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Origins Available: English, Irish


The surname Nilan was derived from the Gaelic "O Niallain," which means "descendant of Niall."

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The surname Nilan was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster.

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 Nilan revealed many variations, including O'Neilan, O'Neylan, Neilan, Neylan, O'Nelan and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nilan research. Another 194 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1570 is included under the topic Early Nilan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Nilan:

Nilan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Margaret Nilan, who came to Boston 1875

Nilan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Nilan, aged 41, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Omega"
  • William Nilan, aged 15, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Omega"
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Nilan Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsNilan Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
    2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    3. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    10. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    11. ...

    The Nilan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nilan 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 27 October 2010 at 13:53.

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