The Irish surname Flannigan is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Flannagáin meaning “descendant of Flannagán,’ a personal name derived from a double diminutive of flann meaning “scarlet, or ruddy complexion.” The main O'Flannagain sept was seated between Mantua and Elphin, and their chief, a royal lord under the kingly O'Connors, ruled over the territory of Magh Aoi, in Co. Roscommon. Today, Flannigan is numbered among the hundred most widespread surnames in Ireland, and takes sixty-ninth place on that list, the greatest number of namebearers being found in Co. Roscommon, and in the counties of the western seaboard - Mayo, Galway and Clare. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1705 when Antho Flanagan emigrated to Virginia. Today there are approximately 2,000 bearers of the name Flannigan in the U.S.
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