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IRISH Surnames - Origins etc.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


AnnCardiff Report 6 Jul 2011 00:02

Last name: Finnigan
This interesting surname is of Irish origin, and is an Anglicization of the Gaelic "O' Fionnagain", meaning the descendant(s) of Fionnagan, an Old Irish personal name derived from the word "fionn", white, fairheaded. There are two distinct septs of this name; one was located on the border of Counties Galway and Roscommon, and the other was located in Oriel, which covered Counties Armagh, Monaghan and parts of South Down, Louth and Fermanagh, and was known originally as "Orghiall". However, Finnigan or Finnegan has the same source as the surname Finn, which means that Finnigan could be a diminutive of Finn; the first recording (see below) is from this source. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", meaning "grandson or male descendant of", or "Mac", denoting "son of". Today the name is seldom found with the prefix "O", and it is mainly found in County Cavan and adjacent counties, with a fair proportion in south Connacht; the surname is also well recorded in South Munster. The name is familiar because of the novel "Finnegans Wake", written by James Joyce in 1939. Among the recordings from Irish Church Registers is the baptism of Barnard, son of Patrick Finnigan and Rose Blynn, in 1827, in County Sligo. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reverend John O' Finn, which was dated 1369, recorded at Granard, County Longford, Ireland, during the reign of William de Windsor, Governor of Ireland, 1369. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Ann Report 6 Jul 2011 11:26

Hi Ann
Thank you very much


Rowena Report 8 Oct 2012 22:15

Hi teresa would be grateful iff ya could look up Corley for me my nans maiden name she was from Galway
all the best Tina

karen in the new forest

karen in the new forest Report 9 Oct 2012 09:08

molloy please they were from clones

sorry just reread the thread you already posted this surname xx


AnnCardiff Report 13 Oct 2012 20:20

sorry for delay - been on holiday!!!

Last name: Corley
This most interesting name with variant spellings Kerley, Turley, Terry and McTerrelly, found particularly in the counties of Galway and Roscommon, is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name "Mac Thoirdealbhoigh". This is composed of the Gaelic prefix "mac", meaning "son of", and the personal name "Toridhealbhach", having as its first element the Scandinavian name "Thor" (God of Thunder) and the second element "dealbhach", "in the shape of". The name has also been Anglicized as "Terence" and "Terry". In the 1750 Census of Ireland, both MacTerlagh and MacTurlough, appear among the principal Irish names in County Limerick. The places Ballymacurley and Curleys Islands are both found in Roscommon, thus emphasising the connection of the name with that area. The name is also recorded in London Church Registers on October 21st 1621 when Sara Curley was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. At St. Peters, Drogheda, Louth, Gerald Curley married Mary White on February 5th 1748. Nicolas Curley aged 24 yrs., a labourer was one of the many Irish immigrants who left Ireland for New York, aboard the "Tassie", which departed from Galway on June 8th 1874. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Syslay Kerley which was dated February 18th 1569, who was christened at St. Andrew, Holborn, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Huia Report 15 Oct 2012 08:47

I would be interested to know if there were any people with the surname BETTANY in Ireland in c1725.


Maureen Report 12 Jan 2013 16:14

need to find hannah ahern, b cork 1822-7 married in england to charles rowe


Maureen Report 12 Jan 2013 19:33

Hi THere please would you help an ole lady. looking for Hannah or anna AHern b 1822 Cork ireland m Charles Rowe b 1822 St Albans herts, only info 1871 cencus surrey , cannot get any further with both surnames!! many thaks maureen.


Maureen Report 12 Jan 2013 19:35

sorry have i posted it the wrong place again Maureen!!!!


AnnCardiff Report 12 Jan 2013 19:53

not to worry - have another go!!!


ann Report 29 May 2013 23:37

can anyone tell me anything about stephens family . william stephens from meath married catherine fitzpatrick from kildare about 1830s


Renes Report 14 Jun 2013 08:05

Nudge nudge


Peter Report 19 Aug 2013 14:57

My Irish family is BARDIN & DAVIS even though they don't sound very Irish to me. The Bardin's are from Dublin and the Davis's from Donabate north Dublin


AnnCardiff Report 21 Aug 2013 22:30

this thread is just for origins of Irish surnames = if you want help with your tree, make a posting on Find Ancestors


Yvonne Report 18 Sep 2013 13:54

Do you have any information on CANTON? My great grandmother was Marianne Josephine Canton, b. approx. 1862, possibly Mullingar, Westneath. She married my GGF, Edward Wadsworth, an organ builder from Lancashire in the late 1880s. He was widowed, and b. 1939, so approx. 23 years older than Marianne. I'm interested to know about Marianne's background, and how she might have met Edward. They had aspirations for their own daughters, whom they educated at St Paul's School, London, and both went on to university in the 1910s - unusual, surely, at that time.
Many thanks! Yvonne


Yvonne Report 18 Sep 2013 13:56

P.S. I've tried searching the name Canton in Ireland, but haven't really come up with anything - which makes me wonder if I've got the name right??!


AnnCardiff Report 18 Sep 2013 14:40

Yvonne - this thread is just for origins of Irish surnames - make a posting on Find Ancestors where you'll get lots of help


Elizabeth Report 29 Mar 2014 20:49


many thanks for your time Ann,


AnnCardiff Report 31 Mar 2014 11:42

Last name: McFarland
Recorded as MacFarlane, McFarlane, MacFarlan, McFarlan, MacFarland, MacFarlin, McParland, McParlin, and others, this is an ancient Scottish surname, and one that is also recorded in Ireland. It probably originates from the Gaelic MacPharlain, meaning "The son of Parlan", a form which apparently derives from "Bartholmew", a name introduced into Europe by the returning crusaders from the Holy land in the 12th century. However others claim that it may have a pre 7th century Viking origin and to translate as the "Sea-Wave", which is also possible. The name is first recorded in Scotland in the 14th Century, and an early example is that of Andrew McFarlane, who in 1577 was elected a Burgess of Glasgow. The development of the name has included Makfarlande in 1546, M'Farlen in 1603, and MacPharline in 1610. Examples taken from surviving church registers include Dugall McFarlane who married Helena Wallace at Cannongate, Edinburgh, on June 15th 1653, and Alexander McFarlan who was born on September 3rd 1730, also at Edinburgh. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Malcolm McPharlane. This was dated 1385, when he was a charter witness to Duncan, earl of Leuenax in 1385. This was during the reign of King Robert 11 of Scotland, 1371 - 1390. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Elizabeth Report 31 Mar 2014 20:34

Again Ann many thanks for your help!