The name McGawlin 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).
from very ancient times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGawlin research.Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1027 and 1280 are included under the topic Early McGawlin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname McGawlin are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Callan, Callanan, Caillan, Calan, Calanan, Callen, Callin, Callon, Callinan, Callinon and many more.
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
for the distant shores of North America and Australia
. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England
. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence
. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the McGawlin family relocated to North American shores quite early: Peter Callan who settled in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in 1683; Charles Callan settled in Delaware in 1772; Alexander Callan settled in Wilmington, N.C. in 1774.