This very unusual surname is an Anglicized 18th Century form of the Old Irish "O'Glacain", a sept from Co. Donegal. The name translates as "the descendant of the son of Strong Grip", from the Gaelic "glac" meaning hand, fist, plus the diminutive "ain" (son) and "O" (descendant). The variant spelling forms include: Cloughan, Clehane, Clahane, Glackan, Glacken and Glackin, whilst recording examples are as follows: Charles Glackin, the son of John Glackin and (the former) Nancy McGinty, who was born at Cloghan, Co. Donegal, on June 17th 1864; and Dennis Glackin, son of William Glackin and (the former) Mary Doherty, who was born at Church Hill, Co. Donegal, on September 1st 1865. The Famine Records of 1846 - 1851 pre-date many Irish records, and these include: Michael Glacken, who sailed on the "Cornelia of Liverpool" to America on November 23rd 1846; whilst on April 8th 1847, Patrick Glackin, aged 26 yrs., a labourer, sailed on the "St. George", another "Coffin" ship from Liverpool. These ships collected 10.00 passengers at many points on the Irish Coast; several were lost at sea. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Owen Glackin, which was dated November 3rd 1846, sailed on the ship "Finland" for New York from Liverpool, during the reign of Queen Victoria, known as "The Great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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