Fallon Surname Genealogy
surname Fallon or O’Fallon derived from the Gaelic clan name O’Fallanhain, meaning “governor” or
“supremacy.” Some have maintained that
Fallon was originally pronounced with a long “a” as in “fall.”
Fallon Resources on
Early O’Fallon clan
dates back to the 12th century and their affiliation with the larger
O’Connor clan in Connacht. They were
initially to be found in county Westmeath before being driven across
Shannon river into Roscommon. John O’Dugan, the 14th century
poet, recorded them as the chiefs of clan Uadach.
family seat was at Milltown in Dysart parish where the ruins of the
castle can still be seen. The castle was
in place in 1425 and remained a functioning castle until the early
1600’s. The last known clan chief there
O’Fallon, although Edmond O’Fallon was also mentioned at that time as a
or prosperous merchant of Milltown.
The O’Fallons did remain substantial
landowners in the area until well into the 19th century.
A branch of the family lived at Ballina and
Cloonagh in nearby Taghboy parish. Their
numbers in the 18th century included the Rev. James O’Fallon, the
Elphin, and Malachy Fallon who had a
reputation for dueling.
were also in Galway. Anthony Fallon was
a Catholic in Galway Town who had his property confiscated in 1657. Later a line of Roscommon Fallons moved into
eastern Galway. Edmund Fallon was
granted land in the neighborhood of Ballinasloe in the 1670’s. His family made their home at Runnamoat. They came into possession of Netterville
Lodge through marriage in 1865.
America. Two Irish-born Fallons made their mark on
19th century America as it expanded from its original eastern borders:
first was Dr. James O’Fallon,
a surgeon during
the Revolutionary War, together with his sons John and Benjamin.
the second was Thomas Fallon who had
immigrated with his parents to Canada in the 1830’s.
O’Fallon made his
home in Louisville, Kentucky after the war.
elder son John moved to St. Louis where he
was an army contractor and became, it was said, the wealthiest man in
St. Louis. The younger son Benjamin made
his name as an
Indian agent, working with tribes along the Upper Missouri river. Fallon county in Montana was named after him.
Thomas Fallon was one of
the early adventurers of the American West, first in Texas and then in
California. Raising a small group of
volunteers, he crossed the Santa Cruz mountains in 1846 and captured
of San Jose. The Fallon House, built
there in 1855, stands as a museum today.
The Fallon Building in San
Francisco, completed in 1894 and surviving the earthquake, had
commissioned by his wife Carmel Fallon.
The peak years for Fallon immigration came around the 1850’s. Celia Fallon came to New York with her seven
children in 1847 from Roscommon after her husband had died. They eventually settled in Minnesota. Their story was recounted in Cecil Fallon’s
1968 book The Fallon Family Tree.
who came about that time were:
Fallon from Roscommon who came to Boston in
1849 and, four years later, made the voyage via Panama to San Francisco. He settled at a ranch in Marin county.
James Fallon, also from Roscommon, who came in 1852 and made his home
Hoboken, New Jersey. He fought in the
Civil War with the Irish Rifles.
Galway who came in the early 1870’s and eventually made his home in
Brooklyn. A descendant here is the talk
show host Jimmy Fallon.
Fallons made their way to England in the 19th
century, with Liverpool being often the entry point. One
family from Sligo lived a gypsy life in
horse-drawn caravans in the north of England.
gypsy community still talk of
Elizabeth Fallon, known as “Lady Pink,” who decked her caravan in pink
and was renowned as a fortune-teller and wise woman.”
Martin Fallon, a surgeon, moved from
Dublin to Scotland after World
War Two. His son is the UK Cabinet
minister Michael Fallon.
Canada. Dominic Fallon had immigrated
Ontario from county Leitrim in the 1850’s.
His oldest son Michael was the Catholic Bishop of London,
1909 until his death in 1931. He was
known for his passionate support for the British Empire.
Another Irish arrival was Luke
Fallon from Westmeath who served in the British army and then came to Newfoundland in 1849. He was appointed the Head Constable at
Harbour Grace in 1861. Later Fallons of
this family were to be found in New Brunswick and in New England.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
a 20th century Irish poet and playwright from Athenry in county Galway.
from county Clare has been British champion jockey
six times. He is widely considered the greatest flat jockey of
and perhaps one of the greatest ever.
Fallon is an American late-night talk show host who heads up NBC’s Tonight show.
Select Fallons Today
- 5,000 in the UK (most numerous
in West Midlands)
- 5,000 in America (most numerous in New York)
- 7,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Ireland)
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