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

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

The Irish name Crean has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Crean is O Croidheagain, from the word "croidhe," which means "heart."

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People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Crean that are preserved in archival documents are Cregan, Crean, O'Crean, O'Cryan, Creaghan, Creegan, Creahan, Crehan, Creane and many more.

First found in Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crean research. Another 382 words(27 lines of text) covering the year 1616 is included under the topic Early Crean History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Crean to North America:

Crean Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Michael Crean, aged 32, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Thomas Crean, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851
  • Phillip Crean who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1860

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  • Arthur B. Crean, Master Sergeant in the United States Army during World War I
  • Kelly Crean (b. 1974), American actress
  • Thomas Joseph Crean, Irish soldier
  • Thomas "Tom" Crean (1877-1938), known as the "Irish Giant", Irish Antarctic explorer, member of the Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton expeditions
  • Major Dr. Thomas Joseph Crean VC, DSO (1873-1923), Irish rugby union player, recipieint of the Victoria Cross
  • Eugene Crean (1854-1939), Irish nationalist politician and MP
  • Hon. Frank Crean (1916-2008), Australian Treasurer (1972–1974), Deputy Prime Minister (1975)
  • Simon Findlay Crean (b. 1949), Australian politician, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Regional Australia
  • David Crean (b. 1950), former Labor member of the Parliament of Tasmania
  • Edward O'Donovan Crean, English rugby union player


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Cor mundum crea in me, Deus
Motto Translation: Create in me a clean heart, O God.

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  10. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  11. ...

The Crean Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Crean 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 22 November 2013 at 09:11.

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