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Irish Ancestry and surnames


Tracing Irish ancestry can be a challenging and rewarding process. And here at Hall of Names people often tell us stories about how they are tracing their Irish roots! We love to help with our Irish surname history scrolls. If you are hoping to start your journey of discovery into your Irish roots, then read on because here are some tips to get started! Plus, we’ve listed some of the most popular names, and you can see if your is on the list. In addition, there are links to other sites which you might find helpful.



Irish name history

An Irish name history scroll is a great gift!




Top five tips


  1. Firstly, gather information from your family. Talk to your family members and gather as much information as you can about your Irish ancestors. Also, ask for names, dates, and locations of birth, marriage, and death. Plus, ask about any stories or traditions that have been passed down through the generations.
  2. Secondly, research Irish records. Many Irish records are available online, including census records, birth, marriage and death records, and church records. The National Archives of Ireland and the Irish Family History Foundation are good places to start.
  3. Then, explore immigration records. If your ancestors immigrated to another country, look for immigration records that may provide information about their place of origin in Ireland. For example, in America The Ellis Island website has a searchable database of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island.
  4. Plus, Visit Ireland! If possible, visit Ireland and explore the places your ancestors lived. There are many genealogical societies and archives that can provide assistance and guidance for researching your Irish ancestry.
  5. Alos, use DNA testing. DNA testing can provide clues about your Irish ancestry and help you connect with other relatives who may be researching the same family lines. Companies such as AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe offer DNA testing services.




Tracing your Irish surname and ancestry can be fascinating and revealing!




Tracing your Irish ancestry is a fascinating and rewarding journey that connects you with your roots and helps you understand your family’s history and traditions. Some of Ireland’s prominent surnames have a fascinating history and it’s great to find out all about their roots. Of course, Irish surnames have a rich history and often reflect the country’s ancient Celtic and Gaelic cultures. Many Irish surnames are derived from clan or family names, patronymics, and toponyms (names that refer to a place or location). Here are a few examples of Irish surnames and their histories.


Popular Irish names


Here are just five of the most popular Irish names.


  1. O’Connor – This surname means “descendant of Conchobhar” and is one of the most common surnames in Ireland. It originated from the Connacht region and was actually the name of a powerful Irish dynasty.
  2. Murphy – This surname means “sea warrior” and is the most common surname in County Cork. It is thought to have originated from the Irish word “Murchadh” which means “sea warrior” or “sea battler.”
  3. Kelly – This surname means “descendant of Ceallach” and is one of the most common surnames in Ireland. It is believed to have originated from a personal name meaning “strife” or “contention.”
  4. Gallagher – This surname means “descendant of Gallchobhair” and is most common in the Ulster region. It is believed to have originated from a personal name meaning “foreign help” or “foreign support.”
  5. O’Donnell – This surname means “descendant of Domhnall” and was the name of a powerful Irish clan. It is believed to have originated from a personal name meaning “world ruler” or “ruler of the world.”


Have you got a story?


These are just a few examples of the wide and varied history of Irish surnames. Many Irish surnames have interesting stories and legends associated with them. Therefore, tracing your family history can be a fascinating way to learn more about your Irish heritage. Have you traced the Irish roots of your name and ancestry? We’d love to hear all about it!

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