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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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."


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.


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.


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


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 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

Crean Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Bessy Crean, aged 13, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
  • Catherine Crean, aged 11, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo

Crean Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Kate Crean, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "Lady Ann"

Crean Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Crean, aged 49, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Elizabeth Crean, aged 31, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Jane Crean, aged 9, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • John Crean, aged 7, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Patrick Crean, aged 5, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873


  • 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, recipient 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


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. 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.
  3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  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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