The Callan family and County Monaghan families are featured today.

This is one of the more neglected counties in Irish family research.
I'll try to give you an overview of some of its families and resources.

Most of what I will share with you today comes from the book
part of the 34 book set from the Irish Families Project I completed
a few year back. It is available at most major libraries if needed.

Most Numerous Families
Well, for starters, here are the most numerous families in
Monaghan in the 19th century, along with a few spelling variations:















Old Monaghan Families

Some of the old Irish families of Monaghan are given as :

O'Byrne; Boylan; McWard; Treanor; MacArdle-

MacArdell; MacGilmartin; Callan; McNany-McNeny;

Mc Gowan (Smith); Finnegan; Cassidy; McPhillip also

changed to Phillips. Settler names included Davidson;

Stewart; Buchanan; MacKenzie; Cameron; Walker;

Patterson; Sinclair; and McCutcheon.

The Census of 1659

The complete existing returns from the 'census' of 1659 are

given. This is also good for showing the methods of spelling

family names and place names at that time in history. This

census is organized by parish, townland and name of Tituladoe,

along with count of people, English and Irish. The full names of

tituladoes are given, such as Richard Blaney; Thomas Wyatt,

Nicholas, Owen, Mathew Boyd, John Thomas, John Forster...

and so on, and this is repeated for each barony. These

tituladoes are tied to specific townlands.

Principall Irish Names

Furthermore, at the end of this census there is a list of

'Principall Irish Names and Their Number', listing names as:

McArdell 20, O Boyle and Boyle 9, O Beggan 12, O Boylan 13,

O Brynan 9, and so on. It is important to note that the spellings

of place names and family names changed over time. The

researcher should be aware of minor changes in the spelling of

his name.

Coats of Arms and Genealogical Notes.

Arms connected in some way to the county, as taken from the

Irish Book of Arms are given. The original listings provide

specific locations for families, and clues for future research.

Among the families with rough sketches of coats of arms

included are: Blaney; Robert Cunninghame, Thomas Dawson

of Dawson's Grove; Fitzherbert of Shantonagh; Hall of

Rowantree house; Hamilton of Cornacassa; Kane of

Drumreaske; Leslie of Glasslough; Lewis of Inniskeen; Lucas-

Scudamore of Castle Shane; and Madden of Hilton Park....etc

P a r t Four

Families history notes from older works, including pedigrees of

Clancy of Dartry; MacKenna of Truagh; Kane of Drumreaske;

Duffy; Lawlor; and MacMahon of Drumgiston. A list of forfeiting

proprietors from the 17th century is included as well.

O'Callan, Mac Callen, Callan and more...

The name of O'Callan was a principal one of Monaghan, Callan a

principal name of Dublin, and McCallan a principal name of

Fermanagh in the census of 1659.

The many variant spelling groups for this name can complicate

research. For example, the name can be related to or confused

with names in the following variant spelling groups :

Callanan, Calhoun, Calnan, Caullin, Cawlin, Cohoon, Colins,

O’Cullane, and Quillan. DNA tests may be in order for many of

the Callan name !

Spelling may have changed

One member is researching Callan of Monaghan, which is

fortunate, as the name is traditionally linked there. The County

Monaghan Genealogy and Family History Notes book gives

further name choices. In the same barony the names of O’Callan

and McCallan are given in some numbers. Alongside those names

you also find O’Cullin and McCullin - all in the 17th century in

Monaghan. All these names could have been interchanged at any

later time in history.

Some Resources with the Name

We find over 70 resources for the name in the free master online

index at, including:

1) The Families of County Dublin, Ireland.

2) The Families of County Donegal, Ireland.

3) County books on Antrim; Mayo, Armagh; and Monaghan.

4) J. Callan in Irish Families on the California Trail

5) McCallan and Callan in County Fermanagh Genealogy notes

6) Callan in ‘The Scottish Macs’

7) O’Callan also found in the Annals of Ireland by the 4 Masters.

Message Board for Callan

If you are just beginning your search, you may want to look here:

Callan Message Board: Callan from Monaghan, Ireland

Thanks from the Irish Roots Cafe

That's it for today. You can hear more by listening to my

upcoming podcast on IrishCentral and at

on todays topic.


About the Author

Mike O’Laughlin

Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora, County Clare,

and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk, County Kerry. He also bears

Sullivan, Buckley, Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots.

A one of a kind resource, Mike is the most published author

his field, including books; newsletters; podcasts; and videos.

His books and publications are found at: