Origin of the Name Tolan
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Tolan
include Toland, Toolan, Toal, O'Tohill, Tohill, Toohill, Twohill and Towell. These names are derived from the O'Tuathlail and O'Tuathalain septs and are akin to the Gaelic name that gives O'Toole, this name meaning 'people mighty'. This sept came from Ulster.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. Irish septs and clans that are related often belong to even larger groups, sometimes called tribes.
Their homeland was the Barony of Tirhugh in County Donegal. They migrated to County Mayo, like many other families who followed the O'Donnells, but some still remained as proved by the Hearth Money Rolls of 1665. They appear in the Book of Lecan as Cenel Tulan. In the year 1306 a Petrus O'Tuathalain was recorded as being the Vicar of Killaspugbrone, in the Barony of Carbury. In modern times the name Tolan is mostly found in Counties Donegal and Mayo. In Achill the form Thulis is found.
The Tolan coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Tolan descendants.