Recorded in the spellings of Horan, and the dialectals Maren and Moron, this is an Irish surname of some antiquity, although this may not appear so from the recordings. It is an anglicized form of the pre 10th century Gaelic O' hOdrain. The prefix "O" indicates male descendant of, plus in this case the personal byname of Odhran. This is or was, from "Odhar", meaning dun-coloured, a name borne, according to legend, by St. Patrick's charioteer, who may have been of Southern European origin. The original O' hOdrain clan originated in County Galway from whence they spread to County Mayo, and the spelling as Horan with no prefix, is widespread throughout the Connacht province. The county Offaly name O' Haughran, from the early Gaelic O' hEachrain and meaning the "descendant of the horseman", is frequently written as Horan in the birth registers, although they are effectively from a different origin, but are now regarded as synonymous. Early examples of the surname recording include: on June 3rd 1834, Banly Horan and John Cavanagh, who were married at Portumna, County Galway, whilst Peter Horan, aged 30 yrs who embarked from Dublin on the "Wave" bound for New York on May 11th 1846, was a famine emigrant to that American city. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Moren, who married Martha Daniel. This was dated October 27th 1724, at the church of St. Peter and St. Kevin's, Dublin, during the reign of King George 1st of England, 1714 - 1727. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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