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. You can browse through 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 to see which letters mention them.

Irish Surname Letters

Beautiful Irish greenery

Top 10 Irish Surnames

Today we’re going to put a focus on the Top 10 Irish Surnames among our readers – perhaps your Irish surname is among them? When people sign up for the…

County Fermanagh Surnames and Families

Last March, we headed up to the beautiful county of Fermanagh for a trip – it’s a wonderful county full of rolling hillsides, lakes, small villages and ancient structures. Have…

Irish Surnames and Their Counties

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…

My Irish Surnames and Other Animals

Do you have an Irish Animal Surname in your family tree? The people of Ireland have long had a strong connection with the animals they share their island with. Part of being an agricultural community is living in harmony with the creatures you raise, and depend on for survival. This important relationship has seeped into the surnames of Ireland.

What’s Your Name in Irish?

Do you know your given name in Irish? Many popular names have an Irish equivalent – names like Seán for John, Máire for Mary and so on. And then there…

Irish Surname Podcast Episodes

Irish Pioneers In A Far-Away Land (#732)

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…

Read More

The Irish Scots – A Trip to Glasgow in Scotland (#503)

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

Anglo Norman Surnames – Following the Norman Trail to Ireland (#402)

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

Irish Placenames – Is Your Surname Hidden in One of These Places? (#106)

Welcome to Series 1, Episode 6 of the Letter from Ireland Show. In this episode, we look at Irish placenames and townlands.

Read More

Pete MacCarthy – Always Visit a Pub with Your Name over the Door (#104)

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 4 of the Letter from Ireland Show. In this episode, Carina and Mike Collins follow the journey of a man who “always went into an Irish Pub” with his name over the door. We then go to the back of one of these pubs – and find a remarkable story.

Read More