Holland / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Holland was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Holland has a wide number of variants including Holand, O'Halohan, Mulholland, Houlihon, O'Holohan, Houlihan and Hyland. These names are mainly derived from two Gaelic septs. The first was the O'Maolchalann sept, meaning 'devotee of Saint Calann'. The second was the O'hUallachain sept which is more usually anglicized as Holland and Houlihan. The former sept was of Loughinsholin in County Derry where they were the keepers of the bells of Saint Patrick. The septs of Demifore in County Westmeath and of Ui Fidhgheinte were of importance in mediaeval times but have faded in influence over recent centuries. In Offaly the O'Holohans shared the leadership of the Clan Colgan with the O'Hennessys. It was one of these, Dermot O'Holohan, who constructed the curragh bridge across the Shannon above Portumna which enabled O'Sullivan Beare to cross into Connaught on his epic march from Kinsale in 1602.The Holland family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Holland descendants.