The Irish clan of this name was founded in the eleventh century by Ausalan Buoy O'Kayn, a chief of a branch of the O'Kanes of County Derry. The Gaelic Mac Ausalain, is a form of the given name of Absolom. It was a baptismal name 'the son of Absolam' a popular font name in the 13th century. Early records of the name ABSALOM (11th century BC) the third and most favourite son of King David of Israel in the Old Testament. He was a handsome and vain young man, and rebelled against his father, driving him from Jerusalem; but in an ensuing battle he was defeated, and as he was fleeing on a mule his hair was caught in the branch of an oak tree, leaving him dangling in the air, and he was despatched by Joab (II Samuel 18).
ABSALOM (1128-1201) was the Danish prelate and statesman, founder of the city of Copenhagen. He was appointed Bishop of Roskilde in 1158, and elected archbishop of Lund in 1177. As chief minister to Knut V1. he led an exhibition in 1184 that captured Macklenburg and Pomerania. The Irish prefixes of Mac (son of) and O (grandson or descendant of) gave rise at an early date, to a set of fixed hereditary names in which the literal patronymic meaning was lost or obscured. These surnames originally signified membership of a clan, but with the passage of time, the clan system became less distinct, and surnames came to identify membership of what is called a 'sept' of people all living in the same locality, all bearing the same surname, but not necessarily descended from a common ancestor. Adoption of the name by people who did not otherwise have a surname and by their dependents was not uncommon. Later, nicknames were in some cases to supersede the original clan names.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (McCasland). Registered at Newlandmuir, County Lanark. Granted in 1863.
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