin and Waterford. This suggests they were often at odds with various larger clans, and banished away to the far corners of the island.

The name was spread around the world during the mid-19th century, when a series of failed potato crops forced millions of Irish people to leave for America, Britain and elsewhere.

Since then, there have been several notable people named Hannigan or O’Hannigan who have achieved great success in their given field.

Alyson Hannigan is an American actress who has played three separate iconic roles so far in her career.

She was the band camp geek in American Pie who ended up falling in love with the lead character Jim. She was also the good with Willow in teen sci-fi series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most recently, she played the sweet and comical Lily in the smash sit-com How I Met Your Mother.

Lisa Hannigan is an Irish singer songwriter who started out in music as part of Damien Rice’s band, and has since gone on to enjoy a successful solo career.

Barbara Hannigan is a Canadian musician and was one of the first female orchestra conductors.

History of Irish surnames