Spelling Variants:

The approved original Irish spelling of Boylan is Ó Baoighealláin - prounced oh Bay-ill-awe-in (say it quickly and it's not so bad!!). The correct irish spelling of Boylan in Skerries is O'Baoilean. This is pronounced o'B-whale-On. Baylon is a spelling that sounds very close to the original Irish pronunciation in Dromin.There are still members of the Boylan clan in Ireland that spell their name Baylon.

The letter y is not known in the Irish language. In relation to the anglisization of Irish family names, our consultant advises that most Irish family names were anglisized during the Tudor and Elizabethan years of the 16th century. It may have been a case of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" as having a name which was easily pronounced by the British colonising powers would have made life and trade much easier for the local Irish people.  Over time the spelling was shortend to O'Baoilean and the English y was introduced. In the 1800s the spelling Boyland was popular and still is used today (see census). The modern spelling is Boylan. 

Possible spelling corruptions like Ó'Baolláin, OBoleyn, Boleyn, Boylen and Baylon are being researched. Your data is welcome.

What is the Irish spelling of Boylling, Bolling, Boling and Bowling?

According to the annals of MacLysaght, the Boyle (Ó' Baoighill) and Boland (Ó'Beolláin) Clans are in fact separate septs / clans and unrelated to the Boylans. It is assumed that DNA tests will verify this.

The original meaning of the name Ó Baoighealláin:

The Hedgelock Boylans lore had it that Ó Baoighealláin means son of potato field owner in Irish. Margaret Boylen (spellt with an e) emailed to say that her family has indeed farmed potatos in Nova Scotia for 6 generations!

The Website Irish Surnames claims that the native Gaelic Ó Baoighealláin translates to English as 'pledge'. The Irish for pledge is geall as inÓ Baoighealláin (but it is also the Irish for hostage).

How to become a Boylan:

1. You can be born with one of the spellings

2. You can marry a real Boylan and thus join our clan

3. You can even simply be creative and adopt the name (voluntarily or not...) or be adopted by a Boylan.

Here are some actual and interesting examples of persons becoming Boylans:

Christopher Thomas Boyland wrote that according to family legend his great grandfather lost his job for some reason and was forced to add a d making it Boyland in order to get his job back. Legend or true - it is a good story!

Col Steven A Boylan has another unique family name story: Steven A. Boylans great-grandparents emigrated to the USA via Ellis Island from Austria. As far as family folklore goes, the family name was originally Berlin, but with Gramps thick Austrian  (Governator-like) accent, the immigration official on Ellis Island (who perhaps was of Irish descent) simply converted the name from Berlin to Boylan. Welcome to the Clan Col. Boylan!

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