Felan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many variations of the name Felan have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Faoilain, which is derived from the word faol, which means wolf. [1]

Early Origins of the Felan family

The surname Felan was first found in County Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge), anciently the Deise region, on the South coast of Ireland in the Province of Munster.

Saint Fillan, Foilan or Felan (d. 777?), was an Irish missionary in Scotland in the middle of the eighth century. "His commemoration day in the Scottish calendar is 9 Jan. He was the son of Feredach, a prince in Munster, and Kentigerna, daughter of Kellach Cualann, king of Leinster, and sister to St. Congan. Being thrown into a river on his birth on account of deformity, he was rescued by St. Ibar. He became a monk at first in one of the monasteries of St. Munnu Fintan, and subsequently went from Ireland to the part of Argyll afterwards called Ross, where two churches, Kilkoan and Killellan, derive their names respectively from his uncle Congan and himself. A cave and a church were also named from him in Fife." [2]

Early History of the Felan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Felan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1658 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Felan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Felan Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Felan revealed spelling variations, including Phelan, O'Phelan, Whelan, O'Failin, Phalen, Phalon, Phaelan and many more.

Early Notables of the Felan family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Felan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Felan migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Felan name:

Felan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hu Felan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Felan (post 1700) +

  • Lainnie Felan, Irish actress, best known for her role in The Shadows (2011)


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ 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)


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