Your Irish Surname Could Reveal Your Heritage

What’s in a name?  That is a question often asked by those seeking to find their family heritage.  Researching your Irish Surname could reveal your heritage.  Irish Family Maps make it easy to find the birthplace of your Irish Ancestors.   

Initially Irish Family Names were simply a single given name such as Cian, pronounced “key in”.  As the population grew, it became necessary to add Irish Surnames so that families could be more easily identified.  Many Irish Surnames predate Christianity and were of ancient Celtic origin.  In fourth century AD, Irish surnames were influenced by St. Patrick and other Christian missionaries.  Irish Family Surnames often identified the particular trade of the family.  For instance the family of the local blacksmith might have the Irish surname of Smith.  Irish family surnames tended to be localized into groups or clans by county.  These clans broke into smaller groups or septs.  As generations of Irish families grew, it became necessary to further differentiate the older and younger generations by adding a prefix of Mac, meaning “son of”, often abbreviated by Mc, or O’ which means “grandson of”.    

Today many traditional Irish Surnames have been anglicized to more familiar spellings and pronunciations. Many Irish Surnames have been simplified by removing the O’ or Mac’ or the abbreviated Mc’ prefix and at times shortening the spelling by a letter in the middle of the surname.  For example, the anglicized surname Fallon was once the traditional Irish Surname of O’Faloon.  The anglicized surname McCarty came from the traditional Irish surname MacCarthy or the Gaelic surname Mac Carthaigh.    

Irish Family Maps make it easy to trace your Irish Surname to your family’s county of origin in Ireland with the easy to use alphabetical name listing and unique grid system.  Irish Family Maps even includes historical Irish Landmarks near your ancestral clan.  

So go ahead, research your Irish Surname.  Celebrate and share your Irish pride with your friends and family. Slainte’.