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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Many Irish names are merely English translations of Gaelic names. The name Gleason was a translation of the Gaelic name O Glasain or O Gliasain.


The surname Gleason was first found in County Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

In the Middle Ages, a name was often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer. Literacy was rare at that time and none of the languages to be found in the British Isles had achieved any great semblance of standardization. Variations of the name Gleason found include Gleason, Gleeson, Glissane, Gleasone, Gleesone, Glissaun, Gleasaune, Glissen and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gleason research. Another 205 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1599 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Gleason History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gleason Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Irish emigration to North America began modestly in the late 18th century. At this time, Irish families made the journey to British North America and the United States by choice and after careful consideration: they were primarily in search of a suitably large stretch of land to call their own. This pattern would change most dramatically during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For example, the years 1825-1845 saw approximately 450,000 heading to British North America and 400,000 to the United States, but in 1847, at the height of the famine, it is estimated that more than 104,000 Irish immigrants went to British North America and more than 119,000 to the United States. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Gleason:

Gleason Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Gleason who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1762
  • Thomas Gleason, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1762
  • John Gleason, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766

Gleason Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Matthew Gleason, who arrived in New York in 1818
  • Daniel Gleason, who arrived in Maryland in 1844
  • Michael Gleason, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1850
  • J H Gleason, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Mr. Gleason, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Gleason Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Gleason settled in Harbour Grace in 1809
  • Seth Gleason, who arrived in Canada in 1830
  • Ira Gleason, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Elijah Gleason, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Robert Gleason, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Gleason Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Bridget Gleason, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"


  • John Herbert "Jackie" Gleason (1916-1987), American comedian and actor, most famous for his starring role in "The Honeymooners" and his role as Minnesota Fats in The Hustler (1961) and his opening line "How sweet it is!"
  • Paul Xavier Gleason (1939-2006), American film and television actor, known for his roles in The Breakfast Club, Trading Places, and Die Hard
  • William J. "Kid" Gleason (1866-1933), American Major League Baseball player and manager
  • William Lansing Gleason (1899-1991), American politician, three-term Mayor of Eau Gallie, Florida (1930-1951)
  • James Austin Gleason (1882-1959), American actor, active from 1914 to 1959
  • William Gleason, Irish-born, American founder of the Gleeson Corporation in Rochester, New York, in 1865
  • Timothy Patrick Gleason (b. 1983), American professional ice hockey defenseman
  • Donald F. Gleason (1920-2008), American physician and pathologist, best known for developing the "Gleason score"
  • Henry Allan Gleason (1882-1975), noted American ecologist, botanist, and taxonomist
  • Stephen Michael "Steve" Gleason (b. 1977), American former professional NFL football safety with the New Orleans Saints, now battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)



  • Genealogy of the Descendants of Marcena Glezen of Center Lisle, Broome County, NY by J. Carver Glezen.
  • The Gleason Family from Uriah of the Fourth Generation by Ruth Marie Field.

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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  9. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  10. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  11. ...

The Gleason Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gleason 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 24 November 2015 at 10:33.

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