Recorded in several forms including Crennan, Crinion, Creenan, and formerly O'Creenan, this is an Irish surname. Its origins are obscure, but it is believed to derive from the ancient name of Gaelic origins O' Crionain. This translates literally as 'The descendant of the worn out one', but a more logical explanation would be the 'the old man' or perhaps even 'the ill man'. Many Irish surnames are what appears in the 20th century to have been originally a descriptive nickname for the chief of the clan or sept. For instance the name 'Kennedy' translates as 'ugly headed one', a description which hardly fits in with the romantic image portrayed by some American nameholders. What is certain is that this clan is mostly to be found in the counties of Kilkenny and Leix, and specifically the towns of Castlecomer and Abbeyleix. Nameholders are known to have suffered greatly in the famous or rather infamous Potato Famine of 1846 - 1848 when many died and others fled the country. Amongst these were Catherine Creenan, who left for America on the ship 'Burlington of Liverpool' on April 3rd 1847, whilst only a few days later Peter Crennan also left on the ship 'St Patrick of Liverpool', and also bound for New York, on April 9th 1847.
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