[Note: due to some confusion, some NON-Fianna pages are being flagged
with the symbol
and some Fianna pages are flagged ]
On surname lists, it really pays to take the time to go down the whole thing carefully!
Often names have been spelled many ways, and one needs to play with them phonetically in order not to miss one's goal
due to "odd" spellings!
Also, don't forget to look through the Mc's, Mac's, O's... and also, if you have a prefix, check for those who've dropped it!
Many Irish surnames have gone through a number of transformations
and it is necessary to check carefully in several areas. We have tried,
with the kind assistance of Pat Traynor and Diana Hanson, to provide some helps into finding
YOUR name in all it's forms! :)
Armed with that knowledge and what you've found elsewhere, it might also pay to
check out the Ancient Surnames
and the Milesian genealogies
to see what other names may have the same origins, for at times people have flipped back
and forth in the usage of names.
Then visit our Surname List to see if others have
been researching your folks.
And of course, that's a good time to add your own surnames for us to post! :)
Take a peek at the Links to Irish Surname pages
and see if there
might be someone in your family already posting good stuff on the web! (And if you
have such a page and it's not listed, ADD it!
Check each county
your family might have been in for query sites!
Some other links that are very helpful to Irish Surname research are below:
You might visit Ancestry.com and search
their free data bases -
and check your surnames out at Family Tree Maker's site,
where many have placed their trees online.
[Warning: use the material as CLUES unless
you are able to reach the original poster and obtain validation of sources.]
For the USA, there is a Surname Distribution map (generously supplied by
the Quaker-L list). Just type in the surname, select the year (1850-1990)
and a map showing surname distribution will appear. Represented as one for
every thousand(s) surnames in each state.
For Northern Ireland
To search by county on - put the FULL county name
into the area field and it will work
e.g. County Tyrone (and not Co Tyrone or Tyrone)
In addition to numbers geographically in the searched county, this search
brings up 'out of county' entries for surrounding area phone codes that
overlap the county boundaries.
you'll find some email addresses to search...but remember to not become a
spam meister in your enthusiasm!
Similarly, check out Lookup UK.
Middle names in English-speaking places appeared very gradually. They
were virtually unheard of before 1700, and the earliest example of a
documented middle name was about 1646. Middle
names continued to be quite rare until the 1800's. After about 1850,
they came to be customary in most places.
With a custom that was becoming ever more popular, it is difficult to
tell whether someone who used a middle name as an adult actually
started out with it, especially if there is a birth record that leaves
it out. Of course, there could be reasons why a middle name bestowed
upon a child might be omitted from official records, such as a clerk who
felt these "new-fangled" middle names were a silly affectation and
simply refused to write them down.
Matheson’s Special Report on Surnames of Ireland shows surnames with
five or more entries in the birth indexes of 1890, and the main counties
in which they were found. The birth rate was 1:44 at that time so you
can estimate the number of people of the name at that time. On microfiches,
available from A. J. Morris for a very reasonable sum.
Genealogical Publishing has it in book form.
Irish Genealogy, a record finder, ed by Donal Begley, Heraldic Arts,
Nassau St., Dublin 2, includes Matheson's Special Report.
Useful Books about Irish and "Scots-Irish" Surnames
An excellent resource for anyone interested in the origin of their
Irish, Scotch-Irish, English-Irish ect. surnames is Dr. Edward
MacLysaght The Surnames of Ireland. Published by Irish Academic
Press, 6th Ed. is ISB 0-7165-2367, 1985.
Irish Pedigrees, 2 vol
O'Hart. Lists many Irish families "back to Adam and Eve!
Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Dublin 1892,
ISBN 0-8063-0737/4 Set Number, ISBN 0-8063-1259-9
Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement of Virginia,
Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta Co., 1745-1800.
By Lyman Chalkley. 3 vols., 623+652+712p. (1912) 1993.
An invaluable source for Scotch-Irish research, this set contains
marriages, wills, deeds, fee books, delinquents & more. Indexed.
Reprints available Higginson books.
Rosenkrantz & Satran. Beyond Sean and Shannon. (This one is from memory--
it may be *Beyond Shannon and Sean.*)
Sierra, Judy. Celtic baby Names:Traditional names from Ireland, Scotland, Wales,
Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man. Eugene, OR: Folkprint, 1997.
Names in general:
Ingraham, Holly. People's Names: A Cross-Cultural Reference Guide to
The Proper Use of Over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names and
Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland & Co, 1997.
Note: This is an excellent and fascinating book. Aimed at writers who need authentic
names for their novels, it has lists of names and commentary on naming patterns from
many times & places.