Before Irish names were translated into English, O'Kelahant 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'Kelahant is a patronymic
Early Origins of the O'Kelahant family
The surname O'Kelahant was first found in Munster
. The earliest mention of the name O'Kelahant 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'Kelahant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Kelahant 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'Kelahant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Kelahant Spelling Variations
Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname O'Kelahant are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include 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'Kelahant family (pre 1700)
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Kelahant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Kelahant family to the New World and Oceana
Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families
left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name O'Kelahant: 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.