Show ContentsGallahan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many Irish names are merely English translations of Gaelic names. The name Gallahan was a translation of the Gaelic name Mac Giollagain, which is derived from the word "giolla," which means "lad."

Early Origins of the Gallahan family

The surname Gallahan was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat at a place called Magilligans Strand.

Early History of the Gallahan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gallahan research. Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gallahan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gallahan Spelling Variations

Many different spelling variations of the surname Gallahan exist in the archives researched. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Gilligan, Gilegan, Gillegan, Giligan and others.

Early Notables of the Gallahan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gallahan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gallahan migration to the United States +

During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation, and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Gallahan:

Gallahan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Timothy Gallahan, aged 18, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1776 [1]
Gallahan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Michael Gallahan, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Patrick Gallahan, aged 59, who immigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • Ed Gallahan, aged 26, who immigrated to America, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name Gallahan (post 1700) +

  • Josh Gallahan, American musician

  1. 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) on Facebook