Irish Surname Resources
In this section I have included all the letters (and podcasts) I have written that relate to Irish surnames. Ireland has one of the oldest surname systems in the world - originating from about the mid-800s - and knowing a little more about the origin and evolution of the Irish surnames in your family tree will often give you a greater insight into your own family history and Irish culture in general.
Browse the features listed on this page and jump to one that interests you, or enter a placename, surname or other item in the search box below to see related letters and podcasts.
Irish Surname Letters
Today we’re looking at Viking, Norman, Galloglass and Planter (English and Scottish) names. Let’s take a few examples using the ancestral family of one of our Readers – Patricia Clarke (thanks, Patricia J ). Patricia gave me six of her family names: Byrnes, Clarke, Halpin, Leonard, Martin and Rafferty. While I may be COMPLETELY incorrect…
Here on the Letter from Ireland – we focus on your Irish surnames and where in Ireland they come from – why? Simply because this matters to people! The 3 most common questions I get asked are: My name is “O’whatishisname” – is it Irish? Where in Ireland does the name come from? My great…
Is your surname Irish? Maybe you’re not sure if it’s Irish or Scottish. You’re not alone, many of my readers ask me if their surname is Irish or Scottish. In this letter I hope to answer this question for you and give you some facts about Irish vs Scottish surnames.
Irish Surname Podcast Episodes
This episode explores the major Royal Irish surnames of O’Neill and O’Connor. We talk about Niall of the Nine Hostages, the patriarch of the O’Neills, and the singer Sinéad O’Connor.Read More
We look at the stories of two different Irish pioneers in early north America – in what is now the country of Canada. The first is the story of Denis O’Donovan – who had the opportunity to choose his final resting place – and the second is Tadhg O’Brennan who may have been the first…Read More
In this episode of the Letter from Ireland Podcast show, we travel to the city of Glasgow in Scotland to meet two proud Glasgow natives of Irish ancestry. Come with us as we get a unique perspective on this city that saw the arrival of so many Irish immigrants from the 1800s onwards.Read More
Do you have any Anglo Norman surnames in your Irish Family Tree? Then join us now as we talk about some of these Irish surnames and follow the Norman trail all the way back to Ireland.Read More
Welcome to Series 1, Episode 6 of the Letter from Ireland Show. In this episode, we look at Irish placenames and townlands.Read More