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

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

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

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Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Crehan family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including 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 Crehan research. Another 382 words(27 lines of text) covering the year 1616 is included under the topic Early Crehan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Crehan family in North America:

Crehan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Mary Crehan, aged 18, landed in New York in 1864

Crehan Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Bridget Crehan, aged 18, who settled in America from Ballygar, Ireland, in 1907
  • John Crehan, aged 37, who landed in America from New Bridge, Ireland, in 1907
  • Bernard Crehan, aged 26, who landed in America from Ballygar, Ireland, in 1908
  • Johannah Crehan, aged 29, who emigrated to the United States from Lizzagry, Ireland, in 1908
  • Annie Crehan, aged 28, who landed in America from Ballygas, Ireland, in 1909


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  • Joseph Crehan (1883-1966), American film actor who appeared in over 300 films
  • Martin "Junior" Crehan (1908-1998), Irish fiddle player
  • Bernard J. Crehan (b. 1874), Irish Roman Catholic priest and author


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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. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  9. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Crehan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Crehan 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 15 June 2012 at 07:59.

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