A Letter from Ireland:

The Irish Surname Riordan or Reardon



Riordan (or O’Riordan or Rearden) comes from the Irish Ó Riordain – which in turn comes from the earlier Irish Ó Rioghbhardáin. This in turn derives from “riogh bhard” or “royal bard. It is and was a large sept – but even today, you will find most Riordans in Munster – and county Cork particularly.

The bard was a type of poet – sometimes responsible for writing and reciting verse – sometimes only responsible for reciting and performing. The profession of the Bard or the Poet in Gaelic Ireland was to provide praise and eulogy or condemnation. It was a role that was treated with great seriousness as opposed to being purely entertaining.

If you would like to add what you know about the Riordan surname, tell the story of your Riordan family OR ask a question – please do so below in the comments section.

Remember – at Your Irish Heritage we consider an “Irish Surname” to be one that belongs in your family. It may belong to an ancestor who lived in Ireland at one stage. We consider old Gaelic, Viking, Norman and planter names to be all Irish – if they fit this criteria.

  • Jane bembia says:

    Hi, the ship manifest that has my great grandmother mentions a town that appears to be spelled “cloncriffo”.
    The closest I can find to that name is Cloncraff.
    Was there a place called cloncriffo back in about 1900?
    Thank you,

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