Solving The Mystery of Irish Surnames – Two Examples (#723)

We take two very different Irish surnames and use them to illustrate the sometimes simple - and sometimes unlikely - evolution of the surnames into their present form. Also, we have lots of great music and chat along the way!

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Solving The Mystery of Irish Surnames – Two Examples (#723)

Have you ever wondered how the Irish surnames in your family tree came about? Understanding just HOW your Irish surnames developed is KEY to understanding more about your Irish origins and likely locations in Ireland. In this episode we take two very different Irish surnames and use them to illustrate the sometimes simple – and sometimes unlikely – evolution of the surnames into their present form. Also, we have lots of great music and chat along the way!


You can listen to the show on your computer/smartphone by clicking on the play button above (the triangle with the circle around it). You can also download the show onto your computer by clicking on the download symbol. Enjoy!

The Letter from Ireland Show is a weekly podcast that goes out each Thursday from our cottage in County Cork. Tune in to this episode – and dive straight in to a bit of Irish caint, ceóil agus craic (conversation, music and craic!).


Played or Mentioned in this Show:

The following links were mentioned in this show:

This episode features the following Music:

  • “Carrickfergus” – performed by Brian Kennedy.
  • “Days Like This” – performed by Dermot Kennedy.
  • “The Ballad of Henry Ford” – performed by Thomas Maguire and Fhiona Ennis.

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This Episode is Brought to You by:

The Green Room! The Green Room is run by Irish people, out of Ireland – and focused on people of Irish ancestry all over the world. We know Irish culture, history, the language – and many of the issues people have with understanding complex Irish Heritage and Ancestry. While genealogy record sites bring you part of the way – we’ll bring you all the way home! So, break down those Irish Ancestry Brick Walls when you join today – see all about the Green Room here.

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Slán for now, Mike and Carina.

  • Margaret Singleton says:

    My ancestors came from Gory and I’ve never seen our family surname printed anywhere.

  • C. Martyn says:

    I have ancestors from County Clare and have seen the name spelled Hedican and Hedigan which has made tracing the family very difficult.

    • Carina Collins says:

      Using is great help and you get free membership to John Grenham when you join us. First step do join us on our free weekly Letter from Ireland and from there check out The Green Room ( link at the end of the Letter from Ireland)

  • Judith Palmer says:

    It is so interesting reading so much of Irish history especially as I have a Great great grandfather from Northern Ireland – John Arnold ? Born early to mid 1880’s. We understand he came from Dunardnagross, County Tyrone and married Harriette ?Clarke ?Crewes before coming to Australia via New Zealand.
    Our other Irish line is a Sarah Lyneham ( various spellings) from County Cork who migrated to Aus. ? 1830-40. She met and married Robert Grant in Goulburn NSW around mid 1800’s. He was my husbands GG grandfather. We have not had any success in finding earlier information on either line

  • Donna Odell says:

    My maternal great grandmother’s maiden name is Luby and my paternal great grandfather’s name is Flynn. Both from Ireland
    I’m trying to find out what part of Ireland that were from
    Can you help me

    • Carina Collins says:

      We have a special area called the Green Room where we have lots of specialist help available for your research.

  • Carol says:

    My maternal grandfathers was John O’callaghan and my mothers maiden name was O’callaghan , i think my grandfather was originally from Cork .

  • Brenda Ludford says:

    Would live to know were the name Driscoll came from

  • Patricia Gillespie Sheppard says:

    I found a Rachel Minnix in my ancestry,living in Franklin County,Va.,from Maryland.She married Gabriel Jessee.They were my great-great-great grandparents.I found out her last name Minnix is Irish.Are there many Minnixes in Ireland today?