The Clan/Sept History
Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The
name O Scanlon originally appeared in Gaelic as O Scannlain or Mac Scannlain,
which are both derived from the word "scannal," which means "contention."
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the
surname O Scanlon were found. These included One reason for the many varations
is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it
sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Scanlan, O'Scannell,
O'Scanlan, O'Scanlon, MacScanlan, Scanlin and many more.
First found in county Louth.
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish Families made the long
journey to British North America and the United States. These people were
leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and
hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and
religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the
long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much
preseverence and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for
agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east;
the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction
or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less
frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom,
liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred
with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and
immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the O
Scanlon family in North America: Anne, Charles, Daniel, Denis, Edward, James,
John, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Thomas, Timothy and William Scanlan, who all
arrived in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1870.
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