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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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

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The surname Holohan 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.

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Holohan dating from that time include Holohan, O'Holohan, Mulholland, Highland, Hoolohan, Houlihan, Hooligan, Whelton, Oulihan, Oulahen, Whoolahan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holohan research. Another 409 words (29 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holohan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Holohan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Holohan or a variant listed above:

Holohan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Holohan, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1812
  • Pat Holohan, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • T Holohan, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • James Holohan, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Holohan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Holohan, aged 21, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Storm Cloud"

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  • Sean Holohan (b. 1964), American professional football player
  • Peter Joseph "Pete" Holohan (b. 1959), former professional American NFL football player
  • William A. Holohan, American politician, Justice of Arizona State Supreme Court, 1972-89
  • Elaine "Lenny" Holohan (b. 1985), Irish camogie player, winner of All- Ireland Senior medals in 2007, 2010 and 2011
  • Owen Holohan, Irish sportsperson (hurler)
  • Richard Holohan (1882-1954), Irish politician and farmer


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  1. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Holohan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Holohan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 November 2015 at 11:11.

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