O'Scanlon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name O'Scanlon originally appeared in Gaelic as O Scannlain or Mac Scannlain, which are both derived from the word "scannal," which means "contention."
Early Origins of the O'Scanlon family
The surname O'Scanlon was first found in County Louth (Irish: Lú) the smallest county in Ireland, located on the East coast, in the Province of Leinster. "The Mac Scanlans were a sept of Louth, from whom the ancient locality of Bally Mac Scanlan took its name. The first of the family mentioned by D'Alton is Patrick O'Scanlan, who was made archbishop or Armagh in 1261. "  According to O'Hart, the family claim descent from the Heremon Kings of Ireland, more specifically through the O'Shaughnessey pedigree as Tuadan, brother of Duach was the ancestor of O'Scannla which is Anglicized as Scanlan.  However, MacLysaght claims that there are two quite distinct septs; the O Scannlain of Munster and MacScannlain of Louth. The latter claimed Bally Mac Scanlan (Ballymacscanlan) as their ancient homeland. He continues pointing out that there are six places names Ballymacscanlan throughout Ireland eluding to the family's widespread distribution. 
Early History of the O'Scanlon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Scanlon research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1272 are included under the topic Early O'Scanlon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Scanlon Spelling Variations
The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name O'Scanlon revealed spelling variations, including Scanlan, O'Scannell, O'Scanlan, O'Scanlon, MacScanlan, Scanlin and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Scanlon family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early O'Scanlon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Scanlon family
Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the O'Scanlon name: Anne, Charles, Daniel, Denis, Edward, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Thomas, Timothy and William Scanlan, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1870.
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- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)