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By David Ring


The Irish name Kissane used in County Kerry is an Anglicization of O' Ciosain. Essentially now a Munster name, it was transformed to Cashman in County Cork and Kissane in County Kerry. Father Woulfe, and early expert on names, suggests that the O' Ciosain sept originated in Ui Maine in County Galway and moved South from there.
In Dublin's Royal Irish Academy, there are accounts of O' Ciosains who were scribes and writers of Irish tales and tracts on Irish grammar.
In the 1930s, John Kissane, writing as Sean O' Ciosain, translated the Vicar of Wakefield and other classics into Irish. Around this same period, the Reverend Edward Joseph Kissane was writing bible commentaries. (The Dictionary of Irish Surnames, Ida Grehan.)
Other well known Kissane's include: Eamonn Kissane, a member of the Dail Eireann, first elected in 1932 as a Fianna Fail Representative, Erin Kissane, an internationally known business writer and editor, and Bill Kissane, a university professor and writer who has published many works on politics, civil wars, and particularly The Irish Civil War. Additionally, John Kissane owns a sheep farm on the Ring of Kerry that is dedicated to preserving the Irish heritage of mountain sheep.
In the United States, the Kissane's have been successful in many areas, particularly business and higher education. The majority of the Kissane's that came to the United States settled in New York and Illinois. Civil War records show that five Kissane's served in that conflict, four on the Union side and one Confederate.
The honor and great heritage of this family is proudly represented by our own Division 7 President Dan Kissane. Dan is truly the personification of the Kissane motto: "Nothing is difficult to the brave and the faithful."

David Ring
Irish Historian



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Copyright 2005 Ancient Order of Hibernians - Division 7 - East Islip NY
Last modified: 05/12/16

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