Gawlin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gawlin comes from the Irish Gaelic O Cathalain. The Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a link to a proud, ancient past. The name is possibly derived from Cathalan, king of Farney slain in 1028, whose name means Little Charles, and from whom the family is thought to have descended. Cathalan was in turn descended from Coleman Mor, the king of Meath and (the 133rd Monarch of Ireland).

Early Origins of the Gawlin family

The surname Gawlin was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Caillin ( fl. 560), was an Irish saint, "son of Niata, descended from Rudraighe, whose grandson, Fergus Mac Roigh, flourished at the beginning of the Christian era. His mother was Deighe, granddaughter of Dubhthach, chief poet of King Laogaire in the time of St. Patrick. The authority for the history of St. Caillin is the ancient ‘Book of Fenagh,’ a series of poetical rhapsodies, written about 1400, a copy of which with a connecting narrative in prose was made in 1516. we may gather the following facts of St. Caillin's history from this curious repertory of ancient traditions: ‘The descendants of Medbh and Fergus, viz. the children of Conmac, Ciar, and Corc, grew and multiplied throughout Ireland. The children of Conmac especially were in Connaught.’ Those were the Conmaicne of Dunmor, kinsmen of Caillin's. Resolved to remedy the congestion of the population by killing each other, the Conmaicne would no doubt have carried out their plan but for the interference of St. Caillin. By the advice of an angel they sent messengers to him at Rome, whither he had gone for his education." [1]

Early History of the Gawlin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gawlin research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1027 and 1280 are included under the topic Early Gawlin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gawlin Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Gawlin were encountered in the archives: Callan, Callanan, Caillan, Calan, Calanan, Callen, Callin, Callon, Callinan, Callinon and many more.

Early Notables of the Gawlin family (pre 1700)

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


United States Gawlin migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Gawlin:

Gawlin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Gawlin, who arrived in Maryland in 1775 [2]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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)


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