The Clan/Sept History
The name O Halloran originally appeared in Gaelic as O hAllmhurain, which is
derived from the word allmhurach, which means pirate.
The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent
endeavor at best due to competing dialects and languages, and the general
illiteracy of the population. Research into the name O Halloran revealed many
spelling variations, including Halloran, O'Halloran, Haloran and others.
First found in counties of Clare and Galway, where they held a family seat from
very ancient times.
Many Irish Families did not fare so well within the English-ruled Ireland.
Besides racial and religious discrimination, many families were renting out
small tracts of farmland from absentee landowners at often unreasonable rates.
Beginning in the late 18th century, moderately well off Irish families decided
to emigrate to British North America or the United States in order to own their
own plot of land. A radical change occurred in the 1840s, however, with the
Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Up to this point, the island's population had
been increasing rapidly and a steady demand over the years for grain crops had
depleted soil. Two failed crops and one poor one caused widespread disease and
starvation. Thousands boarded ships looking for opportunities elsewhere. North
America welcomed them as a source of cheap labor required for the many
industrial and infrastructure projects underway, and as a means to quickly
occupy the western regions. Research into immigration and passenger ship lists
indicates that people bearing the name O Halloran were among the earliest
settlers to arrive in North America: Biddy, Ellen, Lawrence, Martin, Mathew and
Michael Halloran all arrived in Canada in 1847; William O'Halloran arrived in
Quebec in 1825; John, James, and Michael O'Halloran arrived in Philadelphia in
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