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Surname Hallahan - Meaning and Origin

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Hallahan: What does the surname Hallahan mean?

Hallahan is an Irish name derived from the Gaelic ‘O hAllachain’, meaning "descendant of Allachain". Allachain was the surname of a number of distinct septs or clans from various parts of Ireland, most notably in County Clare, County Limerick, County Cork, County Tipperary and Cork City.

The name is believed to have originated in the 10th century, when the son of an Irish chief adopted the name Allachain, in part to assert his independence from his father, and in part as a political statement to distinguish himself from other members of his sept.

The Hallahan clan is believed to be descended from the same family as the Egan clan, who held considerable power in medieval Ireland and later gave their name to the townland of Eganstown, County Limerick.

The Hallahan clan is most strongly associated with County Limerick, where they are thought to have held land and (presumably) power for many centuries. The Hallahans were a distinct branch of the Egan clan and had a strong presence in Co Limerick until the early 20th century.

At present, Hallahan is a fairly common surname in Ireland and around the Irish diaspora. It is also common in Northern Ireland, where it is sometimes anglicized to Halahan.

Hallahan: Where does the name Hallahan come from?

The last name Hallahan is most commonly associated with Ireland. It was first recorded in the 13th century, in County Clare. Today, Hallahan is most common in the island nation, where it ranks as the 471st most popular surname. It has been suggested that the name is a variant of the Irish name O’hAllagain, which means “descendants of Allagain.” In terms of today’s regional distribution, Hallahan is most prevalent in the United States, with the highest concentrations in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Data estimates that the population of individuals with Hallahan as a last name is approximately 12,800 people. The colonial history within the US would explain the present popularity in America and the relatives of Irish immigrants who left the Emerald Isle centuries ago are more than likely responsible for the growth of the Hallahan name on American soil. Researchers also attribute the Hallahan name to some parts of the UK, Australia, and Canada.

Variations of the surname Hallahan

Hallahan is an Irish surname derived from the Gaelic Ó hAiliagáin, which is anglicised as Hailahan, O’Hailahan or O’Hallahan. The name means 'descendant of Ailiagán', a personal name meaning ‘lively one’. This surname is found primarily in South East Ireland, indicating that the original bearers of the surname were located in Counties Carlow and Wicklow.

Variants of the original surname may include:

- O'Hailaghan

- O'Hallaghan

- O'Hayles

- O'Hayleghan

- O'Hayleighan

- Halligan

- Haley

- Hillagan

- Hailes

- Hales

- Halaghan

- Halahan

Variations of the original anglicised form may include:

- Hallighan

- Hallghon

- Hallaghan

- Halighan

- Haleyghan

- Haleaghan

- Haleghan

- Halles

- Hallhegan

- Hallighon

- Hailerhan.

The Hallagan and Hailerhan spellings are the most common variations seen today. While often spelled slightly differently, these surnames all share a common Irish origin.

Famous people with the name Hallahan

  • Steve Hallahan: former Major League Baseball player and current pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers.
  • John Hallahan: American actor and comedian best known for his roles on the sitcoms Becker and Brotherly Love.
  • Jack Hallahan: former AFL/VFL footballer who played in the Victorian Football League for Footscray and Richmond Football Clubs.
  • Kate Hallahan: Canadian professional mixed martial artist who has competed in the Flyweight division of the UFC.
  • Chris Hallahan: Emmy-nominated visual effects supervisor from the film and television industries.
  • Sean Hallahan: professional ice hockey player who was drafted from the Ontario Hockey League to play for the Arizona Coyotes in 2004.
  • Ray Hallahan: Australian rules footballer who played with Hawthorn in the VFL/AFL since the late 1950s.
  • Jason Hallahan: former professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics.
  • Patrick Hallahan: American musician best known as the drummer of the Grammy-nominated rock band My Morning Jacket.
  • John F. Hallahan: American politician who represented the 5th district of Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1861 to 1865.

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