Before Irish names were translated into English, O'callahan had a Gaelic form of O Ceallachain, possibly from "ceallach", which means "strife". The family is descended from Ceallachan (Callaghan), the 10th century King of Munster
from whom their surname is derived, and as such, the name O'callahan is a patronymic
Early Origins of the O'callahan family
The surname O'callahan was first found in Munster
. The earliest mention of the name O'callahan placed them in the barony of Kinlea, in County Cork
, yet the family lost most of their original lands in the barony of Kinelea during the Anglo- Norman Conquest
. They relocated to an area near Mallow, in the north of the county, and remained there until forced off their lands once again during the Cromwellian Invasion
of the 17th century. The head family migrated to the east of County Clare
and flourished, giving their name to the village of Callaghan's Mills. The resumption of the often-discarded prefix "O" has been widespread during the late twentieth century, but in the early twentieth century, Callaghans greatly outnumbered O'Callaghans, but such is no longer the case. The O'Callaghans are one of the few Irish families
to still have a chief, certified by the Genealogical Office. CITATION[CLOSE]
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
Early History of the O'callahan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'callahan research.Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1640, 1738, 1807, 1797, 1883, 1605, 1654, 1839 and 1909 are included under the topic Early O'callahan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'callahan Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, scribes recorded people's names as they saw fit. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations
. For O'callahan some of these variations included: Callaghan, Callahan, O'Callaghan, O'Callahan, Calahan, Cellaghan, Kalahan, Kallaghan, Kallahan, O'Kallaghan, Kellaghan, Kelleghan, Kellahan, Kelahan, Ceilahan, Ceilaghan, Callachan, Calachan, Callagan, Calagan, Kelagan, Callighan and many more.
Early Notables of the O'callahan family (pre 1700)
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'callahan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'callahan family to the New World and Oceana
began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine
sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland
had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name O'callahan or one of its variants: James Callaghan who settled in America in 1768; Gerhard Callaghan settled in 1764; James Callaghan settled in Pennsylvania in 1772; John Callaghan settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1764.
Contemporary Notables of the name O'callahan (post 1700)
- Joseph Timothy O'Callahan (1905-1964), American Jesuit priest
- John J. "Jack" O'Callahan (b. 1957), retired professional American ice hockey player
- Commander (Chaplain Corps) Joseph Timothy O'Callahan, American chaplain awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)