Saturday, February 19, 2011

Creedon - Surname Saturday

Creedon is an Irish surname and is seen most often in Country Cork, Ireland. There are many variations in spelling such as Creeden, Creedan, Credon, but in Ireland, the name is now almost always spelled as Creedon. The Irish spelling of the name is Críodáin (O'Críodáin or Mac Críodáin). The name has sometimes been abbreviated as Creed. My great-great-grandfather Timothy Creeden was born in 1846 in County Cork, Ireland and settled in Clinton County, Ohio by 1868 when he married Mary Ann Matson. My family continues to use the Creeden spelling.

The earliest origins of the name may have been in Northern Ireland. From the Book of Irish Families, Great & Small by Michael C. O'Laughlin: According to "Keatings History", the name is given to the chief of the parish of Magheramisk, in the barony of Massareene, in the province of Ulster.

A similar reference is in "Irish Pedigrees; or, the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation" by John O'Hart, Fifth Edition, 1892: Down and Part of Antrim, THE Chiefs and Clans of Ulidia, and the territories they possessed in the twelfth century, as collected from O'Dugan's Topography, are as follows:-- ... 9. O'Criodain (Credan, Creden, and Creed), chief of Machaire Maedhaidh, now the parish of "Magheramisk," in barony of Massarene.  

Crest displayed at the Creedon Hotel

From an article by Joe Creedon, owner of the Creedon Hotel: The name of O’Criodain (or possibly MacCriodain) seems to have derived from an eminent early Bishop called Cridan. He was buried in 638 AD on Island Mahee in Strangford Lough in nearby County Down.
See complete article here: Uibh Laoire Families - Creedons

There are several early references to Creedon harpers in the Fiants of Elizabeth.

From Joe Creedon: One court where they were welcomed was that of FitzGerald of Cloyne. He was a distinguished member of the family of the Earls of Desmond, who for some time lived at Castle Martyr Castle. In 1621 AD there were two Creedon Harpers at his court, Patrick and Jeremiah. One of the harps which they played survives to our time.

From "More Irish Families" by Edward MacLysaght:
"CREEDON, Creed, a West Cork name, is now called O'Criodain in Irish (i.-e. Tomas O Criadain the 19th century Gaelic-Irish scribe) but formerly and properly it was Mac Criodain... Creedon has been abbreviated to Creed to a considerable extent - even as early as 1659 when Francis Creed was a titulado in the parish of Kilquan, Co. Limberick.  About that time the name occurs as Mac Creed in the Irish army lists preserved in the Ormond manuscripts. Both Creed and Creedon appear in the marriage licence bonds of the diocese of Cork, Ross and Cloyne from 1682 and among the names of larger landowners in Co. Cork in 1878. In 1866 there were 40 Creedon, Creedan and Creeden births registered (37 in Co. Cork) while Creed was only 8, the figures for 1890 were Creedon 15 (all Co. Cork or near) Creed 9 (5 Co. cork). In the Macroom districts, where these names are most numerous, cases have been recorded of their synonymous use by one family in registering births."

The earliest Creedon reference I have seen in the US is for a Cornelius Creden, born in the 1750's in Massachusetts. He is listed as a wagoner in Soldiers and Sailors of the Rev. War. Comp. By Secy. Of the commonwealth, Ms. Boston. The earliest Catherine Creeden I have seen is from Record of Indentures of Individuals Bound Out as Apprentices, Servants, etc. City of Philadelphia, October 3, 1771 - October 5, 1773, where she was listed as an indentured servant.

As you can see, I've collected a few Creedon crests along the way. I wouldn't put too much stock in any of them being authentic, but they're fun to look at!

Questions on the origins of the name remain. Are the Creedons connected to the distinct Creed surname or was the name simply abbreviated to Creed? Another variation that occurs in early Ireland and the UK is Credan. Are they connected?  I would love to hear what other Creedon or Creed researchers think.


  1. Im a first cousin of Joe Creedon of the Creedon Hotel (Inshigeela, ?spelling, county cork). We have a huge family. Joe is fantastic, he keeps his hotel guests very well entertained in his pub singing and telling songs & craic (joking, having fun). I just adore him. I live in the usa, so I don't see him nearly enough. My uncle took me to a very old graveyard in west cork where all the creedon ancesters r buried. (Graveyard with statue of saint gobenas of the bees & a ruin of a building with a sheelanagig (ancient irish fertility doll) over one of the windows. Women still go there and do a ritual to help conceive (something like walking around the building backwards & standing jp in the window to touch the fertility icon. Ur relative above with the bowtie sure looks like a creedon to me.

  2. Katie, thanks for the comment. How interesting on the old graveyard! Visiting the Creedon Hotel is definitely on my list for when I go to Ireland. My relative with the bowtie is Charles Creeden, my great-grandfather. His father Timothy came over from Ireland, but I still don't know much about his exact origins.

  3. I too am of Creeden decent and have been trying to find out more about our history. I have record that my great-great-great grandfather was a Timothy Creeden from Ireland. However, he was born in 1802 and married Ellen W. also from Ireland. I cannot find out where in Ireland. They had my great-great grandfather, William Patrick Creeden, in Ross Co., Ohio. And my great grandfather, Ellsworth C. Creeden, was born in Darke Co., Ohio.
    I recieved most of this information from a cousin, and verbally from my grandmother. Do you perhaps know the names of other children your Timothy Creeden had?
    Thank you, and I enjoy your site!

    1. My Grandmother was Minnie May Creeden and had a brother named Ellsworth. William P and Mary C are buried in Pratt Ks.

  4. Hi,

    Always nice to hear from another Creeden and thanks for the comments on the site!

    Timothy's children were Patrick, James, Mary Elizabeth Fischer, Daniel, Dennis, Edward, Charles, Julia Dorothy Balleweg, Idabelle Stout, and Joshua.

    I have some more information on them in other articles on this blog and here:

    I'll send you an email with a bit more.


  5. I am a Creedon, born in Painesville, Ohio, which is Lake County, Ohio. I find the Creeden history in various areas of Ohio very interesting.

    I am headed to Ireland in late June and want to learn more about the family. Any suggestions?

    1. If you don't know a specific location, I'd visit the Macroom and surrounding areas in County Cork. A lot of Creedons originated from there. There is a Joe Creedon that runs Creedon's Hotel in Inchigeelagh and that would be worth a visit. Hope you have a great trip!

  6. My grandmother was a Creeden, Minnie May she was the oldest daughter of William P. and Mary C. Both are buried in Pratt, Ks. Minnie May married George James in Pratt shortly after Mary C. passed in 1911. My mother Lucille, she would go often to Sublette Ks to visit the Creeden relatives.

    1. Do you have any information on Minnie May's grandparents? I've been trying to figure out if William P. and Mary C. are the same ones that were married in Clinton County, Ohio in 1885. William may be the half brother of my 2x great-grandfather Timothy Creeden. Feel free to contact me if you want to exchange information!

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  8. I am a Creeden that lives in NY. I too have hit a wall in my family research. My Great Grandfather Jeremiah Creeden is the youngest son of Denis Creeden (born 1848 Co Cork) and Johanah Murphy (Born 1850 Ireland). Jeremiah is their only child bon in the USA. When my Great Great Grandparents came to the US, they lived in NYC. They eventually moved to upstate NY and settled in Rosendale, NY (died and buried there). They worked in New Paltz, NY but were not allowed to live there because they were catholic.

    I have searched for marriage/birth/baptismal records of my great great grandparents in Ireland but no luck so far. I have recently found FamilySearch, and hopefully will find a missing clue to piece it all together.

    I have followed your site for a little over a year now and always come back for updates. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Michael! I made some major breakthroughs with FamilySearch, so hope you have the same good luck.