Kelleher / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Kelleher
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 Kelleher
include O'Kelleher and Kelliher. The Gaelic sept from which these names originate were of Dalcassian origin.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
Their name in Irish is O'Ceileachair taken from words that translate as 'companion dear'. The leader of the sept was a nephew of the famous Brian Boru. They were originally located in County Clare in the fourteenth century but later migrated to Counties Kerry and Cork. In the 1921 census there were 165 families of Kelleher in County Cork. The name is sometimes abbreviated to Keller which is more usually of German origin.The Kelleher
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 Kelleher