My Sloan Connections

My Sloan Connections

By Michael W. Caughey

Annie Sloan is my wife's grandmother. She married John Morgan and died as a result of an accident at Millisle, Co. Down, Ireland. I wonder if her family came from about Rostrevour, Co. Down?


This name is not common in Ireland outside Ulster. Well over half the Sloans are in Co. Antrim and the name is common too in counties Armagh and Down. Though etymologically the name is Irish in origin, Sloans in Ulster can be of Irish or Scottish extraction.
O'Sloan is from the Gaelic O'Sluaghain, which is ultmately from the word 'sluagh', meaning a 'host' or 'army'. The O'Sloans were a sept of Co. Down and the name, also as Slowan, spread in the seventeenth century into Armagh. The west Ulster name O'Sluaghadhaigh was important in medieval times. It was anglicised as Slowey and Sloan. The sept of MacSluaghaidh was originally of Roslea and Adrumsee in Co. Fermanagh and in Monaghan their name was made Sloane, Slowey, Sloy and Molloy.
As Sloan, Sloane and Slowan, the name is common in the Scottish province of Galloway. There it was originally O'Sluaghain, of Irish origin, and was first recorded in 1504.
(Source 'The Book of Ulster Surnames').

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