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

Irish Surname Evolution.

We had a very interesting reaction to last week’s letter where I went through just some of the old Gaelic family names and their links to certain professions such as Medic, Judge, Poet and so on. I asked you to let me know if you had any of these names in your family – and…

Is your Surname Buried in an Irish Placename?

We’re just back from a great trip to Tipperary. Yesterday was a typical Irish summers day – composed equally of squally showers, warm sunshine and more! The reason we headed to County Tipperary was to track down the stories and places around the ancestors of one of our Green Room members – Lorraine Hannan from…

Irish Vikings – A Walk on the Viking Meadow

We’re just back from a trip to County Wicklow – where we were covering an Irish Homelands feature for The Green Room and visiting such wonderful locations as Glendalough. Wandering around Wicklow town, one particular sign in a shop window caught our eye: “Paid Work! Film extras wanted for the 5th season of Vikings. We…

Irish Nicknames and your Irish Surname

Have you ever had a nickname? In your family – or with your friends – or maybe in school? I remember many of my teachers by their nicknames. There was “Small Tobacco”, “Seán Fada” (long John), “Birdie” and so on. That’s what we’ll chat about this week – the relationship between the Irish surnames in…

Have You Heard Your Name in an Irish Accent?

Do you have a “strong accent”? How about the people around you? This morning we take a look at a request from one of our readers – and then consider the Irish accent. I received the following request some time ago from one of our Green Room members: “I have been receiving your “Letter From…

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 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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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