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Irish Surnames Update – Irish Counties and their Surnames

Do you have Irish surnames in your family tree? If the answer is yes, then read on – and discover more about the surnames of Ireland, where they come from – and see if you can spot some of your Irish surnames.

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 All Names

Irish Surnames – All the Surnames on our database.

When a new reader signs up for our weekly Letter from Ireland – we ask them to supply the Irish surnames in their family tree AND the county their ancestor emigrated from. So far we have collected over 19,000 Irish entries in our database of Irish surnames representing over 3,750 different surnames.

In this article, I would like to give you an Irish surname update – with some nice pictorials! First of all, you can see ALL of the Irish surnames in our database at the top of the page. Now, remember that there are 19,000 separate entries so you cannot see them all. The size of the name matches the number of times that name pops up with our readers – so you can see that Murphy, Kelly and Sullivan are clear winners there!

Like to add your Irish surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


Irish Surnames Overview.

Ok, now – let’s build things up slowly. The next graphic shows you all of Ireland’s 32 counties. You see, when someone provides us with the surname of an Irish ancestor, we also ask them which county they came from. Given that over 98% of our audience now live outside the island of Ireland, this is a good representation of where the Irish Diaspora has it’s roots in Ireland.

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Top Counties

The Counties of Origin for your Ancestors.

County Cork is, by a long shot, the main producer of the Irish Diaspora down through the centuries and decades.

Now, let’s get back to those surnames.

The following are just the top 25 Irish surnames from our readers. Each one typically show up more than 100 times in our database. Is your Irish surname here?

Top 25 Irish Surnames

25 Most Popular Irish Surnames among our Readers

Let’s have a look at even more detail. The following are the 100 most popular surnames among our readers – a real spread from all around the country. We see names that are native Irish Gaelic, names that are Scots originally and some English/Scottish planter names. And just a few Norman and Viking surnames thrown in. Typically Irish!

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Top 100 Names

Top 100 Irish Surnames among our readers.

Finally, here are the top 250 Irish surname among our readers – this is probably as detailed as we can get AND allow you to read all the names. Is your Irish surname here? (Click on picture to enlarge).

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Top 250 Names

Top 250 Irish Surnames Among our Readers.

Irish County Surnames.

One of the things we invite our readers to do when they want to find out more about their Irish Heritage, is to pass on the names of their ancestors and the counties they come from (if known). We have been doing this since 2013 and now (December, 2016) have over 19,000 individuals on the list.

Here are the names that were submitted. Bear the following in mind as you scan through the names:

  • They are segmented by county of origin (NOT necessarily where a surname originally came from, but where the reader says their ancestor came from). This means that some names will appear in multiple counties.
  • You will see just what percentage of our total list of names came from each of the 32 counties.
  • I have included the population of each county in 1841 (when the population was at its highest across most of the island) and 1961 (when the population was at it’s lowest). This gives you an idea of the relative size of each county as well as the effect of famine and emigration on the population between those two years.

County Antrim Surnames.

4.8% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Antrim. The county had a population of 361,000 in 1841. This had increased to 690,000 by 1961 (this is complicated by the later creation of the ‘County borough of Belfast’—I included it here as part of County Antrim).

County Antrim has the distinction of having the highest number of different surnames on the island of Ireland. In other counties, there are many dominant Irish Gaelic surnames that cover percentages of the population. However, Antrim has a history of being ‘planted’ by individual families carrying many distinct surnames from Scotland and England.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Antrim? (Click on picture to enlarge).

antrim

Reader Irish Surnames of County Antrim (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Antrim surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Armagh Surnames.

2.2% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Armagh. The county had a population of 232,000 in 1841. This had declined to 117,000 by 1961.

A very ancient part of Ireland—home to many of our myths and contains the cathedral city of Armagh. Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Armagh—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Armagh?

armagh

Reader Irish Surnames of County Armagh (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Armagh surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Carlow Surnames.

0.8% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Carlow. The county had a population of 86,000 in 1841. This had declined to 33,000 by 1961.

Carlow town was once the capital of Ireland. A small, but varied, landlocked county. Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Carlow—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Carlow?

carlow

Reader Irish Surnames of County Carlow (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Carlow surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Cavan Surnames.

2.5% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Cavan. The county had a population of 243,000 in 1841. This had declined to 57,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Cavan—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Cavan?

cavan

Reader Irish Surnames of County Carlow (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Cavan surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Clare Surnames.

5.7% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Clare. The county had a population of 286,000 in 1841. This had declined to 74,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Clare—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Clare?

clare

Reader Irish Surnames of County Clare (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Clare surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Cork Surnames.

15.6% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Cork. The county had a population of 854,000 in 1841. This had declined to 330,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Cork—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Cork?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Cork

Reader Irish Surnames of County Cork (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Cork surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Derry Surnames.

1.5% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Derry. The county had a population of 222,000 in 1841. This had declined to 165,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Derry—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Derry?

derry

Reader Irish Surnames of County Derry (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Derry surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Donegal Surnames.

5.6% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Donegal. The county had a population of 296,000 in 1841. This had declined to 114,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Donegal—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Donegal?

donegal

Reader Irish Surnames of County Donegal (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Donegal surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Down Surnames.

2.9% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Down. The county had a population of 361,000 in 1841. This had declined to 267,000 by 1961 (I included the County Borough of Belfast under County Antrim).

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Down—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Down?

down

Reader Irish Surnames of County Down (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Down surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Dublin Surnames.

2.8% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Dublin. The county had a population of 372,000 in 1841. This had increased to 718,000 by 1961. Dublin city saw a huge amount of inward migration from the countryside over this time. As a result, many Irish surnames are most numerous today in the Capital city as opposed to their original territory.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Dublin—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Dublin?

dublin

Reader Irish Surnames of County Dublin (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Dublin surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Fermanagh Surnames.

1.9% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Fermanagh. The county had a population of 156,000 in 1841. This had declined to 52,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Fermanagh—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Fermanagh?

fermanagh

Reader Irish Surnames of County Fermanagh (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Fermanagh surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Galway Surnames.

5.3% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Galway. The county had a population of 440,000 in 1841. This had declined to 149,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Galway—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Galway?

galway

Reader Irish Surnames of County Galway (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Galway surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Kerry Surnames.

5.5% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Kerry. The county had a population of 293,000 in 1841. This had declined to 116,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Kerry—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Kerry?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Kerry

Reader Irish Surnames of County Kerry (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Kerry surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Kildare Surnames.

0.8% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Kildare. The county had a population of 114,000 in 1841. This had declined to 64,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Kildare—they believe that their ancestor lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Kildare?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Kildare

Reader Irish Surnames of County Kildare (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Kildare surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Kilkenny Surnames.

2.3% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Kilkenny. The county had a population of 202,000 in 1841. This had declined to 61,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Kilkenny—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Kilkenny?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Kilkenny

Reader Irish Surnames of County Kilkenny (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Kilkenny surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Laois (also known as Queen’s County) Surnames.

0.9% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Laois. The county had a population of 153,000 in 1841. This had declined to 45,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Laois—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Laois?

Surname Wordcloud 2016 Laois

Reader Irish Surnames of County Laois (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Laois surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Leitrim Surnames.

1.7% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Leitrim. The county had a population of 155,000 in 1841. This had declined to 33,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Leitrim—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Leitrim?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Leitrim

Reader Irish Surnames of County Leitrim (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Leitrim surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Limerick Surnames.

3.3% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Limerick. The county had a population of 330,000 in 1841. This had declined to 133,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Limerick—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Limerick?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Limerick

Reader Irish Surnames of County Limerick (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Limerick surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


County Longford Surnames.

1.2% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Longford. The county had a population of 115,000 in 1841. This had declined to 31,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Longford—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Longford?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Longford

Reader Irish Surnames of County Longford (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Longford surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Louth Surnames.

0.8% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Louth. The county had a population of 128,000 in 1841. This had declined to 67,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Louth—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Louth?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Louth

Reader Irish Surnames of County Louth (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Louth surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Mayo Surnames.

9.1% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Mayo. The county had a population of 388,000 in 1841. This had declined to 123,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Mayo—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Mayo?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Mayo

Reader Irish Surnames of County Mayo (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Mayo surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Meath Surnames.

1.2% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Meath. The county had a population of 183,000 in 1841. This had declined to 65,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Meath—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration. 

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Meath?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Meath

Reader Irish Surnames of County Meath (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Meath surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Monaghan Surnames.

1.4% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Monaghan. The county had a population of 200,000 in 1841. This had declined to 47,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Monaghan—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Monaghan?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Monaghan

Reader Irish Surnames of County Monaghan (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Monaghan surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Offaly (also known as King’s County) Surnames.

0.9% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Offaly. The county had a population of 147,000 in 1841. This had declined to 52,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Offaly—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Offaly?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Offaly

Reader Irish Surnames of County Offaly (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Offaly surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Roscommon Surnames.

2.5% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Roscommon. The county had a population of 254,000 in 1841. This had declined to 59,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Roscommon—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Roscommon?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Roscommon

Reader Irish Surnames of County Roscommon (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Roscommon surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Sligo Surnames.

2.6% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Sligo. The county had a population of 180,000 in 1841. This had declined to 54,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Sligo—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Sligo?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Sligo

Reader Irish Surnames of County Sligo (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Sligo surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Tipperary Surnames.

4.7% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Tipperary. The county had a population of 435,000 in 1841. This had declined to 123,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Tipperary—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Tipperary?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Tipperary

Reader Irish Surnames of County Tipperary (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Tipperary surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Tyrone Surnames.

2.9% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Tyrone. The county had a population of 313,000 in 1841. This had declined to 134,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Tyrone—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Tyrone?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Tyrone

Reader Irish Surnames of County Tyrone (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Tyrone surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Waterford Surnames.

1.7% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Waterford. The county had a population of 196,000 in 1841. This had declined to 71,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Waterford—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Waterford?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Waterford

Reader Irish Surnames of County Waterford (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Waterford surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Westmeath Surnames.

1.5% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Westmeath. The county had a population of 141,000 in 1841. This had declined to 53,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Westmeath—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Westmeath?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Westmeath

Reader Irish Surnames of County Westmeath (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Westmeath surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Wexford Surnames.

2.2% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Wexford. The county had a population of 202,000 in 1841. This had declined to 83,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Wexford—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Wexford?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Wexford

Reader Irish Surnames of County Wexford (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Wexford surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


 

County Wicklow Surnames.

0.8% of our reader’s ancestors came from County Wicklow. The county had a population of 126,000 in 1841. This had declined to 58,000 by 1961.

Here are the names submitted by our readers for County Wicklow—they believe that their ancestors lived in this county before emigration.

Did any of your Irish ancestors come from County Wicklow?

Surname Wordcloud March 2016 Wicklow

Reader Irish Surnames of County Wicklow (click graphic to enlarge)

Like to add your County Wicklow surname to our list? Just signup for your free weekly Letter from Ireland by clicking here.and we’ll let you know how to join in the fun.


So, that’s it for this Irish surname update. Remember, if you would like to add your surname to our list, all you have to do is sign up for your Free Letter from Ireland below.

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