Houlihan / Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Houlihan
include O'Halohan, Holland, Holian, Hyland, Mulholland, Howley and Whooley. This name is O'hUallachain in Irish and is the name of at least two septs originally located in Offaly and in Thomond. In the course of time they spread southwards in both cases, but in the census of 1659 the great majority of the name were living in County Kilkenny. At the present time Houlihan is chiefly found in that County with the spelling Holohan, and in the western part of Munster with the spelling Houlihan. 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 Connacht on his epic march from Kinsale in 1602. In Ulster the anglicized form of O'hAolain is Holland, and in Leinster, Hyland and Hylands. The forms Howley and Whooley are another two anglicized forms of the name found in North Connacht.The Houlihan
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 Houlihan