Grehan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Grehan is "O Gormghaile" in Connacht, or "O Goirmleadhaigh" in Ulster.

Early Origins of the Grehan family

The surname Grehan was first found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where the Grehan family held a seat from very ancient times.

Important Dates for the Grehan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grehan research. Another 208 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grehan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grehan Spelling Variations

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Grehan revealed many variations, including Gormley, O'Gormley, Grehan, Gormleigh, Gormly, Gormlie, Grimes and many more.

Early Notables of the Grehan family (pre 1700)

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

Grehan migration to Canada

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Grehan or a variant listed above, including:

Grehan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Grehan, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
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