Show ContentsHeelan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Heelan originally appeared in Gaelic as O hUallachain, which is derived from the word "uallach," which means "proud."

Early Origins of the Heelan family

The surname Heelan was first found in Thomond (Irish: Tuadh Mumhan), literally North Thomond, the pre-Norman Kingdom of Thomond, since divided between counties Limerick, Tipperary and Clare, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Heelan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heelan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heelan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heelan Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Heelan revealed spelling variations, including Holohan, O'Holohan, Mulholland, Highland, Hoolohan, Houlihan, Hooligan, Whelton, Oulihan, Oulahen, Whoolahan and many more.

Early Notables of the Heelan family (pre 1700)

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

United States Heelan migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Heelan name:

Heelan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joha. Heelan, aged 21, who landed in America from Kerry, in 1892
  • Bridie Heelan, aged 18, who landed in America from Ballynoe, County Waterford, Ireland in 1897
  • Bridget Heelan, aged 21, who settled in America from Quirin, in 1898
Heelan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Patrick Heelan, aged 20, who landed in America from Lismore, in 1904
  • Annie Heelan, aged 26, who landed in America from Cappoquin, Ireland, in 1907
  • Edward Patrick Heelan, aged 22, who settled in America from Kuocklong, Ireland, in 1907
  • Patrick Heelan, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Cork, Ireland, in 1909
  • William Heelan, aged 23, who settled in America from Lismore, Ireland, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Heelan (post 1700) +

  • Will A. Heelan, American lyricist
  • Paul A. Heelan, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1964 [1]
  • Edmond Heelan (1868-1948), Irish-born clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Sioux City (1920 to 1948)

  1. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook