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IRISH Surnames - Origins etc.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


JMS Report 15 Jan 2009 23:54

May I add the following names
Tonnar (Toner)



Jacqueline Report 16 Jan 2009 02:04

Hi Teresa,
Can you look up the names Shields & Waterfield for me please.
Thank-you, Jackie.


Marcie Report 16 Jan 2009 08:33

hi teresa and ann
many thanks for your info, i,m am really stuck with the keegans cannot even find my mother in laws birth in 1915, so any info is a great help
regards marcie


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:14

if you read back through this thread Keegan has been done already

for anyone wanting the meaning of a surname all you have to do really is put "surname ---------------" in your search box and up will come pages of websites - really easy

Marcie - if you are looking for a particular person best do a posting on Trying to Find rather than on here



AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:16

Gaillie - if you go on to the MOrmon LDS website - which is free - and put in just one of the spellings of the surname, it will bring up all theothers too


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:43

Boys name to go with surname Keegan...? ? - Yahoo! Answers
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Keegan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
27 Oct 2008 ... This page or section lists people with the surname Keegan. If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, ... - 20k - Similar pages
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AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:45

Keegan Family: Surname Genealogy, Family History, Family Tre...
The definitive directory to Keegan Family: Surname Genealogy, Family History, Family Tree, Family Crest. - 35k - Similar pages


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:48

The name Bannon is widely scattered throughout the four provinces of Ireland, with more in Co. Tipperary and Co. Cavan. A distinct medieval sept of Ó Banáin was seated at Léim Uí Bhanáin (Leap Castle), in the barony of Clonlisk, the southern end of Co. Offaly close to Roscrea in Co. Tipperary. In 1659 Bannon is recorded as numerous in Clonlisk and in Lower Ormond, Co. Tipperary, where Petty's census enumerators (erroneously) equated Bannon with Bane. It may be noted that Matheson records Banane as well as the obvious Bane or Bawn as synonymous with White in several parts of the country. Bane is simply the Irish word bin, white. The Hearth Money Rolls of around the same date confirm the prevalence of the name Bannon in Co. Tipperary. The census enumerators also found many O'Banans in Co. Fermanagh. The pedigree of Muintir Bhanáin is among the Fermanagh pedigrees which occupy nearly 100 pages of Analecta. Hibernica No. 3. Of this sept, were Maelpatrick O'Banan, Bishop of Connor from 1152 to 1172, and Gelasius O'Banan, Abbot of Clones, who was Bishop of Clogher from 1316 to 1319. The Book of Lecan places Ó Banáin at Baile Ui Bhanáin, (Ballybannon), in the parish of Partry, on the western side of Lough Mask. In 1585 the Composition of Connacht found an O'Bannaghan posessed an estate at Rathmullen, Co. Sligo and in 1659 O' Bennaghan appears as one of the principal names in the barony of Tirerrill, Co. Sligo. This is possibly not a variant of Bannon but (Ó Beannacháin in mediaeval Irish manuscripts). Banim is believed to be a corrupt form of Bannon. It is made famous by the brothers Michael Banim (1796-1865) and John Banim (1798-1842), novelists who born in Kilkenny and were presumably of the above sept. De Burgh's Landowners of Ireland (1878) includes the large and valuable estate of Bannon of Broughill Castle, near Kilcormac, Co. Offaly.

Behan is the usual spelling of the anglicized form of Ó Beacháin an older form of which is Ó Beacáin; Beahan, Beaghan and even Bean are variants. In Co. Kerry the Munster tendency to emphasize the last syllable has made it Behane there, (pronounced Behaan). It is only during the last two centuries that representatives of this Leinster sept settled in Kerry, though one of them is found at the mouth of the Shannon, that is Hugh O'Beaghan, who was Bishop of lniscathy in 1188, before that small see was united to Limerick. Another notable ecclesiastic, the Franciscan Donat or Daniel Beaghan, also called O'Behechan (d.1541) was Bishop of Kildare at the beginning of the troubles which arose from the attempt to impose the Reformation on Ireland. His diocese was near the homeland of the O'Behans, which covered a considerable area of the country lying at the juncture of Counties Kildare, Offaly and Leix. The O'Behans were notable principally as a literary family, two of whom were thought worthy of mention in the Annals of Loc the Four Masters etc. as "eminent historians," viz. Conor O'Behan (d.1376) and Donal O'Behan (d. 1411). Brendan Behan was a very successful playwright of today. Very few present day representatives of this sept have resumed the prefix O which properly goes with the name.

The form Mergin (O'Merriggyn in the sixteenth century Chancery Rolls) used by some families in Leinster, is a more correct anglicization of the Gaelic O hAimherigin than the usual Bergin. Vergin would be phonetically more accurate than either, which are equally near to the Irish in sound, both B and M when aspirated become V. By the end of the fifteenth century the B form had become generally accepted in English and Latin, as the records relating to the diocese of Ossory prove. O'Bergyn is given as the English form as early as 1314, in the official report in Latin of a court case in Waterford. The sept has been placed in the barony of Geashill, Co. Offaly: it has always been associated with the Leix-Offaly area over which they spread from their original Geashill territory. Both now and in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Leix had been their principal homeland. They were sometimes called MacBergin in English: Father Thady MacBergin several times prior of Lorrha on the border of Co. Offaly, is an example of this. The most noteworthy of the many ecclesiastics of the name was the Cistercian abbot Luke Bergin, one of the many Catholic martyrs under the Cromwellian regime, was hung in 1655. Professor Osborn Bergin (I 872-1950) of University College, Dublin, and later of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, was a Celtic scholar of the first rank. There is one case recorded of a family of Bergins in Co. Offaly assuming the non-Gaelic and aristocratic sounding surname of Burgoype.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:48

The name Bracken was more numerous in the seventeenth century than it is today; it appears in the "census" of 1659 among the commoner Irish names in four baronies, three in Co. Offaly and the fourth, barony of Offaly, in Co. Kildare; and all the references in the Fiants of the previous century in which the name O'Brackane or variants occur relate to the same part of the country, where families of the name are still mainly found. In Irish the name is Ó Breacáin and is derived from the word breac, speckled. Benedict O'Breacan was Bishop of Achonry from 1286 to 1312. Thomas Bracken (I 843-1898), of Clones, emigrated from Ireland to Australia as a boy and after some years there became a prominent public figure in New Zealand as member of parliament and poet. The career of Brendan Bracken, 1st Viscount Bracken, (1901-1958) is said to have begun when at the age of 15 he ran away from school at the Jesuit College of Mungret, Co. Limerick; it ended as a financial magnate and cabinet minister in the British government.

In 1603 Henry, Hugh and Thomas Bambrick were among a number of Irishmen of Co. Leix obtaining "pardons". In 1641 and the three following years four soldiers of the name are in the Irish army lists preserved in the Ormond Manuscripts. In 1659 two men called Bambrick are listed in the "census" of that date as tituladoes in Co. Leix. and as these have the same Christian names (Henry and John) as two of the said soldiers it is not improbable that these soldiers are also Leix Bambricks. Two centuries later we find sixteen householders in Griffith's Valuation for that county (eleven of these in the barony of Slievemargy) and in Co. Kilkenny; three more are in the Tithe Applotment Books of the 1820's. They were located in the part of Leix which is close to counties Kilkenny and Kildare. Notwithstanding the fact that they were still fairly numerous a century ago the name is very rare now in Co. Leix and the other midland counties, but it is quite well represented in the city of Dublin.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:49

Bogue and Bowe are anglicized forms of the Gaelic Ó Buadhaigh, probably derived from the adjective buadhach, victorious. Bogue is usual in Co. Cork and Bowe in the midland counties. The sept was located in the Corca Laoidhe country (south-west Cork). The "census" of 1659 shows the extent to which the name was both numerous and scattered in the seventeenth century. In the returns of the principal Irish names, in addition to Buoige and O'Buoige in the part of Co. Cork, the "census" of 1659 gives: Buo, Co. Waterford (barony of Upperthird); Boe and O'Boe, Co. Kilkenny (baronies of Galmoy, Gowran and Crannagh) and Co. Wexford; Bowe and O'Bowe, Co. Leix. In the Tipperary Hearth Money Rolls of around the same date 40 families of Bowe are included in various parts of the county. In the Chancery Rolls for 1547 we find Thady Boee recorded as a cleric in the diocese of Limerick. In none of the records consulted does Co. Fermanagh appear, though nineteenth century birth registration returns indicate that Bogue is mainly found in that county; and the same authority shows that the principal location of Bowe is Co. Kilkenny. There were many other variants of the name in English besides those mentioned, e.g. Donough O'Bough, a Co. Cork witness in 1621; a Dermot O'Bowige, a Donough O'Boughaie and a Walter O'Boo show the variety of spelling used in the Fiants recording the names of men who received Elizabethan pardons. Ó Buadhaigh has also been anglicized Boyce, a surname fairly common in north-west Ulster (Donegal and Derry). Boyce, also an English name of Norman origin, is derived from bois, a wood, some of todays Irish Boyces are descended from English settlers: they appear as such at least as far back as the fourteenth century, when they were to be found both in Co. Meath and in Co. Limerick (at first under the name de Boys) down to the time of the Cromwellian settlement when Joyn Boyce, an "adventurer" obtained 360 acres in the barony of Iffa and Offa, Co. Tipperary, and Henry Boyse, a London tallow-chandler, and a large subscriber for lands. There is a Boystown in Co. Meath; and Boys of Gallgath, mentioned in the Meath muster of 1586 as one of the chief men of the barony of Deece, was also of Anglo-Norman stock. The Boyces of Donegal and Derry are for the most part of Gaelic-Irish origin. It is noteworthy, that Buie and Bwee, which are normally phonetic spellings of the adjective buidhe (yellow) are used in Donegal as synonyms of Boyce. Boy was the usual equivalent in sixteenth century English of buidhe as an epithet or agnomen, e.g. Sorley Boy. The use of Boy as an adjectival surname, comparable to Glass (glas) Reagh (riabhach) etc. has been noted in Counties Tipperary and Clare. A possible cause of confusion also lies in the fact that in the seventeenth century Boy was sometimes used as an abbreviated form of MacEvoy. Rev. Dr. John Boyce (1810-1864), the priest who made his name as a novelist in America, was born in Co. Donegal, as was his nephew Jerome Boyce, a poet of some merit. Another poet, Samuel Boyce (1708-1747) was a Dublin man. Sir Rupert Boyce (1863-1911), whose work in connexion with tropical medicine was noteworthy, was born in London of Irish parentage

These two anglicized forms of the Irish surname Ó Breasail are now about equal in number: found mainly in Waterford and Offaly, but are not confined to those counties. A century ago they were located in Counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, Limerick and Kerry, but more recent statistics indicate that the name has become rare outside of Co. Waterford. The name O'Brasil occurs there as early as 1308; the old name of Lysaghtstown in Co. Cork near the Co. Waterford border was Baile uí Bhreasail and O Bressyl occurs in Co. Cork in 1285. Sixteenth and seventeenth century records are rich in references to the name. The prefix O, now obsolete with Brazil, is retained in the Tudor Fiants, as early as 1537, when Brassell occurs among the commoners of Kilkenny, and in 1551, when Mahowne Brassill, a kern, was convicted at Clonmel of having stolen cattle, it is omitted. In the "census" of 1659 Brassell is returned as a principal Irish name in the Co. Waterford barony of Upperthird: as such it occurs ten times in the Tipperary Hearth Money Rolls of 1665-1667 in various spellings also without the O. Other seventeenth century men of interest were John Brassell of Ballycargin, Co. Wexford, who was High Constable of the barony of Gorey in 1608, and Denis Brazil, of Ballyduff in the same county, attainted as a Jacobite after the failure of that cause. West Offaly was one of the homelands of the Brazils. He was probably a MacBrassill, a name which occurs in the Elizabethan Fiants in Co. Galway and is that of a small but distinct sept almost if not quite extinct. The sept of Ó Breasail has no connexion with the Clann Bhreasail, which was the tribe name of the Uí Bhreasail of Oriel.

The name Bray in Ireland is of dual origin: either de Bri (or de Bre) i.e. of a place called Bray - not usually Bray, Co. Wicklow; or alternatively Ó Breaghdha, a Munster sept mentioned by O'Heerin in the Topographical Poem. O'Donovan in his notes to that work states that this family is now unknown; but the name Bray occurs continually in mediaeval and early modern Munster records and- it appears to be a reasonable supposition that it is there sometimes, properly O'Bray. From the year 1207 onwards families called Bray are closely associated with Clonmel and several of them were sovereigns of the town from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries; in the seventeenth century the John Bray who was outlawed as a Jacobite in 1691 was an alderman of that town; a generation earlier there were eight families recorded in the Co. Tipperary Hearth Money Rolls; while Thomas Bray, Archbishop of Cashel from 1792 to 1810, was a notable churchman at then; The existence of Bray families in Co. Cork is attested by the frequent occurrence of the name in the Cork and Ross marriage licence bonds from 1697. It rarely appeared with the prefix O: there is a county Tipperary Obrey in a 1295 Justiciary Roll and an O'Brahye is mentioned in a Co. Waterford Fiant of 1601. It cannot be laid down that O'Bray is exclusively Munster and de Bray Leinster, because find an occasional de Bray in Co. Tipperary while a fifteenth century O'Bray is mentioned in an ecclesiastical case in 1433 and another in a Meath pardon of 1542. Brays are now fairly numerous in Offaly. Bree is a synonym of Bray, i.e. of de Bray: it does not appear as O'Bree. De Bray and de Bree belong mainly to Co. Dublin and the neighbouring counties of Meath and Louth.

Brereton is often regarded as a Cromwellian name in Ireland. There were families of that name from Brereton in Cheshire established in Ireland almost a century before the Cromwellian Settlement. The most notable of these were in Co. Down and Co. Leix. They were located at Lecale, in Co. Down, before 1550, and a Ralph Brereton was sheriff of Co. Down in 1591. The founder of the fortunes of this family in Ireland was the Sir William Brereton whose vigorous action enabled Lord Deputy Skeffington to crush the rebellion of "Silken Thomas" in 1535; four years later as Lord High Marshal he opposed Con O'Neill. His son and two of his nephews held high office and received large grants of land. Traditionally the Breretons of Co. Leix came from England at the time of the attempted plantation of Leix and Offaly under Philip and Mary; the Loughteeog property was acquired by Sir William's grandson Edward in 1563. Grants there are recorded at dates from 1563 to 1594. His youngest son John Brereton was constable of the castle of Wexford and as seneschal of Co. Wexford he was granted land there under Edward VI. The connection with Wexford doesn't seem to have lasted long: the "census" of 1659 includes a number of tituladoes called Brereton in Co. Leix and elsewhere, though none in Co. Wexford, nor


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:49

Owing to the prominence of Alderman Robert Briscoe T.D., Lord Mayor of Dublin twice in recent years. Briscoe is on record in this country since the sixteenth century when in 1588 a Briscoe married a Kearney heiress and built the castle of Sragh near Tullamore: the Briscoes of Riverdale, Killucan, are their descendants. John Briscoe of Sragh (Scraghe) was transplanted as a Papist in 1656. Briscoes were found in Co. Offaly in 1855: Griffith's Valuation records eleven families of the name mainly in the baronies of Ballybritt, Ballycowan and Garrycastle. In the next two centuries references to men of the Briscoe name in different parts of the country are frequent: the "census" of 1659 records two tituladoes in Co. Dublin, one of whom, Gabriel Briscoe, we know from another source was an official of the court of Chancery. Thomas Briscoe, Cromwellian "adventurer" of £100, obtained 540 acres in the barony of Clanwilliam Co. Tipperary; a few years later they are found as small householders in Kilbeggan town. Seven of the name are in the lists of eighteenth century marriage licence bonds in Co. Cork. There was William Briscoe of Sligo who was outlawed for his adherance to the cause of James II in 1690, and another place in which they appear in that time is Co. Waterford.

The name Ó Bróithe was phonetically anglicized O'Brohy later became Brophy. It belongs to the counties of Leix and Kilkenny. According to the "census" of 1659 Brophy was one of the principal names in five baronies of Leix and in five of Co. Kilkenny: In Clandonagh barony it is found in the Co. Leix place-name Ballybrophy. Originally situated in the barony of Galmoy, Co. Kilkenny, Anglo-Norman pressure drove many of the sept westwards into Upper Ossory. Daniel Brophy of Castlecomer, mayor of Ballarat three times, was a well-known public figure in Australia in the 1870's. Hugh Brophy, a leading Dublin Fenian, was transported on the last of the convict ships and went to Melbourne after he was released from Freementle prison.

The Irish surname O'Buachalla (derived from the Gaelic work Buachal a boy) is usually anglicized Buckley. Buckley is of course a common English name, but it is safe to say that few Irish-looking forms Boughla and Buhilly are used in one are of Co. Offaly. It is not, however, numerous in that part of Ireland now, though it was in mediaeval times; and in 1659 it appears in Petty's census as an Irish principal name in the barony of Ballycowan as Bohelly. A family of Buckley or Buhilly resident at Lemanaghan, Co. Offaly, claimed to be descendants of the cowherd of St. Manahan or Manchan and hereditary bearers of his shrine, the custodians of which were the O'Moonys of Doon, Co. Offaly. As Bouhilly it was numerous at the same date in Iffa and Offa, i.e. the southwestern corner of Co. Tipperary. The variant spellings of Bohelly and Bucaile both occur in the returns of Irish Jacobites outlawed after the defeat of James II. William Buckley (1768-1793), who was guillotined for his prominent part in the royalist counter-revolution, was born at Clonmel and apparently his real name was Buckley. The famous family of Bulkely in France was, however, according to O'Callaghan, of English origin. Today the name Buckley is chiefly found in Counties Cork and Kerry: eighty per cent of the large number of births recorded for the name (it has a place in the hundred commonest Irish surnames) are in Munster. The American botanist, Samuel Buckley (1809-1883), was possibly of Irish origin, though he was a Wesleyan. The last Governor-General of the Irish Free State was Donal O Buachalla.

It is suggested that this name is a variant of the surname Bullfinch, now extant in America but obsolete in England. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century it has been continuously in Co. Offaly from where William Bulfin (1862-1910), came, who was born and died at Birr. Best known for his Rambles in Eirinn, he spent most of his life as a journalist in Argentina where he lost no opportunity, of furthering the cause of Ireland.

Brugha (sometimes de Brugha) is used as the Irish equivalent of three surnames - Bury, Burgess and Burrows while Ó Brugha (or Ó Brughadha) is the Irish original of the name now anglicized Broe and Brew, and also perhaps Broy, which, occurs in mediaeval records as de Broy (i.e. of Broy, a place in Oxfordshire). Written by Elizabethan officials as O'Broe, O'Broghe, O'Broo etc., it often occurs in sixteenth century records relating to Cos. Leix and Kilkenny. In the same area Brew is found as a Norman surname - de Berewa and de Broth as early as 1190; this is the de Brugha which is akin to the surname de Burgh and its English derivative Burrough or Burrowes. Brew is also a Manx surname, originally MacVriw which is cognate with the Irish MacBrehon. Burgess is of different origin: it is self-explanatory, meaning simply a citizen. An early spelling of this was Burys; but it is improbable that this was modernised as Bury. The Bury family, which settled in Co. Limerick in 1666, consider that the origin of the name is locative and is taken from the Chateau de Bury in Normandy. Many place-names in England incorporate this word e.g. Bury St. Edmund's. Burys of Norman descent came to Ireland with the Prestons: the name de Bury is found in records of the fourteenth century relating to Drogheda. Sir Simon de Bury appeared in Co. Wicklow as early as 1234. There were Burys in Co. Wicklow in the late eighteenth century: two of the 23 prerogative wills listed by Vicars under the name of Bury are for Co Wicklow - the majority of these testators were of Dublin and Cork. In England Bury and Berry are synonymous Matheson reports Berry as chiefly found in Counties Antrim, Mayo and Offaly.

In Offaly it is a form of Beaty. This is the anglicization of Ó Beara, the name of a small Offaly sept akin to the O'Dempseys and O'Connors of that region. The name Burgess was quite common in mediaeval Ireland, almost always in connection with municipal or parliamentary affairs. The records of the city of Dublin contain many references Burgess as members of trade guilds, churchwardens etc. Broy occurs in Co. Kildare as early as 1297 when Geoffrey Broy was outlawed as a robber. Of the Burys the best known was Professor John Bagenal Bury (I 861-1927) who came from a branch of the Co, Limerick family which settled in Co. Monaghan. Peter Burrows (1753-1841) was an anti-Union M.P. and barrister who defended Robert Emmet at his trial. Cathal Brugha (1874-1922), the courageous republican leader killed in the civil war, was of a Dublin family of Burgess.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:50

The MacCashins were hereditary physicians in Upper Ossory. Many MacCashins were 1640 Irish Papist proprietors in Co. Leix As early as 1304 the name occurs in Co. Kildare and in 1331 in north Tipperary, which adjoins Co. Leix. The Hearth Money Rolls of 1666 indicates that it was common in Co. Tipperary. The Hearth Money Rolls for Co. Leix are not extant, but Petty's "census" of around the same time found Cashins numerous there. Most notable of the physicians was Conly Cashin who wrote a medical tract in Latin in 1667. It is stated that the Cassans of Sheffield House (Capoley) were properly de Cassagne, a family having left France on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, went to Flanders from where they came to Ireland, their ancestor was an officer in the army of William of Orange. At the end of the eighteenth century there was a notable firm of shipowners in Waterford, Cashin, Wyse and Quan. This family of Cashin came from the parish of Kilshane in Co. Tipperary. Placenames of interest in this connexion are Ballycasheen, near Killarney, and Ballycashin in Co. Waterford. Ballycasheen, in Co. Clare near Corofin, is nearer to Connacht than to South Munster. This is not very far away from the Sodhan country with its sept of ÓCasáin. It is suggested that bishop John O'Cassin, who resigned the see of Killala in 1490, belonged to this sept.

This name is spelt in many different ways, the most usual being MacAuley, MacCauley, Cawley, Macaulay, MacGawley and Magawley. There are two main Irish septs of MacAuley etc. Entirely different in origin and location. One is MacAmhalghaidh, i.e., son of Auley, an old Irish personal name now obsolete. This sept was at one time of considerable importance, being lords of a wide territory in the west of Co. Westmeath and north of Offaly: in the Elizabethan Fiants this is called "McGawley's Country", the centre of which was Ballyloughnoe in Co. Westmeath. The Four Masters describe them as Chiefs of Calry. They are descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, their surname being taken from his descendant Auley, who flourished in the thirteenth century. Their pedigree is recorded in the Office of Arms, Dublin Castle, in great detail; the Chief of the Name a century ago was Count Magawley Cerati, son of the Prime Minister of the Empress Maria Louisa. Up till that time they preserved a close connexion with their homeland in Co. Westmeath. The other sept was called in Irish Mac Amhlaoibh. They are a branch of the MacGuires and belong to Co. Fermanagh, where they have given their name to the barony of Clanawley. It should be noted that Mac Amhlaoibh is also the name of a quite distinct Munster sept, the anglicized form there being MacAuliffe (q.v.). The same Gaelic form is used by the Scottish clan of Macaulay. Many of the Irish born Macauleys and MacAuleys, particularly those living in the countries adjacent to Belfast, are descendants of Scottish settlers in Ulster. The outstanding figure of the name in Irish history is Catherine MacAuley (1787-1841), foundress of the Order of Mercy.

Today there are a number of families called Swords in Dublin.The name has, Usually no connexion with the Co. Dublin village of Swords. It derives from two distinct Gaelic-Irish surnames which belong to the counties of Offaly and Leix: in Offaly it is numerous today, as it is in the neigbouring county of Kildare, as is Clavin. Clavin is Ó Claimhín in Irish, was sometimes anglicized Swords by mistake assuming that the root word is claidheamh (a sword). The other derivation is from Ó Suaird, which in a Fiant of 1562 is anglicized O'Sword. Two others of around the same time have O'Swerte: The three relate to the Leix-Offaly area. Since 1016, maybe before the era of fixed hereditary surnames, Ó Suairt is mentioned by the Four Masters as the name of the then successor of St. Brigid, the Abbess of Kildare. The names Swords, Swoordes and Sourdes all appear in the Ulster inquisition of the first half of the seventeenth century. These two names also relate to their midland homeland; they are evidently known in Co. Mayo, for list of synonyms by local registrars includes Claveen and Swords at Ballinrobe. In the fourteenth century, the surname de Swerdes (derived from the village) was recorded in many places in Ireland; and in the Ulster inquisitions of the first half of the seventeenth century Swords, Swoordes and Sourdes is found in Co. Down.

Although the surnames Conry and Conroy are, properly speaking, quite distinct, they are dealt with together here because in modern times they have become almost interchangeable. To illustrate this we may refer to the list of synonyms issued by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the year 1901. At that comparatively recent date births in families usually called Conroy were also registered as Conary, Conrahy, Conree, Cunree, Cory, King and also Munconry and Conry; the synonyms for Conry were Connery, Mulconry and Conroy. All that can be doe to elucidate the resultant confusion is to give a brief account of the background of the several Gaelic surnames which have assumed the various anglicized forms given above. The most important of these is O Maolconaire, I.e. descendant of the follower of Conaire, from which O'Mulconry and its abbreviation, Conry, naturally derive, though, as we have seen, Conroy is also used by modern descendants of this sept. However, it should be stated that in the homeland of the O Maolconaire sept, whose patrimony was the parish of Clooncraff in the neighbourhood of Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, they are usually called Conry not Conroy. The O'Mulcronrys were hereditary poets and chroniclers of the Kings of Connacht, and many such are recorded in the "Annals of Connacht", the "annals of the Four Masters" etc., the most notable of whom were Fearfasa O'Mulconry, who was himself one of the Four Masters (whose work was completed 1636), and Maurice O'Mulcrony whose copy of the "Book of Fenagh", made in 1517, is an exceptionally beautiful manuscript. Most Rev. Florence Conry (1561-1629), Archbishop of Tuam, was also of this sept. His name is so spelt in the Franciscan records, but in some other contemporary documents he appears as Conroy, and also as O'Maolconaire. this most distinguished Franciscan was associated with the foundation of the Irish College at Louvain, and wrote many important works including a theological treatise in Irish. He was chaplain in the Spanish Armada and to Hugh O'Donnell at his death. Charles O'Mulconry (son of John O'Mulconry,. who fought in the Cromwellian war and lost his estate in Co. Roscommon) was an ardent Jacobite and was killed at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Another John O'Mulconry, the famous Gaelic poet and chronicler, whose family had settled at Ardkyle in Co. Clare, was of this sept. He presided over a school of poets at Ardkyle from about 1440 to 1470. Hardiman's inclusion of the Mulconrys among the Dalcassian septs is an error. Other Gaelic surnames which are anglicized Conry and Conroy in connacht are O Conraoi of Ui Maine or Hy Many, I.e. the territory known as O'Kelly's Country in east Galway and south Roscommon, and Mac Conraoi of Moycullen, called by the Four Masters Lord of Delvin of the Two Lakes (viz. Lough Corrib and Lough Lurgan - an old name for the Bay of Galway). The "Books of Survey and Distribution", and other seventeenth century records, show that MacConrys or MacConroys were there at that period. Padraic O'Conaire (1883-1928), one of the best known of all the modern writers in Irish, was a Galway man - his statue is to be seen in Eyre Square in Galway City. He spelt his name O Conaire, though this form is usually found in Munster and anglicized Connery, and is quite distinct from the Galway sept just mentioned. O'Connery is included in Smith's History of County Waterford among the principal inhabitants of the county at the end of the sixteenth century.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:51

Cuolahan or Coolahan is a surname about which there has been confusion, not only because it now does duty in English both for Mac Uallacháin and Ó Cú1acháin but also because it has been mistaken for MacCoughlan. This mistake arose because the homeland for many centuries of the sept of Mac Uatiacháin has been the parish of Lusmagh in the barony of Garrycastle, Co. Offaly, and the MacCoughlans occupied the remainder of that barony. In the case of Mac names beginning with a vowel, Mac Uallacháin, tends to become Ó Cullacháin in speech and sometimes to be so written . In the seventeenth century the MacColleghans were extensive landholders in east Galway. At the end of the century they were still in Co. Offaly - thence came Lt. Daniel Cuolaghan of James 11's army - and they are there today, though nowhere in large numbers. The O'Cuolahans are of different stock, being of the Hy Fiachrach group and located around Carra, Co. Mayo. Diarmid Ó Cú1acháin (b. 1221), professor of history and scribe of the mass-books of Knock and Aghagower, was the most distinguished member of this sept. The forms Coolihan and Coolican are modern variants.

The Irish forename Corcoran is derived from the Gaelic word Corcair, now used to denote purple but formerly meaning ruddy. The sept called MacCorcoran was of some importance in the Ely O'Carroll county: they were still people of substance in Offaly and Tipperary and Cork To-day. The O'Corcorans belonged to Fermanagh and produced a number of ecclesiastics from the eleventh to the fifteenth century whose field of activity was around Lough Erne. One of these was Bishop of Clogher in 1373. The name is rare there now: probably there was a westward migration as it is found in counties Mayo and Sligo. From the latter came Brigadier General Michael Corcoran (1827-1863), who recruited an Irish Legion in the United States in 1861. Edmund O'Corcoran, "the hero of Limerick" (I.e. the siege of 1691), was the subject of one of O'Carolan's well-known poems.

This name is O Corragain in Irish. The sept belongs primarily to Fermanagh being of the same stock as the Maguires. Corrigans - the prefix O is seldom used - are still in that part of Ulster, but the name to-day is very scattered, being found in most counties, except in Munster. This was already the case in the sixteenth century when it appears in localities as far apart as Offaly, Roscommon, Meath and Monaghan. In the 1659 census Corrigan and O'Corrigan are among the more numerous Irish names in Offaly, Longford and Fermanagh. The majority of the references to it in the Four Masters are to abbots and other ecclesiastics in Co. Fermanagh. The place called Ballycorrigan is near Nenagh in Co. Tipperary, indicating that a leading family of Corrigan was seated there not later than the middle of the seventeenth century. The Most Rev. Michael Augustine Corrigan (1839-1902), archbishop of New York, came from a Meath family, while Sir Dominic John Corrigan (1802-1880), the eminent physician, was a Dublin man. Carrigan is a variant of Corrigan.

Surnames: D, E, F | G, H | I, J, K | L, M | O, P, S


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:51

Well known on account of the famous Fenian John Devoy (1842-1928); the O'Devoys or O'Deeveys were one of the Seven Septs of Leix, the chief men of which were transplanted to Co. Kerry in 1607. The name has always been associated with Leix and adjoining midland counties. The Gaelic form of the name is Ó Duibh which became the well known Leix name Deevy or Devoy. This is supported by an entry in the Annals of the Four Masters (1071) where the lord of Creamhthainn (i.e. Maryborough) is called Ó Duibh.

Delany is a surname never seen today with the prefix O which probably belongs to it. It is O Dubhshlainte in Irish, Delaney being a phonetic rendering of this - the A of Delaney was formerly pronounced broad. An earlier anglicized form was O'Dulany e.g. Felix O'Dulany, Bishop of Ossory from 1178 to 1202, who built St. Canice's Cathedral in Kilkenny. Dubh means black and slainte is topographical - Slaney in English. If it refers to the river Slaney it suggests that this sept originally possessed a wider territory than that usually assigned to it, namely Coilluachtarach (now Upperwoods) at the foot of Slieve Bloom near the source of the rivers Nore and Barrow in Co. Leix. At the present time the name is chiefly associated with Counties Leix and Kilkenny and in 1659, when Petty's census was made, it appears as a principal Irish name in four baronies of Queen's County (now Leix) and in five of Co. Kilkenny. It is sometimes abbreviated to Delane in Co. Mayo, and this was the form used by Dennis Delane (d. 1750), the celebrated Dublin and London actor. Dillane, however, is not a synonym of Delany, but the anglicized form of O'Duilleain, a Co. Limerick surname, sometimes disguised as Dillin. Dean Patrick Delany (1684-1768), the friend of Dean Swift, was a Leix man. His wife, the famous Mary Delany (1700-1788), was also prominent in the Swift circle. Michael Roland ("Ronny") Delaney, champion athlete who brought honours to Ireland in the 1956 Olympic Games, is a Dubliner.

Formed from the Norman place-name Ev(e)reux. d'Evereux became Devereux. Devery, Deverill and Deevey are given as synonyms used in Co. Offaly and Duvick around Mullingar. Devereux is mainly found in Co. Wexford. coming from France to England in the eleventh century , a hundred years later the chief men of the family took part in Strongbow's invasion of Ireland and became the most powerful of the Norman settlers in Co Wexford. As early as 1229 John d'Evreux obtained extensive grants of lands in the Decies (Co. Waterford). In the 15th century an Alexander Deverous, Chief Sergeant of Co. Wexford, assumed a prominent part in the government of that part of Ireland which was under the control of Henry VI of England; from then on references to leading Devereux are numerous. In 1520 Alexander Devereux was Abbot of Dunbrody and in 1589 Richard Devereux was Archdeacon of Ferns. In 1599 John Devereux was knighted by the Viceroy Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. In 1689 Col. James Devereux was M.P. for Enniscorthy. His son, Rev. Francis Devereux, was Superior of the College des Lombards in Paris; another of the branch which emigrated to France was Robert Devereux, a well known advocate of Catholic Emancipation. Though harassed by their neighbours the Kavanaghs, especially in the sixteenth century, and for the most part resisting inducements to forsake the Catholic faith, they managed to retain fairly extensive estates in Co. Wexford until relatively recent times.

It is possible that some Drews are of Gaelic-Irish origin. There was a minor Thomond sept of Ó Druadh or Ó Draw which survives (in Co. Kerry) as Drea. In the Thomond country Drew is usually of English stock: the descendants of Capt. Drew, who settled in Co. Waterford in 1598, were living in the present century at Drewscourt, Co. Limerick, and a will of 1781 puts them at Drewslodge in that county. The family of Drewsboro (at Tuamgraney, Co. Clare) are said to be of similar origin. Drought is quite distinct. In Co. Westmeath Drew and Drough are recorded as synonyms. The latter appears in the Fiants as O' Droughie as well as O'Drought and belonged primarily to Offaly and Westmeath - Ó Drochtaigh in Irish, a minor Gaelic sept of which little is known. The Annals relate that David Drew (Triu in the Gaelic original) was killed in action in Co. Sligo in 1249. Druy appeared in the Ormond Deeds in 1244 and Dru in 1302. Hugh Dru and Thomas Dru were convicted of cattle stealing in Westmeath and Kildare in 1295-7. The Annals record Drews among the "Galls" fighting in Connacht in 1249 and 1307. Another origin for Drought is suggested Droner, a Huguenot name. Another similar surname in Irish is Ó Droichid. This rare name was foundin , Co. Limerick, in 1587. Then anglicized as O'Drehitt, it has since become Bridgeman by semi-translation (droichead means a bridge). Dublin-born John Drew (1825-1862) was a leading actor in America, as was his son John Drew (1853-1927), his daug


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:53

In Irish Egan is MacAodhagain (from the christian name Aodh, anglice Hugh), and the surname is really MacEgan, though the prefix Mac is rarely used in modern times except by the family which claims to be head of the sept. The MacEgans were hereditary lawyers: beginning as a brehon family among the Ui Maine (Hy Many) septs, they eventually dispersed. They settled chiefly in Ormond, I.e. the wide territory comprising all or part of the counties of Tipperary, Kilkenny and Offaly, where they continued to follow their traditional calling and acted as brehons to the chiefs. The most important of these was MacEgan, chief brehon to O'Connor Faly. An early example of the form Hegan is to be seen in the signature (Owen Hegaine) of Owen Mac Egan in a letter he wrote in 1602, which is quoted in Pacata Hibernia. For pedigree and notes on MacEgan see Tribes and Customs of Hy Many. Owen Mac Egan (1570-1603), bishop-designate of Ross, was a prominent supporter of Tyrone in the Elizabethan wars and was killed in battle: other illustrious churchmen were Most Rev. Boetius Egan (1734-1798), Archbishop of Tuam, who, however, was opposed to the Rising of '98: Most Rev. Cornelius Egan (1780-1856), Bishop of Kerry, and Most Rev. Michael Egan (1761-1814), Bishop of Philadelphia. Two Pierce Egans (1772-1849 and 1814-1880), were popular novelists in their day. John Egan (1750-1810), patriot member of Parliament, was notorious also for his propensity to duelling. In our own day "the MacEgan", as he styled himself, was an artist noted for his striking portraits of contemporary Irish national leaders. When the prefixes Mac and O fell into disuse during the period of Gaelic submergence, in some places the C was retained and became K, resulting in Keegan, and this, in turn, gave rise to the corrupt Gaelic form O Caogain now often used in Connacht as the Gaelic equivalent of Keegan. The Keegans are found to-day chiefly in two areas: in Leinster - in Counties Dublin and Wicklow - and in connacht - in Counties Roscommon and Leitrim, i.e. in places fairly remote from the homeland of the MacEgan sept where the form Egan is always used. The poet John Keegan (1809-1849) , is always used. The poet John Keegan (1809-1849) was born in Co. Leix.

This surname is practically the same in both its Irish and Anglicized forms, being in the former O Flannagain, which is probably derived from the adjective flann meaning reddish or ruddy. It belongs to Connacht both by origin and location (i.e present distribution of population). Flanagan, with of course O'Flanagan, for this is one of those names with which the prefix is frequently retained, is numbered among the hundred commonest surnames in Ireland and has the sixth-ninth place on that list. The greatest number of these are found in Co. Roscommon and in the counties of the western seaboard - Mayo, Galway and Clare. They sprang from one Flanagan, who was of the same stock as the royal O'Connors and his line held the hereditary post of steward to the Kings of Connacht. These, who were seated between Mantua and Elphin, represent the main O'Flanagan sept. There were also minor septs of the same name in other parts of the country which were still represented in the seventeenth century; of Toorah in north-west Fermanagh and again of the barony of Ballybrit in Offaly. Some descendants of these are still to be found in both these areas. Donough O'Flanagan (d. 1308), Bishop of Elphin, was famous abroad as well as at home for his hospitality and devotion. Other notable Irishmen of the name were Roderick Flanagan (1828-1861), founder of the Sydney Chronicle: Thomas Flanagan (1814-1865), author of the History of the Church in England; and James Roderick Flanagan (1814-1900), voluminous author on Irish subjects. Theophilus O'Flanagan (1760-1818), was a leading figure in the early Gaelic revival movement.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:53

Rare outside Dublin and scattered in location, this name is very well known, particularly to readers in the National Library where the Joly Gift forms one of the most important collections there. It was formerly the property of the Royal Dublin Society but was transferred to the National Library when it was established in 1877. The donor was Jaspar Robert Joly (1819-1892) who was born in Co. Offaly and as well as being a lawyer and a scholar was the owner of considerable estates in counties Offaly, Clare and Meath. Another notable man of the name was Charles Jasper July (1804-1901), the astronomer. Julys and Jolleys settled in Ireland at various times. The first was Henry Jolly, who was master-gunner in 1595. In the next century a Quaker living at Clonmel in 1680 is met; and the Jolly monument in Fethard (Co. Tipperary) Protestant churchyard recalls the romantic story of the English trooper Robert Jolly and Ellen Meagher which has often been told. His wife Ellen, who had first married a rich Jew, is described as a "faithful Catholic" in the will of the parish priest of Clonmel in 1711. Jully appeared twice among the tituladoes in the barony of Burren, Co. Clare, in 1659, but this may not be a synonym of Jolly. The derivation of the English name is from the French 'joli'.

There are approximately 50,000 Kellys and O'Kellys in Ireland today. It is the second commonest Irish surname, not far behind Murphy in numerical strength. This name presents a remarkable example of the extent to which the prefixes O and Mac, so widely dropped during the period of Gaelic submergence, have been resumed. In the year 1890 there were 1,242 births registers as Kelly (distributed all over the country), while only nine were registered as O'Kelly. Today the proportion has risen from one in 130 to approximately one in twenty. President of Ireland, Mr. Sean T. O'Kelly, was a case in point. There is a fairly widespread but quite erroneous belief that all persons of the name descend from members of the great O'Kelly sept of Ui Maine. The fact is that this surname came into being independently in at least seven widely separated places. Up to the thirteenth century the O'Kellys of Breagh (Co. Meath) were equal in importance to those of Ui Maine, but the impact of the Anglo-Norman invasion dispersed them. The Kellys of Ulster to-day are, no doubt, mostly of the O'Kelly of Cinel Eachrach sept (Counties Antrim and Derry); those of the midlands come probably from the O'Kellys, one of the seven septs of Leix who were still strong in their homeland in 1543, when they were specifically mentioned in an order relating to martial law in queen's County; the atrocious murder of Fergus O'Kelly of Leix by the Earl of Kildare later in the same century, and the subsequent transfer of O'Kelly estates to the Fitzgeralds makes a black page in the history of the latter family; north Connacht Kellys are more likely to be of the Templeboy (Co. Sligo) sept than of that of Ui Maine; while Dublin Kellys can either be from a north Wicklow family of the name, or migrants from any of the above septs. In each case the eponymous ancestor was called Ceallach, a personal name, from the genitive case of which we get O Ceallaigh, the Irish form of the surname. The Kellys of Kilkenny and Tipperary, however, are O Caollaidhe, not O Ceallaigh, some of whom retain the older form Kealy, which is Queally in Co. Waterford. Queally is also found as a synonym of O Cadhla, usually O'Kelly in English. Most Rev. Malachy Queally, who was among the most distinguished of the Archbishops of Tuam (1630-1645), was born in the diocese of Killaloe which includes a great part of Tipperary. O'Kelly of Ui Maine was, and is, outstanding among all these. There is an authentic pedigree of their chiefs from the earliest times until the present day, and O'Kelly of Gallagh is one of the few whose claim to the designation Chief of the Name is officially recognized: in popular parlance he is The O'Kelly. The arms illustrated in plate XVII are those of O'Kelly of Ui Maine and, it should be understood, do not appertain to O'Kellys of other septs. Ui Maine, often called Hy Many, covers east Co. Galway and the southern part of Co. Roscommon. The Four Masters and the other Annals are full of their exploits and obituaries. Four of them have been Bishops of Clonfert, which is the diocese comprising much of the O'Kelly country. In 1518 the O'Kellys were one of the dangerous Irish septs named by the Corporation of Galway. In the next century the O'Kellys of Co. Galway were very prominent, as indeed were those of the Pale, too, for no less than ten of the name in Counties Dublin, Kildare and Meath were attainted in 1642. The most famous was Col. Charles O'Reilly (1621-1695), who first appears in the 1641 war, as a commander under Sarsfield in 1690, and represented Co. Roscommon in the Parliament of 1689; he is best known, however, as the author of the very valuable contemporary history Excidium Macariae. It is of interest to note that the estate of this leading Catholic family was secured to them under the Treaty of Limerick. Twenty-five O'Kelly proprietors, nearly all of them of the Hy Many sept, were attainted in 1691. In modern times they have been less prominent. Dennis O'Kelly (1720-1787) had a remarkable career: emigrating from Ireland he started as a billiard-marker in London, was part owner of the famous Derby winner "Eclipse", and became a colonel. Patrick O'Kelly (1754-1835) was a well-known character - poet and eccentric. James O'Kelly (1845-1916), had a varied and adventurous career as war correspondent in three continents and Parnellite M.P. Seamus O'Kelly (1881-1918), playwright, was another man of note hailing from east Galway. Many O'Kellys have distinguished themselves in America. Eugene Kelly (1808-1894), banker and philanthropist, a strong Irish nationalist and Catholic, and John Kelly, the missionary, were of the Derry-Tyrone sept. William Kely (1811-1888), the inventor, and, in a very different sphere, Michael Kelly (1857-1894), the idol of baseball fans, and also Co. Patrick Kelly, commander of the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg, may be mentioned. In France Father Malachy Kelly (d. 1684) was the founder of the Irish College, Paris. One branch of the Hy Many sept settled at Guyenne and was ranked among the nobility of France. It should be added that some Kellys are MacKelly, not O'Kelly. This was a minor sept also of east Connacht, but the Mac prefix is now entirely lost and any surviving modern representatives are thus indistinguishable from O'Kellys. Daniel MacKelly, Archbishop of Cashel from 1238-1253, was the first Dominican to become an Irish bishop. The well-known Kelly family fo the Isle of Man is also MacKelly. From information on O'Kelly pedigrees see O'Donovan, The Tribes and Customs of Hy Many.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:54

When Kinahan and Kinaghan are found in Ulster or Louth they are usually variants of the Cunningham, which has been widely used in Ireland as the anglicized form of Ó Cuinneagáin and Ó Cuinneacháin. For example George Henry Kinahan (1820-1908), geologist and engineer, was from Co. Down. Kinahan, as a distinct name belongs to the country south of Athlone, comprising the neighbouring parts of counties Offaly, Westmeath and Galway; and there it is mainly found today. Pedigrees of the Offaly families are among the records of the Genealogical Office.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:54

This name in modern times is spelt in three different ways - Lawlor, Lalor, Lawler - the first of these being slightly more numerous than the others. In Irish it is O Leathlaoghair, which would appear to denote descendant of the half leper, no doubt a nickname arising from physical defect and not to be taken literally. The prefix O, it may be noted, which was discarded during the period of Gaelic submergence, has not been resumed in modern times. The O'Lalors, like their kinsmen the O'Mores, were one of the Seven Septs of Leix. They were located near the famous Rock of Dunamase in Co. Leix, but were driven from this territory by the English invaders under Queen Elizabeth 1. The scene of the making of the treaty, as a result of which the leading men of the Seven Septs were transplanted to Co. Kerry in 1609, is still called Lalor's Mills. The peasants and workers of the O'Lalor sept remained in their old territory, a fact which is borne out by the prevalence of the name there to-day: nearly all the Lalors, Lawlors and Lawlers in Ireland are to be found in Leinster, either in Leix or in the counties lying to the east of it. The name of one Harry Lalor is traditionally preserved as the hero of the massacre of Mullaghmast in 1577 in which many innocent and unsuspecting Lalors, O'Mores and other inhabitants of Leix were treacherously done to death by the O'Dempseys in conjunction with the English planters of the district. The fall of the O'Dempseys as a great family was, according to John O'Donovan, locally attributed to this disgraceful event. Rev. James O'Lalor (or Lawler), a Co. Kilkenny Parish Priest, wrote in 1764 a notable elegy in Irish on one of the Kavanaghs, which was published by John O'Donovan some 90 years later. The editor in his introduction mentions several distinguished Lalors all of Leix or Kilkenny. He does not, however, mention the revolutionary James Fintan Lalor (1807-1849), son of Patrick Lalor, sometime M.P. for Leix; his brother Peter (1823-1889) led the insurgent miners at Eureka, Australia, in 1854 and subsequently became a minister and speaker of the Legislative Council of Victoria. John Lawlor (1820-1901), the sculptor, is remembered by the statues in London, and Cork and Limerick. Alice Lalor (1766-1846), better known as Mother Teresa, was a prominent figure in the religious life of America.

The sept of Ó Learghusa belonged to the barony of Carra in Mayo: It is found in Connacht as late as 1591 (as O'Larysa in Fiant No. 5611), by 1659 Petty's "census" lists Larissy as a principal Irish name in the barony of Maryborough, Co. Leix; it occured in the Hearth Money Rolls of North Tipperary about then and in the last century, Griffith's Valuation shows that people of the name were numerous in Co. Kilkenny, with some families also in counties of Leix and Waterford. Of these was James Larrissey, a prominent member of.James Freeney's highwaymen about a hundred years earlier. There were two distinct septs of Ó Learghusa, one in Connacht and one in south Leinster.

Mc Evoy
The MacEvoys were one of the "Seven Septs of Leix", the leading members of which were transplanted to Co. Kerry in 1609. The lesser clansmen remained in their own territory and Leix is one of the areas in which the name is found fairly commonly today. This sept was called Mac Fhiodhbhuidhe which is pronounced Mac-ee-vwee, whence the approximately phonetic anglicization MacEvoy. (Buidhe - yellow - was always written "boy" in early attempts to put Irish names into English form). Formerly chiefs of the present barony of Moygish in Co. Westmeath, this sept in early times settled in Leix and became lords of the territory now comprising the parishes of Mountrath and Raheen in that county. The MacEvoys, called Muintir Fhiodhbhuide, appear there in a map of Leix dated 1563. Another quite distinct Irish sept, in Gaelic MacGiolla Bhuide, normally anglicized MacElwee and MacGilloway (names now well known in Counties Donegal and Derry), is shortened in the spoken language to Mac a'bhuidhe, hence the form MacAvoy or MacEvoy in English. Conn Mac Giolla Bhuidhe, Abbot of Mungret in 1100, was one of these. The name MacEvoy is rare in Connacht now but fairly common in Armagh and Louth. There it is a synonym of MacVeagh, I.e. Mac an bheatha, an Oriel sept. Considering their importance in the past it is remarkable that so few MacEvoys appear as distinguished individuals in any sphere of Irish history. Longford born Francis MacEvoy (1751-1804) was a distinguished President of the Royal College of Surgeons distinguished President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

The Gaelic surname Mac an tSaoir belongs both to Ireland and Scotland. In Scotland it is always MacIntyre. In Ireland the Maclntyres slightly outnumber the Mac Ateers, but a number of the former are Ulstermen of Scottish extraction. Together they are estimated in population statistics to number some 4,500 people in Ireland: almost all the MacAteers are in Ulster (Armagh, Antrim and Donegal), while the MacIntyres are less concentrated in that area, with a considerable number in Co. Sligo. Ballymacateer is a place near Lurgan; Carrickmacintyre is in Co. Mayo. The 1659 census shows that they were numerous in Co. Donegal at that time, and the hearth money rolls of somewhat later show that the name was also common in Co. Monaghan. The bishop of Clogher who held the sea from 1268-1287 was Michael Mac An tSaoir and the famous St. Kieran of Clonmacnois, who flourished seven centuries earlier, was called Mac an tSaoir. MacAteer, or MacIntyre, is one of those names which had been subjected to anglicization by translation. Saor is the Irish word for a certain type of tradesman such as a mason or a carpenter. The name has never become Mason, but Carpenter was fairly widely used as a synonym, so that the surname Carpenter in Ireland is often not English in origin but MacAteer in origin. Also, since saor has another meaning of free, the English surname Freeman sometimes hides a MacAteer beginning. It is not improbable that the English name Searson was also sometimes used in the same way. It has been used as the anglicized form of Ó Saorthaigh. Freeman also does duty, in this case by mistranslation, for Ó Saorthaigh, the name of a small Westmeath sept normally called Seery in English. A branch of this, or possibly a distinct family of the same name, was also at one time located in Donegal, today descendants are now found in small numbers in north Connaght, where some of its members are called Seery and some Freeman. The adoption of Carpenter for MacAteer took place for the most part in the Dublin area, so that Most Rev. Dr. John Carpenter, Archbishop of Dublin from 1770 to 1786, who is remembered for his prominent part in the struggle for Catholic Emancipation, probably belonged to a branch of that sept. He was interested in Irish and in close touch with the Irish poet O'Neachtain; he wrote his name in Irish as Mac an tSaoir. However, Henry Carpenter (fl. 1790), poet and scribe, known in his native Irish language as Enri Mac an tSaoir, was a Clareman. The name also occurs in Co. Clare in a place-name-Cahermackateer, near Corofin; but as a surname it is very rare in that county in any of the above forms.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:55

Maher, also written Meagher, is in Irish O Meachair, derived from the word meachar, meaning hospitable - Maher is a word of two syllables, not pronounced Marr. Of the same stock as the O'Carrolls of Ely it belongs to the barony of Ikerrin in Co. Tipperary - in fact fifty per cent of the eight thousand people of the name come from Co. Tipperary. Maher territory was near Roscrea, at the foot of the famous Devil's Bit Mountain and, unlike some Gaelic septs, they were not ousted by Norman invaders but remained in possession side by side with the Ormond Butlers. Though this is a genuine Gaelic O name it is rarely, if ever, met with in its English form with the prefix. One of the adventurous and ill-starred rapparees of the seventeenth century was Capt. John Meagher, who was captured and hanged in 1690. Father Maher (1793-1874) was a distinguished ecclesiastic; and Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867), known as "Meagher of the Sword", was one of the most prominent of the Young Irelanders. He was later leader of the Irish Brigade in the Federal Army in the American Civil War.

The normal form of Mangan in Irish is O Mongain, which is more phonetically anglicized as Mongan in parts of Connacht; but even in Mayo, the original homeland of one of the septs so called, it is more usually Mangan nowadays. The Munster Mangans, originally Co. Cork, are now found more in Co.. Limerick. James Clarence Mangan (1803-1849), the poet, came from Shanagolden, Co. Limerick, where the family to which he belonged still live. Rev. Edward Mangin (1772-1852) was also a poet and essayist of note. Mangan is also found as a synonym of Manahan (a form of Monahan, q.v.) and of Mannion. The Munster Mangans (in Irish O Mongain) have been long enough established in Co.. Limerick to have a townland (in the parish of Dromcolliher) called after them viz. Ballymongane. This is also the name of a townland in the parish of Termonomongan in Co. Tyrone, appears to be now almost extinct. There are twelve families of Mangan in the Hearth Money Rolls for Co. Tipperary (1665-1667). Charles Mongan (1754-1826), son of Dominic Mungan or Mongan, a Co. Tyrone blind itinerant harper, became a Protestant and having assumed the surname Warburton was appointed successively Bishop of Limerick and of Cloyne. Three brothers named Warburton (viv. 1810-1894) were of sufficient importance to be included in Crone's Dictionary of Irish Biography. Though of Offaly they were not in the direct line of the family of Garryhinch in that county, who were very extensive landowners.

Belonging primarily to east Clare: the townland Ballyminogue in the parish of Tuamgraney marks the centre of its present location. It is to be found also on the other side of Lough Deg, where several families were resident when the 1659 "census" was taken. The Bishop of Leighlin who died in 1050, Clerichen Ó Muineóc, described in the Annals of Loch Cé as "tower of the piety of Erin", was perhaps of this sept, though Leighlin is far from Clare. In modern Irish the name is Ó Muineóg. Muineóg, is said to be a diminutive of manach, a monk, and this derivation, though not generally accepted, would seem to be corroborated by the fact that Monaghan and Mannix, both similarly derived, are recorded by Matheson as synonyms of Minogue. In Offaly Ó Muineóg is anglicized Minnock and as such is found there in small numbers today.


AnnCardiff Report 16 Jan 2009 10:56

Lavelle and Mulfaal are anglicized forms of the Irish Ó Maolfábhail. In some places it is in the form of Melville, an aristocratic-sounding surname which, has been adopted by some Mulvihils. Lavelle is ,the usual form: it is of often occurs in Connacht, particularly in Co. Mayo, where Lawell is a variant of Lavelle. Mulfaal belongs to Co. Donegal: the surname is of different and distinct origin of a family who descended from Fergus, grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, and were chiefs of Carrickbraghy, in the barony of Inishowen. There it has been widely corrupted to MacFaci, MacFall and even MacPaul and Paul. O'Mulfoyle is listed in the 1659 "census" as a principal Irish name in the barony of Tirkeerran, which is continguous to Inishowen. The most distinguished of the name was Dr. James Augustine MacFaul (1850-1917), Bishop of Trenton, protagonist of Irish Catholic causes in U.S.A. The families of Ó Maolfabhail who are now known as Lavelle are of the sept originally seated at Donaghpatrick in the barony of Clare (Co. Galway). O'Lawell, O'Lowell and O'Lavell appear in the seventeenth century Hearth Money Rolls for Co. Armagh. Mulhall is never used as a synonym of Mulfaal. It is the name of a Leinster sept, Ó Maolchathail in Irish; it signifies descendant of a follower of St. Cathal or Cahill and was O'Mulcahill in its earlier anglicized form. It is spelt Mulchaell in the 1659 "census" and appeared among the more numerous names in three different baronies of Co. Leix, which is the place of origin of the sept and also its principal location in modern times. Some of the Halleys of nearby north Tipperary are Mulhalls, though Halley (Ó hAilche) is primarily the name of a small sept located around Templemore and (Ó hAille) of another in Co. Clare. There are several seventeenth and eighteenth century testators named Hally in the will indices for the diocese of Waterford and Lismore. Michael George Mulhall (1836-1900), author of several statistical works, founded the first English language newspaper in South America.