Gallavan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames have had their original forms altered in many ways. Before being translated into English, Gallavan appeared as O Gealbhain, derived from the words "geal," which means "bright," and "ban," which means "white." [1]

Early Origins of the Gallavan family

The surname Gallavan was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they are a sept of Thomond. [2]

More recently, the family is very numerous in Kerry where it is more often spelt Gallivan. [2]

Early History of the Gallavan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gallavan research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1317, 1860, 1904, 1888, 1904, 1826, 1864, 1831 and 1891 are included under the topic Early Gallavan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gallavan Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Gallavan family name include Galvin, Gallivan, O'Galvin and others.

Early Notables of the Gallavan family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Dan Leno (1860-1904) stage name of George Wild Galvin, the famous English comedian. He was a leading English music hall comedian and musical theatre actor, best known for his music hall act and for his roles in the annual pantomimes that...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gallavan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gallavan family

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 Gallavan: James, Joseph, Patrick, Simon, Thomas Galvin who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; David Galvin settled in Maryland in 1776; J. Galvin settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1822.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)


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