genealogies of the families
(O)CURRAN The surname Curran is numerous and widespread in Ireland, equally in all the four provinces to-day. Referring to the distribution of this name in the seventeenth century it is of interest to note that it is one of the most numerous in the Co. Tipperary Hearth Money Rolls of 1665-7 with 73 householders. The census of 1659 reveals that it was then chiefly found in Co. Waterford and thence northwards towards Kildare, and also in Kerry and in Leitrim. King's analysis of the 1901 census for Co. Kerry indicates that there were then 142 families of Curran or Currane in that county. Curran is the usual form, but Currane is more usual in Kerry.
Kirrane and Curreen are other modern synonyms. There was a sept of the Ui Maine called Ó Curran of the same stock as the O'Maddens, one of whom Simon O'Currin, O.P. (d. 1302), was Bishop of Kilfenora. James O'Corren was Bishop of Killaloe from 1526 to 1546. Of the south Leinster sept was Andrew O'Curran, O.S.B., who, after an interesting case of dispensation by the Pope, was appointed Prior of Glascarrig in 1411. The Leitrim Currans were a bardic family. There are few names as numerous as Curran about the background of which so little is recorded. Reference is made to this name in the article on Crean (q. v.)
The oustanding historical personage of the name, John Philpot Curran (1750-1817), orator and patriot, needs no description. He was born in Co. Cork. His daughter Sarah Curran (1781-1808), a romantic and tragic figure, was engaged to be married to Robert Emmet
Source:Irish Families by Edward MacLysaght MA, D Litt, MRIA - Irish Academic Press 1991