This name with variant spellings O'Ruane, O'Rowane, (O)'Roan, Ro(u)ane, Rewan, Royan, Raun and Roon, is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname "Ruadhan", a diminutive of "ruadh" meaning "red" and originally given as a nickname to someone with red hair or a ruddy complexion. Branches of this Clan established themselves throughout the provinces of Munster, Leinster and Connacht. On June 10th 1584, one Moriertagh O'Rowane of Ballinvalle, Co.Wexford witnessed a pardon. The Annals of the Four Masters, refers to the Rowans as "People of property and importance in the Barony of Gallen, Co. Mayo" whilst the Connacht branch produced several distinguished ecclesiastics including seven Bishops of the province. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Felix O' Ruadhain, Archbishop of Tuam, County Galway, which was dated 1215, He attended the Lateran Council in Rome as an Irish Prelate, during the reign of King Cathal "Craobhdearg "(Red Hand) - High King of Ireland, 1198 - 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.1224.
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