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Surname:  O'Halloran
Branch:  O'Halloran
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:  This family were, as the name implies, "importers" of Wine; and were lords of Clan Fergail, a district in which Galway town is situated and had their castle at Barna, close to the sea-side, about three miles west of Galway. The MS. Vol H. 2. 17, in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, states that "O'Halloran is the chief of the twenty-four townlands of Clan Fergail; and of these are the O'Antuiles and O'Fergus or Roscam." That statement refers to the twelfth century. These twenty-four townlands of Clan Fergail lay east of the river Gallimh (or "Galway"). The name "Clan Fergail" is now obsolete; but "Roscam", on which are the remains of a round-tower, is still well known. It lies about three miles S.E. of Galway. In the 13th century the O'Hallorans were dispossessed of their ancient inheritance of Clan Fergail, by the De Burgos; and were obliged to emigrate, with the O'Flahertys, to Iar (or West) Connaught, where they built the castle of O'Hery in Gnomore; and also, according to tradition, the castle of Rinvile in Northern Connemara. O'Flaherty, and his Ogygia, claims for the House of Clan Fergail the celebrated Saint Finbar of Cork. According to the Chronicles of the Wars of Thomond, at A.D. 1309, there was another family of the O'Hallorans in Thomond, descended from the stock of the O'Briens and other Dalcassians in Munster.

Motto:  Ripis rapax, rivis audax; On the banks rapacious, in the streams daring.
Arms:  Gu. a horse pass. ar. saddled and bridled ppr. on a chief of the second three mullets az.
Crest:  A lizard or.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

O'Halloran families may spring from two separate origins in Ireland. The first was of County Galway and they served as chiefs of Clann Fearghaile, a territory near Lough Corrib.

These O'Hallorans are given by O'Flahertys Ogygia, on the east side of the river Galway, near Lough Corrib. From this line was descended O'Halloran the historian. According to O'Hart, Clan Fergail territory included Galway city anciently, and the family held a castle at Barna, near the sea 3 miles west of Galway. They held 24 townlands east of the river "Gallimh" including, Roscam, about 3 miles S.E. of Galway. In the 13th century, along with Flahertys, there were driven into west Connaught where they built the castle of O'Hery in Gnomore, and according to tradition the castle of Rinvile, in northern Connemara. According to Hardiman, another O'Halloran family, of Munster, was also present in Thomand.

The Thomand family is found fairly close to the above O'Halloran family in Clare, in County Clare, near Lough Derg. This family has also branched out into Limerick.

Due to the close proximity of these two seperate families, specific origins in bordering areas may be difficult to figure out. Branches of both families are sure to be found in Limerick.

At the end of the last century (1800) O'Halloran was centered only in Limerick, and Halloran was found in Clare, Galway and Cork according to the birth index.

In 1659 Hallurane and O'Hallurane were the principle names of County Clare.

The Galway O'Halloran sept had their territory near Lough Corrib and retained their leading position in Iar-Connacht up until the end of the sixteenth century. The Clare sept were located in Ogonneloe, beside Lough Derg and here of the same origin as the MacNamaras of Thomond. This sept produced most of the notable bearers of the name. Sylvester O'Halloran, 1727-1807, was a surgeon, historian, antiquary and Irish language enthusiast and his borther Rev. Joseph Ignatius O'Halloran, S.J. 1718-1800, was professor of Philosophy at Bordeaux. The descendants of both septs are today numerous in Counties Clare and Galway.

Name Variations:  O'Halloran, O'Halleran, Halloran, Halleran, Halloroon, Hallorin, Hallurane, O'Hallurane, Allmbrain, Fergail, O'Antuiles, O'Fergus, Roscam, Fearghaile.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.
The Book of Irish Families Great and Small.
The Book of Irish Families Great & Small.

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