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Surname Holihan - Meaning and Origin

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Holihan: What does the surname Holihan mean?

The last name Holihan is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic surname "O hEilighain". This translates to son of the descendant of Eilighe which is a forename meaning devoted.

The original people with the surname Holihan were likely from County Galway in Ireland. During the 16th and 17th century, the Holihan clan spread to regions such as Kilkenny and Leinster.

Today, Holihan’s are scattered across the world in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The Holihan surname is also spelt without the 'H' as O'Liyane in Ireland and O'Lihane in England.

Those with Holihan as a last name tend to have a strong sense of duty and loyalty and an appreciation for family. This is likely tied to the meaning of their surname which is devoted. They are loyal to traditions and family ties, and they maintain strong “family values".

The Holihan family crest features a red saltire on a gold field. This disposition signifies “diligence, strength, and hard work” which mirrors the devoted meaning of the last name.

The Holihan name is quite unique and those that carry it certainly do so with pride and dignity.

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Holihan: Where does the name Holihan come from?

The last name Holihan is primarily found in Ireland today. It is most commonly found in the Connacht province of Ireland, primarily in the provinces of Mayo and Galway. Other pockets of people bearing the Holihan surname can be found in Dublin and other surrounding counties such as Kerry, Cork, and Kildare.

The Connacht region is where the surname is likely to have originally been borne by its bearers. It is believed to be an anglicized form of O hUallachain, which is an ancient Irish surname. Vacalically, O hUallachain means "grandson or descendant of the famous warrior".

There are many spellings of the last name Holihan, such as Hallahan, Hallihan, Halihan, Hollahan, O' Hallahan, O' Holligan, O' Halligan, among others. Historically, a high concentration of the Holihan name was found in areas of southeast Galway and in Mayo.

The Holihan name still exists in Ireland and other parts of the world today, mainly due to emigration. The Holihan surname can be found in the United States, Australia, and other countries, with most of the emigrants having originated from the Connacht region.

In the 21st century, the Holihan surname continues to exist, most commonly in Ireland. It is interesting to note that the Holihan family can trace its ancestry back to an ancient lineage of Irish warriors.

Variations of the surname Holihan

The variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for the surname Holihan are ancestral variants, which include O'Longhan, O'Lachlann, O'Lahyn, Hallyhan, Halihan, Holahan, Hallahan, Hallahan, Hollihan, Hollyhan, Hallyhan, Hallyan, Holohan, and Hoolahan.

The surname Holihan is a patronymic surname of Irish origin which is derived from the Gaelic O'Lachlann, meaning descendant or clan of Lachlann. It is typically anglicized as O'Longhan or O'Lahyn, which are derived from the Gaelic personal name of Lachlan. Historically the clan was located in the province of Connaught (modern counties of Galway and Roscommon), and the family was part of the sept of the O'Briens.

The surname Holihan is still found mainly in the Western part of Connaught, but due to the Irish diaspora, it is now to be found spreading across the whole of Ireland, Britain and United States of America.

Variants of the Holihan surname can be found in the Connemara Gaeltacht area of the Province of Connaught. The spelling variants of this surname are Hallyhan, Halihan, Holahan, Hallahan, Hollihan, Hollyhan, Hallyhan, Hallyan, Holohan, and Hoolahan. These variants are likely derived from distinct branches of the same family.

The death rate of this surname is fairly high compared to other surnames, which may be due to deaths in WWI and WWII combined with the larger emigration that happened due to famine and poverty pointing to a low life expectancy. Despite this, the surname can still be found in its many variants in modern times.

Famous people with the name Holihan

  • James Holihan (baseball player)
  • Sarah Holihan (actress)
  • Melissa Holihan (singer)
  • Tom Holihan (actor)
  • Cathy Holihan (writer)
  • Terry Holihan (comedian)
  • Eileen Holihan (painter)
  • Judith Holihan (poet)
  • Leslie Holihan (model)
  • Joe Holihan (photographer)

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