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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Callan family come from? What is the Irish Callan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Callan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Callan family history?

The name Callan comes from the Irish Gaelic O Cathalain. The Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a link to a proud, ancient past. The name is possibly derived from Cathalan, king of Farney slain in 1028, whose name means Little Charles, and from whom the family is thought to have descended. Cathalan was in turn descended from Coleman Mor, the king of Meath and (the 133rd Monarch of Ireland).

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Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Callan dating from that time include Callan, Callanan, Caillan, Calan, Calanan, Callen, Callin, Callon, Callinan, Callinon and many more.

First found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Callan research. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1027 and 1280 are included under the topic Early Callan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Callan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Callan:

Callan Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Peter Callan who settled in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in 1683

Callan Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hugh Callan, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Margt Callan, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Charles Callan settled in Delaware in 1772
  • Alexander Callan settled in Wilmington, N.C. in 1774
  • Alexander Callan, aged 22, landed in Wilmington North Carolina in 1774


Callan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Callan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1809
  • Santiago Callan, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1816
  • Thomas Callan, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • Patrick Callan, who arrived in America in 1837
  • James Callan, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1854


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  • Michael Callan (b. 1935), American stage, film and television actor
  • Curtis Callan (b. 1942), American theoretical physicist and a professor at Princeton University
  • K Callan (b. 1942), American actress
  • Clair Armstrong Callan (1920-2005), Nebraska Democratic politician
  • Thomas Joseph Callan (1853-1908), United States Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor
  • Father Nicholas Joseph Callan (1799-1864), Irish priest and scientist
  • Dave Callan (b. 1975), Irish comedian based in Perth, Australia
  • Colm Patrick Callan (1923-2010), Irish rugby player
  • Harold Garnet Callan FRS, FRSE (1917-1993), British biologist
  • Tim Callan (b. 1984), Australian Rules Football player

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  • The Tansill, Bender, Callan, Holmead, and other Early American Families by Xavier Bender Tansill.
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  1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  8. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Callan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Callan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 August 2014 at 12:04.

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