The family surname Whelan is an anglicisation of the Irish surname, ? Faol?in. The surname originates from the Middle Irish '?a Fael?in' the name of the 10th to 11th century ruling dynasy of the D?isi, a population group inhabiting the area of the modern county of Waterford and south county Tipperary in the early medieval period. The word "faol?n" is derived from the Old Irish word "fael?n" meaning a small wolf.
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the phelanfamily.org has all our info - we are all descendents of Catherine Treacy and Patrick Phelan who came to NYC in the early 1900s. His father and mother were Michael and Anne Phelan from Gortnahoe in Tipperary Catherine Treacy was from Thurles