Show ContentsWhealan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many variations of the name Whealan 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Whealan family

The surname Whealan was first found in County Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge), anciently the Deise region, on the South coast of Ireland in the Province of Munster.

Saint Fillan, Foilan or Felan (d. 777?), was an Irish missionary in Scotland in the middle of the eighth century. "His commemoration day in the Scottish calendar is 9 Jan. He was the son of Feredach, a prince in Munster, and Kentigerna, daughter of Kellach Cualann, king of Leinster, and sister to St. Congan. Being thrown into a river on his birth on account of deformity, he was rescued by St. Ibar. He became a monk at first in one of the monasteries of St. Munnu Fintan, and subsequently went from Ireland to the part of Argyll afterwards called Ross, where two churches, Kilkoan and Killellan, derive their names respectively from his uncle Congan and himself. A cave and a church were also named from him in Fife." [2]

Early History of the Whealan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whealan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1658 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Whealan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whealan Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Whealan family name include Phelan, O'Phelan, Whelan, O'Failin, Phalen, Phalon, Phaelan and many more.

Early Notables of the Whealan family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whealan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Whealan migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Whealan to North America:

Whealan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nicholas Whealan, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1768 [3]
Whealan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Whealan, who arrived in New York in 1851 [3]

Canada Whealan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whealan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ellen Whealan, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway, Ireland

Australia Whealan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Whealan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ellen Whealan (aged 16), a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • Michael Whealan, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Monsoon"

New Zealand Whealan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Whealan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Whealan, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Martin Whealan, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Elizabeth Whealan, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook