Descended From An Irish King

Callahan coat of arms

Hello everyone and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I am a bit late posting this because we are getting our house ready for family to visit.  This week is our spring break!  With my last name being Callahan, I definitely have to post something about my Irish heritage.  I am very thankful and proud of my Irish ancestry and I think it’s really cool how my ancestors came over on the ships from County Cork, Ireland to Ellis Island in New York.  That’s how I ended up here in America, so praise God for my ancestors and their courage to come to a new land and make a new life!  I hope my family enjoys this too.  God bless you all!

The above photo is our family coat of arms.  That is the ancient Gaelic spelling of our name.  We are descended from Ceallachán who was the 10th century King of Munster. History records that he was even fair haired like me, which makes me smile.  The phrase “fidus et audax” means faithful and bold.  King Ceallachán was a brave warrior who defeated viking invaders.  He protected his people and the people loved him.  I pray I will be a faithful and bold warrior for Christ and live up to my family name!

“Callahan is a well-known Irish surname.  The Callahan name means descendant of Ceallachán.  He was the Eóganachta King of Munster from AD 935 until 954.  The personal name Cellach means ‘bright-headed.'”

My first name, Ryan, means “Little King” or “Little Ruler,” so Ryan Callahan is “bright-headed little king.”  I love history and ancestral meanings, but just to be clear, I’m no king and any crown I have I lay down at the feet of Jesus.

King Cellachan Castle
King Ceallachán’s Castle

When my ancestors came over to America in the 1800s there was a lot of hatred against the Irish.  Most of them became laborers or farmers and many lived in the New York City ghettos alongside the African Americans.  They experienced bigotry and discrimination, but they were tough hardworking people that never gave up.  My direct ancestors ended up settling in Illinois because they were impressed by the fantastic soil for farming.

“Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Callahan.”

Ireland map

County Cork
County Cork, Ireland

County Cork 2

County Cork 3

County Cork 4

There are many famous members of the Callahan clan throughout history and they seem to really like to use our name in Hollywood movies a lot.  I have always been interested in my family history and I hope to visit Ireland someday!  My Uncle and Aunt visited several times.  What a beautiful country!

It is said that St. Patrick used the clover leaf to share the Gospel and explain the trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Patrick was a brave man who shared the Gospel fearlessly under threat of persecution and death by the Irish druids.  It is a blessing to celebrate how the Lord advanced the Gospel through Patrick and my Irish heritage on this day!  I can think of no better way to celebrate both than by sharing the Gospel with you!  The Gospel is simply this: Your soul can only be saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.  That’s it!  It is a beautiful and powerful message and gift of love from God and it must be received by faith!

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus promising eternal life in John 3:16

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

St Patricks Day 2019

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all!  Even if you are not of Irish lineage, you can still celebrate the courage and love to share Jesus with the world!

Grace and peace to you all from the Callahan clan of Colorado!

Old Irish Blessing

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6






Author: Ryan Callahan

Hello, and welcome to my site! I am an independent Christian author (One Man's Very Strange Supernatural Life), blogger, and evangelist for Jesus. My main goal with this blog is to help people come to know Jesus, help people understand the Bible, and to minister to a lost and hurting world. This site is about hope, new beginnings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love! I'm glad you are here, God bless you! Copyright © 2023 Ryan Callahan. All rights reserved.

36 thoughts on “Descended From An Irish King”

  1. That was very cool to read, Ryan. I will send you what I have on the Callahan member who came to America. HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY. I did not know about the 3 leaf clover, I like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy St Patrick’s Day!!My family on my dad’s side also immigrated from Ireland. Our Gaelic last name is O’Corbain. We also came through Ellis Island but we settled in Indiana. ☺
    This July we are blessed to take our family on an 11 day trip to Scotland and Ireland.
    We were planning to go to summers ago but my husband was in a car accident 10 days before we were to leave. He had a concussion so we couldn’t fly.
    Praise God he is better now so we can go. ☺
    Thanks for sharing your families history!
    God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Me too. We even have some Seneca Native American in us because a German ancestor on my Mom’s side came to America and ended up marrying a Seneca Princess. I like that I have Native American blood in me too. 😊 God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ryan, thanks for sharing the details about your Irish ancestry. Somewhere I have a bit of Irish from my mother’s side. Ironically, I have even more Danish lineage. Perhaps your Irish ancestors defeated the Vikings who may have some relationship to me (doubtful, both fun to think about).
    I satisfied my bit of Irish blood while watching the film, “The Quiet Man” last night. The John Ford directed film was set in Ireland with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hare in the cast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, great movie! I love old John Wayne movies! A favorite Irish film of mine is a comedy called “Waking Ned Devine.” It is hilarious. That’s cool about your family history. Interesting about the Vikings. My Mom’s side is German. God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was such an awesome post! I loved hearing about the Irish family history! I have Irish roots on my paternal grandmother’s side. Both her parents were of the Irish descent. Her dad was a Pridgen and mother’s maiden was Fagan. It’s my dream to visit Ireland some day! And I would love to research my family history. Maybe someday! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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