Many variations of the name O'Phelan have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Faoilain, which is derived from the word faol, which means wolf.
Early Origins of the O'Phelan family
The surname O'Phelan was first found in County Waterford
(Irish: Port Láirge), anciently the Deise region, on the South coast of Ireland
in the Province of Munster.
Early History of the O'Phelan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Phelan research.Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early O'Phelan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Phelan Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations
for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name O'Phelan were encountered in the archives: Phelan, O'Phelan, Whelan, O'Failin, Phalen, Phalon, Phaelan and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Phelan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early O'Phelan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Phelan family to the New World and Oceana
A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the O'Phelan name: James Phalen settled in South Carolina in 1822; Phillip Phalen settled in Barstable in 1822; Daniel, George, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, Timothy and William Phelan all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860..