What is the origin of the last name Regan?

The last name REGAN traces its origins to Ireland, with deep roots in Gaelic culture. It is derived from the Gaelic personal name Riagán, meaning "little king" or "impulsive one." The surname REGAN is closely associated with County Galway in western Ireland, where the Regan sept held significant power and prominence for centuries. Over time, individuals bearing the name REGAN migrated to other parts of the world, particularly to the United States and other English-speaking countries, contributing to its global presence today.

Countries of origin for the last name Regan

The last name “Regan” is an intriguing surname with a rich history and varied origins. A comprehensive analysis reveals several important facts about this name that shed light on its meaning and significance.

The first fact to note is that “Regan” is primarily an Irish surname. It is derived from the Gaelic name “Ó Riagáin,” which means “descendant of Riagán.” The root name “Riagán” comes from the Irish word “rioghan,” meaning “royal” or “regal.” This suggests that the surname carries connotations of nobility and high status.

In addition to its Irish origin, the name “Regan” also has English variants. One such variation is “Regin,” mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, which confirms its presence in England during the medieval period. This indicates that the surname has experienced migration and dispersion, possibly due to historical events such as conflicts, colonization, or economic opportunities.

Moreover, variations of the name “Regan” can be found in other countries as well. For instance, in France, the surname “Rigan” exists, which could be related to the Irish Gaelic form. This suggests a potential influence of Irish migration or intermingling with other European cultures.

Another interesting aspect of the name “Regan” is its association with Shakespearean literature. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear,” one of the central characters is named Regan. This literary connection adds layers of cultural significance to the surname, potentially evoking characteristics such as ambition, manipulation, or loyalty, as portrayed in the play.

It is worth noting that the popularity of the name “Regan” has fluctuated over time. Census data from the United States indicates that the name had a peak in the late 20th century, potentially influenced by cultural trends or popular figures bearing the name.

Despite the known facts about the last name “Regan,” there remain unexplored possibilities and uncertainties surrounding its origin and development. Further research and genealogical investigations may reveal additional clues about the name’s meaning and the specific branches of the Regan family tree.

In conclusion, the surname “Regan” is an Irish name with English variants, suggesting a familial connection to nobility. Its association with Shakespearean literature and potential influences from other European cultures add depth to its significance. Although there are known facts about the name, the mysteries that still enshroud it remind us of the vastness of historical research and the continuous exploration of our ancestral roots.

Interesting facts about the last name Regan

  • The surname Regan is of Irish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic name Ó Riagáin, which means “descendant of Riagán.”
  • Riagán is an ancient personal name that is believed to have originated from the word “rí,” meaning “king” or “chieftain.”
  • The Regan surname is predominantly found in Ireland and its diaspora.
  • Many people with the surname Regan can trace their ancestry back to various regions in Ireland, including County Roscommon, County Kerry, and County Waterford.
  • The Regan clan is associated with the Red Branch Knights of Ulster, a legendary order of warriors in ancient Irish mythology.
  • The Regan name has variations and spelling variations including Reagan, O’Regan, and O’Reagan.
  • The surname Regan has gained significant recognition in popular culture, particularly through the fictional character President Ronald Reagan, who served as the 40th President of the United States.
  • Regan is a relatively common surname in the United States, with notable individuals in various fields bearing the name.

Name Rank


There are around 21951 people with the last name Regan in the US

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