Before Irish names were translated into English, O'Keellahan had a Gaelic form of O Ceallachain, possibly from "ceallach", which means "strife". The family is descended from Ceallachan (Callaghan), the 10th century King of Munster
from whom their surname is derived, and as such, the name O'Keellahan is a patronymic
Early Origins of the O'Keellahan family
The surname O'Keellahan was first found in Munster
. The earliest mention of the name O'Keellahan placed them in the barony of Kinlea, in County Cork
, yet the family lost most of their original lands in the barony of Kinelea during the Anglo- Norman Conquest
. They relocated to an area near Mallow, in the north of the county, and remained there until forced off their lands once again during the Cromwellian Invasion
of the 17th century. The head family migrated to the east of County Clare
and flourished, giving their name to the village of Callaghan's Mills. The resumption of the often-discarded prefix "O" has been widespread during the late twentieth century, but in the early twentieth century, Callaghans greatly outnumbered O'Callaghans, but such is no longer the case. The O'Callaghans are one of the few Irish families
to still have a chief, certified by the Genealogical Office. CITATION[CLOSE]
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
Early History of the O'Keellahan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Keellahan research.Another 403 words (29 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1640, 1738, 1807, 1797, 1883, 1605, 1654, 1839 and 1909 are included under the topic Early O'Keellahan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Keellahan Spelling Variations
Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations
. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name O'Keellahan revealed many variations, including Callaghan, Callahan, O'Callaghan, O'Callahan, Calahan, Cellaghan, Kalahan, Kallaghan, Kallahan, O'Kallaghan, Kellaghan, Kelleghan, Kellahan, Kelahan, Ceilahan, Ceilaghan, Callachan, Calachan, Callagan, Calagan, Kelagan, Callighan and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Keellahan family (pre 1700)
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Keellahan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Keellahan family to the New World and Oceana
Under the rule of England
, land ownership in Ireland
changed dramatically, and many native Irish families
found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine
created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of O'Keellahan or one of its variants: James Callaghan who settled in America in 1768; Gerhard Callaghan settled in 1764; James Callaghan settled in Pennsylvania in 1772; John Callaghan settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1764.