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

Scottish Surnames and The Mull of Kintyre

We returned last night from a trip to Dublin. We had an important job to do (more on that later in the letter), but we did get some time to catch up with friends and family. On Friday evening we were all kicking back in front of the fire and the telly—as you do—and on…

Irish Surnames – County Cork Surnames and Places

It’s the largest county in Ireland – as well as being the largest single source for all Irish emigration during the 19th century. Maybe your ancestors came from this Irish county? Each Sunday we send out a Letter from Ireland from a cottage in County Cork – to over 18,000 people of Irish descent all over the…

Do You Have an Irish Surname Question?

This is the part of the letter from Ireland blog where I (Mike) will attempt to answer all your Irish surname questions – or at least steer you in the right direction. All you need to do is to write out your question in the comments section at the end of this page – and…

County Tipperary Surnames and Places

When someone signs up for our weekly Letter from Ireland, we ask them for the Irish surnames in their family and the counties in Ireland their ancestor came from originally. As a result, we now have about 25,000 entries on our list. The following names are ones we received from readers whose ancestors came from…

One Irish Castle and Many Irish Names

All of these castles and tower-houses have a history – and that history is usually intertwined with the history and genealogy of different Irish families. Just this morning, I took the car to Ballincollig – our local town – to get two new tyres. Instead of waiting, I decided to go for a walk and…

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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