Looking for Finigan/Finnigan/Finnegan connection from Nova Scotia, Canada to Ireland!

+2 votes
My ancestors came from Ireland around 1820 +/-  to Nova Scotia, Canada.  The census at the time listed Michael Finnigan (b. aprox 1791) who lived in Freeport, Digby Co. Nova Scotia, Canada.  It is believed that he and his brother arrived from Ireland by ship and Michael settled, married Elizabeth (Nickerson) b. 1811.  Michael died approx. 1865.  I have not found Elizabeth's parents (possibly from Shelburn, NS, Yarmouth, NS or maybe even Maine, USA) and no ship record as the Pier 21 was not open in Halifax and this was pre-Irish Famine.

Any help or clues would be appreciated!
in Genealogy Help by Susan Finigan G2G Rookie (190 points)

Do you have an idea on what Michael's brother's first name?

Here's a Jeremiah Finnigan who died in 1864:

Jeremiah Finnigan

Nova Scotia Vital Records

Name Jeremiah Finnigan
Event Type Death
Event Date 1864
Event Place Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Age y m d
Registration Date 1864
Volume 1808
Page 4
  • No image available

Nova Scotia Vital Records, 1763-1957

Citing this Record

"Nova Scotia Vital Records, 1763-1957," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMLL-MTC : 8 December 2014), Jeremiah Finnigan, 1864, Death; citing p. 4, volume 1808, Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Nova Scotia Archives, Halifax.

Finnigan surname origin 

Last name: Finnigan

This interesting surname is of Irish origin, and is an Anglicization of the Gaelic "O' Fionnagain", meaning the descendant(s) of Fionnagan, an Old Irish personal name derived from the word "fionn", white, fairheaded. There are two distinct septs of this name; one was located on the border of Counties Galway and Roscommon, and the other was located in Oriel, which covered Counties Armagh, Monaghan and parts of South Down, Louth and Fermanagh, and was known originally as "Orghiall". However, Finnigan or Finnegan has the same source as the surname Finn, which means that Finnigan could be a diminutive of Finn; the first recording (see below) is from this source. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", meaning "grandson or male descendant of", or "Mac", denoting "son of". Today the name is seldom found with the prefix "O", and it is mainly found in County Cavan and adjacent counties, with a fair proportion in south Connacht; the surname is also well recorded in South Munster. The name is familiar because of the novel "Finnegans Wake", written by James Joyce in 1939. Among the recordings from Irish Church Registers is the baptism of Barnard, son of Patrick Finnigan and Rose Blynn, in 1827, in County Sligo. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reverend John O' Finn, which was dated 1369, recorded at Granard, County Longford, Ireland, during the reign of William de Windsor, Governor of Ireland, 1369. 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.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2017

Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Finnigan#ixzz4VZZ4EDTj

2 Answers

+2 votes

Michael Finnigan

mentioned in the record of Elleonora Finnigan

Name Michael Finnigan
Gender Male
Wife Elizabeth Nickerson
Daughter Elleonora Finnigan

Other information in the record of

from Nova Scotia Births and Baptisms

Name Elleonora Finnigan
Gender Female
Christening Date 13 Nov 1851
Father's Name Michael Finnigan
Mother's Name Elizabeth Nickerson
  • No image available

Nova Scotia Births and Baptisms, 1702-1896

Indexing Project (Batch) Number C53404-1
System Origin Nova_Scotia-ODM
GS Film number 1319997

Citing this Record

"Nova Scotia Births and Baptisms, 1702-1896," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5MJ-LRH : 5 December 2014), Michael Finnigan in entry for Elleonora Finnigan, 13 Nov 1851; citing SAINTE CROIX CATHOLIC,PLYMPTON,DIGBY,NOVA SCOTIA; FHL microfilm 1,319,997.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Hi Frank,

Thanks yes I have most of the NS provincial archive info and all of the family on this side of the Atlantic.  Few scattered relatives still to dig up...ALWAYS more to do..haha!  Thanks though!
+2 votes
May be daughter of Elijah 1789-1865 and Cynthia 1789-1875 born 13 jan 1811 argyle, nova scotia. D 7 mar 1892 Shelburne, nova scotia. according to this, several siblings, , husband not listed. Samuel B 1813, amasa 1816-1890, Mary B1818, Abigail b1822, anna b1825, susan b1826, sarah b 1828, Louise, 1828-1913, mahala 1834-1903, Samuel 1836-1930. Cynthia may have been born in massachussetts. they may have been married 1809.
by Anonymous Davis G2G6 Mach 1 (10.8k points)
Thanks Phillip, I will investigate this more.  I was told she, Elizabeth Nickerson might be from Yarmouth..but so many Nickersons in that area and also in Maine and Mass.  My search will continue.


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