I come here in for some intelligent feedback. My name is Chris Felan. I proudly served 5 years honorably in the U.S. Marines and fought in Iraqi Freedom. Iím 24 years old and I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX. My father was born in Plainview, TX (due to the cotton picking seasons I guess). I work for a Japanese company called Nikon Precision, Inc. We do a lot of semiconductor lithography work for Intel. I have relocated to the Phoenix area but was born and raised a Texas boy.
I had to go to Dublin last year for work and saw our family crest http://www.araltas.com/features/whelan/whelan.jpg for sale at the gift shop in St. Patrick's Cathedral. It actually started out as O'Felan which is Gaelic for small wolf and our family lived in Waterford, Ireland. http://www.libraryireland.com/Pedigrees1/Ormond.php I was impressed. I have always considered myself an Hispanic. I teased my friend who goes by the last name of Deaton, who was so excited to be in "his" homeland that I found mine but we couldn't find his! I mean I am an Hispanic CORRECTION a Tejano after all. I am a patriotic American and have never felt like the people of our family just came over to Texas but maybe the border jumped over them. It was called Coahuila-Texas after all while under Mexican rule. That is the same state that Pierdras Negras is in. My father has extended cousins in that town by the name of Lechler. It use to embarrass me that we didn't have a typical Hispanic last name. But in the last 5 years I've embraced it. I love its unique story. Just the other day I found a copy of a ship's manifest dated 17 May 1880 for passage from Liverpool England to New York Harbour and it had 4 Felans on board! Probably by way of Waterford it says their nationality is Irish not British. http://www.immigrantships.net/v2/1800v2/richmondco18800517_1.html
And these names are actually Felan! Not Phelan or Whelan but Felan. The stories of author Michael Hogan intrigue me but I have not read them yet. LINK: www.geocities.com/drmichaelhogan Also if they were anything like me and my brother (both of us served, Dad did too) maybe one of our ancestors had that fighting spirit and was in the St. Patrick's Battalion. Maybe he was an immigrant in the north east like New York or Boston and joined the army and once war with Mexico started he could've been persuaded to behave like a good Catholic and fight for the Mexican side. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Patrick%27s_Battalion Or they could have arrived in South Texas 20 years earlier straight from Waterford, Ireland and just settled in an area nearby my hometown. Corpus Christi used to be in San Patricio County which also borders Refugio County. Could one of my ancestors have been in the land grants given to Irish Catholics in the 1820's? http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/irishmcmullen.htm OR http://ireland.org/irl_hist/hist7.htm By the way, the popular Mexican last name Obregon is actually a San Patricio last name of OíBrien. Do I claim to know it all? Absolutely not! I am just showing you that we are in a demographic that time has long since forgotten.
I think that I may have pieced together a good bit of possible theories as to the origin of Hispanic no, no Tejano Felans in the USA but I'm not exactly one hundred percent sure. The Hispanic populace I grew up with needs to embrace this unkown demographic alot more. Did you know that in Phoenix, AZ they have a San Patricio Society? http://www.hispanicmagazine.com/2001/mar/Panorama/irish.htmlWhere is ours in South Texas? We, the Felans and the Obregons and Oconor's and Lechlers have more of a right to celebrate this and should be proud of the date of September 12th!!! http://www.vivasancarlos.com/patrick.html We the Tejano Felans who are veterans and Catholic should be celebrating St. Patrickís Day AND Cinco De Mayo AND the Fourth of July with a great zeal for religion, culture and patriotism. And frankly I donít see nothing wrong with that. Iíll just go on being who I am.
Check out the movie "One Man's Hero" it's a pretty good flick. Also if you're interested pick up the book at Barnes and Noble called "Journey of Hope: A story of Irish immigration to America". In the back is a fold out map of old Ireland showing all different kinds of last names to help people find their roots and look in County Waterford. You'll find it plain as day the names of Felan, Phelan, Whelan and O'brien.
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