The Clan/Sept History
Gaelic is at the heart of all the Irish surnames that can be found throughout
the world today. The original Gaelic form of the name O Doran is O Deoradhain,
which was later shortened to O Deorain. Both names are probably derived from the
word deoradh, referring to an exile.
Scribes and church officials, lacking today's standarized spelling rules,
recorded names by how they were pronounced. This imprecise guide often led to
the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several
different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname O Doran are
preserved in documents of the family history. The various spellings of the name
that were found include Doran, Dorran, O'Doran, O'Deorain, Dorain, Doron and
First found in Leix, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
Ireland saw an enormous decrease in its population in the 19th century due to
immigration and death. This pattern of immigration began slowly in the late 18th
century and gradually grew throughout the early portion of the 19th century.
However, a dramatic increase in the country's immigration numbers occurred when
the Great Potato Famine struck in the 1840s. The early immigrants to North
America were primarily destined to be farmers tending to their own plot of land,
those that came later initially settled within pre-established urban centers.
These urban immigrants provided the cheap labor that the fast developing United
States and soon to be Canada required. Regardless of their new lifestyle in
North America, the Irish immigrants to the United States and Canada made
invaluable contributions to their newly adopted societies. An investigation of
immigrant and passenger lists revealed many O Dorans: Bernard, Bridget, Daniel,
Francis, Hugh, James, John, Martin, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Robert, Thomas, and
William Doran, arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865..
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