The Clan/Sept History
All Irish surnames have a distinct meaning. The meaning behind the name O Horan
begins when the name originally appeared in Gaelic as O hOdhrain, which is
derived from the word odhar, which means dun-colored.
Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because
the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name
was spelt and in what language. Research into the name O Horan revealed many
variations, including Haren, Horan, Harhan, Haran, O'Horan, O'Hourahan,
O'Horahan, O'Haren, O'Harhan, O'Haran, O'Hanran and many more.
First found in county Galway, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
This distinguished tribe was descended from Eochy Moyvane who was the 124th
monarch of Ireland, and from whom was descended King Niall of the Nine Hostages.
King Niall was perhaps Ireland's greatest Commander King who was instrumental in
routing the Romans from the British Isles. This group of tribes were known as
the Septs of the Hy-Niall, and they were Chiefs of the territories in Ulster,
Meath and Connacht.
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish Families leaving Ireland for the
distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their
homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those
Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the
eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant
Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in
the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined
the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish
immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the
late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who
arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges,
and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United
Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents
indicate that members of the O Horan family relocated to North American shores
quite early: Edward Horan who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Michael, Eliza
and Michael Horan junior landed in Quebec in 1848; John, Michael and Simon Horan
settled in New York state between 1803 and 1811.
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