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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Before Irish names were translated into English, 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 Callahan is a patronymic name.
One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname Callahan were found in the many archives researched. These 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.
First found in Munster. The earliest mention of the name 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 under Strongbow. 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. 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Callahan research. Another 403 words (29 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1640, 1738, 1807, 1797, 1883, 1605, 1654, 1839 and 1909 are included under the topic Early Callahan History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Callahan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Callahan:
Callahan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Charles Callahan, who landed in Virginia in 1637
- Darby Callahan, who landed in Maryland in 1680
- Dennis Callahan, who arrived in Maryland in 1680
Callahan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Conner Callahan, who landed in Virginia in 1714
- John Callahan, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764
Callahan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- David Callahan, who arrived in New York in 1825
- Peter Callahan, aged 30, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1835
- Jeremiah Callahan, who arrived in Mississippi in 1838
- Neil Callahan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
- Patrick Callahan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
Callahan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Thomas J Callahan, who arrived in Mississippi in 1901
Callahan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Nicholas Callahan U.E who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783
Callahan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- William Callahan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1827
- Henry Callahan, aged 40, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork
- Gregory Callahan, aged 16, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork
- Mary Callahan, aged 35, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork
- James Callahan, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
Callahan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Jeremiah Callahan, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
- Kate Callahan, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino"
- Daniel Callahan, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge"
- Michael Callahan, aged 17, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge"
- John Callahan, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge"
- Mr. James Callahan (d. 1912), aged 31, American Able Officer from Pittsfield, Massachusetts who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
- Consuelo Marķa "Connie" Callahan (b. 1950), U.S. federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Bill Callahan (b. 1966), American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- Dennis Callahan (1941-2012), American politician from Annapolis, Maryland
- Laura Callahan, the former senior director at the United States Department of Homeland Security
- Robert V. "Bob" Callahan (b. 1937), American-born, Canadian politician in Ontario
- Ryan Callahan (b. 1985), American NHL ice hockey forward from Rochester, NY, captain of the New York Rangers
- William E. "Bill" Callahan (b. 1956), American offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys
- Benjamin Franklin "Ben" Callahan (1957-2007), American Major League Baseball pitcher
- John H. Callahan (1845-1914), American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient during the American Civil War
- A History of the Callam and Carwile Families (also the Callahan Family) by Anna Deihls Callahan.
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
- 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.
- Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
- Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
- Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
- Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
- 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.
The Callahan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Callahan 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 January 2016 at 19:51.
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