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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Many variations of the name Whelan 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.

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Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Whelan family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Phelan, O'Phelan, Whelan, O'Failin, Phalen, Phalon, Phaelan and many more.

First found in County Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge), anciently the Deise region, on the South coast of Ireland in the Province of Munster.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whelan research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Whelan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Whelan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Whelan:

Whelan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Whelan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1747

Whelan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Whelan, aged 25, landed in New York in 1812
  • James Whelan, aged 29, landed in Maryland in 1813
  • Nicholas Whelan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Michael Whelan, who landed in New York in 1824
  • John Whelan, aged 40, arrived in St Louis, Missouri in 1840


Whelan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Charles Whelan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Robert Whelan, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749

Whelan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Sarah Whelan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Margaret Whelan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Catherine Whelan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • Andrew Whelan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • Lawrence Whelan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833


Whelan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Whelan, aged 25, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Catherine"
  • Edward Whelan, aged 23, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Catherine"
  • John Whelan, aged 28, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Catherine"
  • John Whelan, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851
  • William Whelan, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851


Whelan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Philip Whelan, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Mary Whelan, aged 26, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Margaret Whelan, aged 2 mths., arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Christopher Whelan, aged 22, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Michael Whelan, aged 22, a servant, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1874


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  • Robert Louis Whelan (1912-2001), bishop in the Catholic Church in the United States
  • Tim Whelan (1893-1957), American film director, writer, producer and actor
  • Edward L. Whelan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1940, 1944 (alternate), 1952 (alternate), 1956; Chair of Union County Democratic Party, 1945
  • Dennis J. Whelan, American Democrat politician, Mayor of Troy, New York, 1886-94
  • Danny P. Whelan, American politician, Mayor of Weston, West Virginia, 1985-87
  • Dan M. Whelan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Utah, 1940
  • Charles Elbert Whelan (1862-1928), American politician, Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, 1898-99
  • Anna M. Whelan, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1936, 1948
  • Francis C. Whelan, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, 1961-64
  • George J. Whelan, American politician, Mayor of San Francisco, California, 1856

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  • Wheeland/Wieland/Wheland/Weyland and Allied Families (also Whelan Family) by Alvin L. Anderson.
  • Heirs of Eleanor Abell & Thomas Greenwell & Charles Joseph Whelan, Elias Richard Ray & Martha Ellen Buckman by Tillie Whelan Onischak.
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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  7. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  11. ...

The Whelan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Whelan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 22 April 2016 at 13:59.

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