This name, with the many and varied variant spellings which include (with and without the prefix O') Corrigane, Currigan, Corrigan, Corragan and Courigan, Kirgan, Cargen, Cargon, and no doubt many others, is an anglicized form of the old Gaelic O' Corragain. The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "grandson" or "male descendant of", plus the personal byname Corragain, from "Corr", a spear or lance. This sept originated in the Ulster county of Fermanagh and were of the same stock as the Maguires. The chieftains of these two septs joined forces with the powerful O' Neills of Tyrone and resisted Norman attempts to conquer Fermanagh in the 12th and 13th Centuries. In the 1659 "Census" of Ireland, Corrigan and O'Corrigan were among the most numerous names in that part of Ulster, however, its prevalence in 16th and 17th Century records of Counties Monaghan, Longford, Offaly, Meath and Roscommon show that the sept had scattered widely. The place called Ballycorrigan near Nenagh (Co. Tipperary) indicates that a leading family of Corrigan were seated there. Examples of the surname recording include Sir Dominic John Corrigan (1802 - 1880) was a leading Dublin physician, and M.P. for Dublin city, whilst Michael Corrigan (1839 - 1902) was the Archbishop of New York and originally from County Meath. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O' Corragain, abbot of Fermanagh, which was dated circa 1150 - "The Annals of the Four Masters", during the reign of Turlough Mor O' Connor, High King of Ireland, 1119 - 1156. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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