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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Wholihan family come from? What is the Irish Wholihan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Wholihan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wholihan family history?

There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Wholihan originally appeared in Gaelic as O hUallachain, which is derived from the word "uallach," which means "proud."

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Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Wholihan were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Holohan, O'Holohan, Mulholland, Highland, Hoolohan, Houlihan, Hooligan, Whelton, Oulihan, Oulahen, Whoolahan and many more.

First found in Thomond (Irish: Tuadh Mumhan), literally North Thomond, the pre-Norman Kingdom of Thomond, since divided between counties Limerick, Tipperary and Clare, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wholihan research. Another 409 words(29 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wholihan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Wholihan family in North America: Daniel, David, John, Michael, Patrick and Owen Hollahan and David and Michael Mulholand, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  4. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Wholihan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wholihan 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 27 October 2010 at 13:41.

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