Show ContentsCrossan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of the Irish name Crossan was written as Mac an Chrosain, which is derived from the word cros, which means cross.

Early Origins of the Crossan family

The surname Crossan was first found in Leinster, where they held a family seat at Ballymacrossan on the border of Leix and Offaly. There they were an off-shoot of the notable Clan O'Moore which was the leading sept of the 'Seven Clans of Leix'. In Gaelic the surname is "Mac an Chrosain," but more frequently seen in the English form "Crosby" or "Crosbie" which was listed as early as the early 1600s. 1

Early History of the Crossan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crossan research. Another 257 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1619, 1621, 1638, 1639, 1658, 1689, 1695 and 1762 are included under the topic Early Crossan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crossan Spelling Variations

Names during the Middle Ages were often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of their bearers. Literacy was rare at that time and so how a person's name was recorded was decided by the individual scribe. Variations of the name Crossan include Crossan, Crossen, McCrossan, McCrossen, MacCrossan, MacCrossin, MacCrossen, Crossin, MacCrosson, McCrosson, Crosson, McCrosin, McCrosen and many more.

Early Notables of the Crossan family

Notable amongst the family name at this time was

  • Patrick McCrossan, Chief of his Clann

United States Crossan migration to the United States +

In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Crossan:

Crossan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Neal Crossan, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 2
Crossan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patk Crossan, who landed in America in 1805 2
  • John Crossan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 2
  • Michael Crossan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 2
  • Bernard, Charles and Thomas Crossan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1863

Canada Crossan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Crossan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Bernard Crossan, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Goliah" departing 21st May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 18th July 1847 but he died on board 3

New Zealand Crossan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Crossan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Crossan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 4
  • Miss Ellen Crossan, (b. 1847), aged 21, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 4
  • Miss Agnes Crossan, (b. 1850), aged 18, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Crossan (post 1700) +

  • John Dominic Crossan (b. 1934), Irish-born, American New Testament scholar
  • Dave Harry Crossan (b. 1940), American former NFL football offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins (1965-1968)
  • Edward "Eddie" Crossan (1925-2006), Northern Irish footballer who played from 1947 to 1958, member of the Northern Ireland National Team (1949-1955)
  • John Andrew "Jobby or Johnny" Crossan (b. 1938), Northern Irish author, radio sports analyst, entrepreneur, and former footballer, brother of Eddie Crossan
  • Jim Crossan (b. 1985), former Northern Irish footballer and manager, Derry City F.C. manager in 1985
  • Gary Crossan (b. 1971), Irish long-distance runner, Irish National Marathon Champion for four consecutive years
  • Matthew Crossan, Irish footballer
  • Kate Crossan, Irish singer and composer
  • Errol Gilmour Crossan (b. 1930), former Canadian soccer player who mostly played in England from 1949 to 1962 for a total of 226 matches

The Crossan Motto +

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: Indignante invidia florebit justus
Motto Translation: The just man will flourish in spite of envy.

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 71)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook