This is one of the rarest and most unusual…

Last name: Creelman

This is one of the rarest and most unusual surnames that we have ever researched. It is of Gaelic origins, being recorded almost equally in West Scotland and across the Irish Sea in Ulster. It would seem to be at first glance job descriptive, but these type of names are rare in Gaelic records. The word ‘Creill’ has several meanings, including death and alarm, and it is just possible that the name is a nickname for an undertaker. However it is also possible that the name is both a derivation from the Gaelic MacCrilly, and a transposition, the ‘Mac’ becoming the suffix ending. What is certain is that the name is not recorded in any of the published records, or in the standard works on Gaelic surnames. From this omission by learned authorities it maybe deduced that the origin is in some considerable doubt. Amongst the early recordings are those of John Creelman, who was christened at Ballymoney, Co. Antrim on February 24th 1819, Hugh Creelman at Coleraine on May 5th 1846, and Robert Creelman, a farmer, who with his family left Scotland on the Adam Wright of Glasgow, bound for New York, On May 22nd 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew Creilman, which was dated April 3rd 1709, married Marrion Smith, at Glasgow, during the reign of Queen Anne, known as ‘The Last Stuart Monarch’, 1702 – 1714. 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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