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."
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gallavan research.Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the year 1317 is included under the topic Early Gallavan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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.
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.