Where your folk
came from

Now found mostly in Dublin but established in various parts of Ireland since the fourteenth century. An old English name.

The Scottish form of the name Atkinson, it was a lot more common hundreds of years ago where it was very popular in Fermanagh and Wicklow. Nowadays it is found mostly in the north of the country.
Very few examples of the name are recorded in any other part of the island of Ireland apart from Ulster where it is commonplace. Like many other names up north, it is believed to have originated in Scotland.
There are quite a few versions of this name and they are found in several widely differing regions of the country such as Cork, Armagh, Cavan, Mayo, Kerry, Tipperary, Dublin and Belfast.
An anglicised version of Cunniff, sister versions include MacNiff which is widely found in the west of Ireland and Fermanagh and Donegal. Found in Monaghan.
As distinct from MacAdam, Adams is of English origin but is generally confined to the north-east of Ireland.

Connected closely to the O’Neill clan of Tyrone. Appropriately enough, the name in Gaelic means action. Mostly found in the northern part of the island.


In Irish it is spelt O’hEachtighearna which means lord of the horse. Belonging to one of the main septs of Clare and part of County Limerick, the clan migrated from the that area to Co. Cork and Waterford and the south of Ireland remains their stronghold.
Found mostly in the north-east of Ireland, it is often replaced by Mullarney or MacLarney in the midlands. In Co. Monaghan the name is MacAlearney.

An old mid-Ulstr name found in Tyrone and Armagh.


Very common in Ulster but originates from Scotland where various derivatives are plentiful. Particularly numerous in Co. Tyrone.

Again a name with plenty of variations although McAleese is by far the most common name. Thought to have made its way to Ireland from the Scottish Highlands and is the name of a prominent Derry sept.
In Gaelic it is written Mac Giolla Fhiondain or devotee of St. Fintan. It’s popularity is confined to the northern part of Ireland and is particularly common in the Armagh and Down areas.

Again a name native to Scotland. It is believed that it was popularised in the north of Ireland following the arrival here some five hundred years ago by mercenary soldiers from across the North Sea.
Related to the Campbells of Scotland but boasts an English pedigree also. Can be found mostly nowadays in Tipperary, Offaly and Cork.
Literally means son of Andrew. Of English origin, it is one of the most numerous English names to be found in the north-east of the island.
One of the most numerous English names in the whole of Ireland. It has been a common name north, south, east and west since the 18th century but is particularly plentyful in Co. Dublin.

Son of the Bishop. Not that common, except in Co. Tyrone.


Uncommon apart from east Leinster, especially the Wicklow/Kildare area.

The name Traynor has been replaced by Armstrong over the years in many parts of the country, but in particular in Ulster where it is very prominent. Usually English though.
Very common in the Louth-Monaghan plus Armagh areas. This sept is closely related to the McMahons of Monaghan.

Again a name which is popular around the border counties, particularly Co. Monaghan. It is closely related to King (Mac an Ri).
Common in Co. Cavan and further afield in Breffny but hardly anywhere else. It is thought to be a Gaelic name without any English or Scottish pedigree, perhaps deriving its name from St. Fearga.
Doubt surrounds the origin of this name but it is found mainly in Clare. Sometimes Harkin with the the H.

Of English origin, it comes from the word hermitage and has been found in Ireland since the 18th century. It is most common in Tipperary nowadays.
Is more commonly used as a first name internationally but those bearing this surname can trace their ancestry in Ireland back to the middle ages. Most common now in Dublin.
Takes its name from the tree and has been most common in and around the Pale since the 14th century.

Sometimes spelt with an ‘e’ between the last two letters. It is predominantly found in the border counties and is closely related to Tavey.
Son of the craftsman. Is sometimes confused with its Scottish cousin, MacIntyre but its home is in Co. Armagh. Its English equivalent is Wright.
Believed to derive from the name Adam. Is principally found in the north-east of the country.
Common name in Westmeath. A shortened version of McCaughey.

A common name which is strongly represented in Offaly, Westmeath, Sligo and Donegal. Closely related to the MacGuires and the Galweys in Connacht.
A clan which is a branch of the MacCarthys. Very much identified with the south of Ireland, Kerry in particular.
Of English background and rare in Ireland but there are a number in Down and the name appears in Connacht also.
In Cavan this name appears as McGivney. McAvinney from Monaghan and Fermanagh is a branch of the O’Cahans of Derry.
Of the same tribe as MacWeeney. This version is peculiar to County Cavan though.
Of Anglo-Norman extraction, the Alywards are associated with the south-east of the country, especially Co. Kilkenny.