Where your folk
came from

Derived from Śmacą, the Irish for son, thus suggests youth. Found mainly in the counties of Louth and Monaghan, where it is spelt Mackin.
Originated in Ballymackey, near Nenagh in north Tipperary. Mick Mackey from Ahane Co.Limerick, the great hurler in the thirties and early forties is probably the best known of that surname.
Found mainly in east Galway and also in Kildare where an English family of the same name also settled.
Originally from Co. Fermanagh. McGuire is a rarer form of the surname. Associated with northern counties, though Sam Maguire, whose memory is perpetuated with the trophy for the All-Ireland Senior Football championship was a native of Dunmanway, County Cork.
Mahady (or Mahedy)
a rare surname found mainly in Cos. Longford, Roscommon and Westmeath.
Of Scots-Gaelic origin meaning ‘black-haired man of peace’. Found mainly in Donegal, while Mehaffy is a Co. Monaghan variation. MacAfee, MacHaffy and MacFie are anglicisations.
(often spelt Meagher in times past) – Originated in the Offaly – Tipperary border area and derived from the Irish word meaning ‘kindly’. Unlike many Irish families they were allowed keep their lands after the Norman invasion.
Not always a variation of McMahon, but connected to Mohan and Moen in Co. Monaghan
common in Co. Clare. Two distinct branches (or septs), one from Clare-Limerick and the other from Monaghan. The Clare branch descends from Mahon O’Brien, a grandson of Brian Boru. The Oriel branch produced a number of clerics including three 18th century Archbishops of Armagh.
derived from Mathgamhan , grandson of Brian Boru. Very common in West Cork where the clan held huge tracts of land until they were dispossessed in the 17th Century.
Mannering (Mainwaring)
Has its origins in the English place-name.
originated on Clare-Galway border, another branch has its roots on Westmeath-Offaly border. Variations include Mulleady, Moledy and Malady.
a Scottish clan and also Ulster surname.
a rare North Galway surname meaning “black chief”.
widespread in north Connacht. The prefix ‘O’ is seldom dropped. Thought to have come from an old Irish word for chief. Famous O’Malleys include the 16th century seafarer, Grace or Granuaile (Grace the bald) and 20th Century Irish politicians, Donogh – who introduce ‘free’ education in the Republic of Ireland and his nephew, Des who founded the Progressive Democrats in 1985 after leaving Fianna Fail.
Variation of Mullane in West Cork, but no connection with Mallan, which is a variation of Mallon.
From Cos. Armagh and Tyrone, where the name is still common. Derived from the Irish meaning pleasant.
Originated in West Offaly and has strong links with the monastic settlement at Clonmacnois. Translates from the Irish as a devotee of St. John
Originally from Co. Clare where the name is still popular and is derived from the Irish for “servant of the church”. Sometimes spelt Molony or Maloney.
A north Tipperary family name, which is many instances have been changed to Maloughney or Molony.
Found mainly in West Cork and anglicised as Mannix.
Originated in Co. Donegal, also found in Mayo.
a Norman family which settled in east Ulster in the 12th Century and some later moved to Cos. Tipperary and Waterford and adopted the name Mansfield.
Three branches of the family; some members of the north Connacht sept use the name Mongan, as did the Co. Tyrone branch, a third branch originated in Co. Limerick.
The Irish Manleys hail from Co. Cork, also an English surname.
The Ulster Manns are of Scottish descent. Surname found in mediaeval Co. Meath is presumably of English origin.
a Galway family, whose chief residence was the castle of Clogher.
an English name found mainly in Cos. Cork and Dublin.
rare nowadays, was found mainly in south-west Cork. Derived from the Irish word for monk. Most Rev. Daniel Mannix (1864-1063), Archbishop of Melbourne and native of Co. Cork was one of the best known of that name.
Originally from Cumbria, England and settled in Tipperary and Cork in the mid-17th century
see Mandeville.
roots in Co. Waterford, derived from the Irish word for ‘toothless’. There is an English family from a town of the same name.
The christian name is of north European origin, derived from Latin ‘Magnus’ meaning great one, but the surname can be traced back to Maghnus, son of Turlough O’Connor a King of Ireland who was based in Kilronan, Co. Roscommon. Popular in south of this county and also in neighbouring Westmeath
O’Meara (O’Mara)
originated in north Tipperary around the village of Toomevara. The prefix ‘O’ is rarely dropped. Numerous in Co. Tipperary where O’Meara is the more popular form.
an east Clare name. The Tom Markham Cup is awarded to the winners of the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.
derived from the Irish word for ‘rider’, with its roots in Cos. Monaghan and Louth. The surname Ryder is a translation.
a translation of O’Maoilbhearaigh (Mulberry), originally from Co. Clare.
Originally from Co. Louth, found also in Donegal and Mayo. Also a variation of Marlay, an English family which settled in Longford the late 17th Century.
A rare Norman name found introduced to area around Dublin in the early 14th Century. See Louth
Introduced to Kilkenny in the middle of the 16th Century and gave it name to Marnellsmeadow in the city. A corruption of Warnell, derived from Warner.
A south Co. Monaghan name from Irish meaning ‘quick and lively’.
Of uncertain origin, but with Louth roots. See east Meath
Arrived in Ireland from England in the 17th Century. Francis Marsh (founder of Marsh’s Library was Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin (1682-1693)
Found mainly in east Ulster and or Norman origin.
Martell (Mortell)
introduced into neighbouring parts of Limerick, Cork and Tipperary in the 13th century. Derived from the Latin name Martellus and an old French word for ‘hammer’.
One of the most numerous surnames in the country. One branch of the family were numbered among the 14 tribes of Galway. Sometimes an abbreviation of Gilmartin. Martyn is a less common form. Edward Martyn (1859 – 1923) was a founder member of Sinn Fein and a leading figure in the Irish dramatic revival. See Cavan
An occupational English name, introduced into the country in the 13th Century, found in most parts, but rare in Connacht.
Anglo-Irish family with strong Co. Limerick links.
McMaster (Masterson)
a Co. Cavan family, also found in neighbouring Longford. The Ulster McMasters are of Scottish origin.
Originated in Yorkshire and derived from the obsolete English word meaning ‘mower’. Introduced into this country in the early 17th Century.
of English origin. Fr. Theobald Mathew, the temperance priest, was a native of Thomastown in south Kilkenny.
Matthew or Matthews
An English name numerous in Ulster and Louth, where it is also a synonym of McMahon.
a branch of this English aristocratic family settled in Co. Kilkenny in the 17th Century. Also found among Irish speakers in Connemara.
a variation of Mohan and Mahon. See Mayo
Of Norman origin and on record in Co. Wexford since the 13th Century and in Cos. Limerick and Tipperary since the early 17th Century.
An Antrim name reputed to be an anglicized form of MacSuibhne (McSweeney). Brian Mawhinney, a former Chairman of the British Conservative Party served in the Northern Ireland office and was elected Chairman of the English Football League in 2002.
Numerous in Ulster, of Scottish origin and sometimes a synonym of Mescall.
There are several derivations for this English name including an Irish sept from Westmeath in the Middle Ages
Found in Co. Kerry of English origin, while Mayberry is found in Ulster.
Two different origins; one originated in Co. Meath and became a leading family in Cork city and county from the 14th Century, the other is of English origin. See north Meath
Variation of Melly, which originated in Donegal and north Connacht and derived from the Irish word for ‘pleasant’.
see O’Mara
derived from MacMath, a branch of the Scottish Matheson clan.
A Roscommon name meaning ‘honourable’. Sometimes spelt Mea in Mayo, while in South Down it is occasionally used as a synonym of Meehan and McNamee.
Of south Monaghan origin, same derivation as Mee. Changed to Meehan in Co. Louth.
Same derivation as Mee. From two distinct septs distributed around the four provinces, one of Clare-Galway origin while the Leitrim branch are reputed to be a branch of the Munster McCarthys.
A Co. Cork family from Castlemehigan near Crookhaven. Altered to Meehan in some cases. In 1926 P. D. Mehigan commentated on the All-Ireland Hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Galway, the first ‘live’ broadcast of a sporting event anywhere in Europe.
a western variation of O’Malley.
Originated in north Connacht, now associated with Co. Cork.
Mellott, Millett and Mylotte are all variations of this name derived from miles meaning soldier. Found Co. Kilkenny area from the 14th Century and in Mayo and east Galway from the 17th Century.
Possibly derived from the English name Mellowes. Galway-born Irish freedom fighter Liam Mellowes fought in the 1916 Easter Rising and later fled to the US where he raised money and ammunition for the War of Independence. An opponent of the 1921 Treaty, he was executed by the Free State Government during the Civil War.
Rare Norman name found mainly in Ulster. Sometimes a synonym of Mulvihill.
variation of Manton, derived from the Irish for toothless.
From the French word meaning ‘merchant’ found mainly in Antrim and Down and prominent in Leinster in mediaeval times.
Variation of Mercer found in midland counties.
A Welsh name meaning magnificent, arrived in Ireland in 16th Century.
A rare Westmeath name from the Irish meaning ‘rebel’ or ‘felon’.
A Co. Wexford name, possibly connected with the McMurrough-Kavanagh sept, from the Irish meaning ‘deft’.
three origins; Welsh but found in Connacht from the 13th Century, the Irish version comes from West Waterford, sometimes anglicised as Merry and also an English surname.
Originally form Westmeath and Longford, variants include Morgan, Maragan, Murrigan and Murricane.
An English name, also a synonym of an Irish surname of uncertain origin, The poet Brian Merriman was a member of the McNamara family and probably it as a humorous nickname.
Originated in Tipperary and Waterford. See Merrick.
Mescall (or Mescal)
found mainly in Co. Clare and along the border with Cos. Limerick and Galway.
Originated in Medcalf, Yorkshire found in Ireland since 17th Century.
Meyer (sometimes Meyers)
Of English, French and German origin but native to the west of Ireland.
Descended from a Welsh family which settled in Wexford shortly after the arrival of the Normans.
This English name is not as prevalent as it used to be and in some cases changed to Mitchell.
Of Scottish origin, a branch of the Stewart clan.
Dates back to the Middle Ages, but a Cromwellian adventurer of this name got extensive lands in Kerry.
See Millea
Numerous in Ulster, of Scottish origin.
Variation of Mullane
Miller (Millar)
An English occupational name, numerous in north-east Ulster.
Associated with Kilkenny and other south-eastern counties. May be of Connacht origin, from the Irish meaning “devotee of St. Hugh”.
see Mellett
Variation of Mulligan, originated in South Derry.
Rare English toponymic but found in various location in 17th Century. Dublin-born writer, John Millington Synge is the best known of that surname.
English surname, numerous in Ulster.
Of Scottish origin, from the old-English meaning ‘worker at the mill’.
variation of Minnagh, which is found mainly in Tyrone and Longford and means Munsterman.
see Minchin
Introduced into Ireland in Cromwellian times. This old English surname is derived from Middle-English word meaning ‘nun’. Family settled in Roscrea area. Minch, a surname associated with Co. Kildare may be an abbreviation of Minchin.
See Moynihan.
Minogue, Minnock
Kylie’s antecedents originated in east Clare, Minnock is a variation found in Offaly.
Not to be confused with Mescal. An Antrim name, usually a syncopated form of MacScally
An English name long established in most parts , but rarer in Connacht.
Mitton, Mythen
Of English origin found in Wexford since 17th Century.
Mockler, Moclair
Of French origin, in Tipperary since early 13th Century. Found in Mayo.
Variation of Mohan and Moan, found mainly in Co. Monaghan.
Introduced into Ulster from Scotland in 17th Century. Found in Mayo.
In Connacht it has been widely changed to Mahon. See Moen
Has it roots in mid-Leinster, from the Irish for big, soft and noble. Variant spellings include Maloy and Mulloy. Synonymous with a number of surnames including Logue (Co. Donegal), Mulvihill (Co. Kerry) and Slowey (Co. Monaghan). Also an anglicised form of Ó’Maolaoidh (Millea). See Offaly and neighbouring parts of Galway.
see Maloney.
A Norman name, but also a variation on Mulligan and in Co. Kerry, according to some sources, a variation of Molloy.
Originated in Co. Roscommon and like Minogue derived from the Irish word for a monk.
Most closely associated with Co. Donegal, derived from Irish for ‘wealth’ and ‘valour’.
see Mangan.
A Co. Mayo name derived from Mongan and Mangan.
An English name also used as a synonym for Monahan.
a Scottish surname adopted by some O’Mellans and Milroys.
Norman in origin, but sometimes a synonym for McTague.
Originally introduced to Cork from France and in the 17th century to Ulster. Gaelicized in some quarter as Mac Iomaire, which is also the Irish for Ridge.
An English name suggesting bravery or impetuosity. Found mainly in Ulster and also in Offaly
Moon, Moone
synonymous with Mohan.
Widely distributed, with roots in Donegal and Offaly.
An English surname widespread throughout Ireland and substituted in many cases for the Irish O’More, only numerous in Dublin and Antrim.
Two septs of this name, one from east Offaly which in many cases has been shortened to Moran, Morgan or Morkan. The other from Leitrim generally retained the original spelling, but in some cases shortened to Morrin.
a number of distinct Connacht septs have been anglicised as Moran. See Morahan.
Originated in Co. Laois. Means ‘majestic’. See Moore.
Of Welsh origin, fairly numerous and especially in the north east. Also used as the anglicised form of several Irish surnames including Merrigan and Morahan.
O’Muirecheartaigh as in the GAA commentator Micheal O’Muirecheartaigh. Chiefly associated with Co. Kerry. Means ‘navigator’. See Murtagh.
An anglicised version of an old Mayo surname O’Murghaile meaning ‘sea-valour’.
Has Clare origins, derived from Mulrooney.
Of Norman origin, one of the 14 Tribes of Galway. Some branches of the Morrissey and Fitzmaurice families changed their names to Morris.
Numerous in Ulster, of Scottish origin.
Found mainly in Co. Roscommon, means ‘Red Morris’.
Has two distinct origins; the Irish O’Muirgheasa, (suggesting ‘sea-action’) and the Norman de Marisco
Either an abbreviation of MacMurrough or a synonym of Morrow.
Without the prefix Mac, is an English name more common in Ulster.
a branch of the O’Rourkes from Co. Leitrim. Means ‘son of the mariner’.
see Martell.
An English name which originated in France and evident in Meath from the late 14th Century. In the west often used as a synonym of MacMurty.
Found mainly in Ulster and in Dublin. Arrived from England in the 13th Century.
An east Cork name.
Of English origin, introduced into Ireland in the 14th Century. For a time prominent in Waterford and south-eastern counties, but rare today.
A Munster name, but whose original location has not been determined. Found mainly in Cork, Tipperary and Clare
Originally from Co. Mayo, the name is an anglicisation of the words ‘servant of Mary’.
Found mainly in the Cork-Kerry border area and means ‘Munsterman’. Minihane is another form of the name found mainly in Co. Cork.
Originated in Co. Monaghan. In medieval times the family were prominent in the barony of Cremorne, Co. Monaghan. See also north Louth.
Originated in South Tipperary and numerous throughout Munster. Means ‘devoted to St. Cathach’ and not derived from cathach meaning ‘warlike’.
A Co. Limerick name also found in Co. Galway where Mulhare is a variation.
From the Irish crón meaning ‘swarthy’, almost exclusive to Co. Mayo.
a Roscommon name, sometime abbreviated to Conry or corrupted as Conroy.
a Co. Mayo name, meaning ‘red chief’. Changed in some instances to Reddington, Reid and Ruttledge.
Three separate origins, the Ulster branch (Derry/Tyrone) being most important. Also native to Clare (where it was changed in many cased to Malone) and Co. Galway.
similar in meaning to Maloney, ‘servant of the church’, found mainly in Ulster. In some instances shortened to Downey. See Derry
Not very common but found mainly in Co. Tyrone, the rarer abbreviation Grew belongs to Armagh.
A Co. Laois name meaning ‘ devotee of St. Cathal’.
An Ulster variation of Mulkerrin, a Roscommon name meaning ‘devotee of St. Ciaran’.
The Co. Derry Mulhollands were keepers of the Bell of St. Patrick and they are the most numerous of this name
see Mullooly
Originated in Co. Galway and in some places contracted to Lally.
Has its origins in Cos. Derry and Galway and now indistinguishable from Mullen, Mullins, Mullin, Mellon and McMullen in most parts of the country. Derived from the Irish for ‘bald’ and may suggest ‘tonsured’.
A variant of Mullan found in Cos. Clare and Cork and in many cases changed to Mullins.
Has its origins on the Sligo-Roscommon border, but its derivation is uncertain.
Originated in Co. Donegal, but mainly found in Cos. Sligo, Mayo and Galway. The name means ‘follower of St. Erc’.
Changed to McLarney in the midlands. Similar sounding names such as McAlarney have a different origin.
see Mullan.
Ulster variant of Mullan or Mullen.
Found in Roscommon and other parts of Connacht. An anglicisation of O’Maolmhuire meaning ‘follower of Our Lady’.
An important sept in Co. Donegal prior to the Plantation of Ulster, found mainly in Mayo and Monaghan. Another surname derived from the Irish word for ‘bald’. See Mullen.
Variation on Mullen or Mullin found in Cos. Clare and Cork.
An old family name found in Cos. Longford and Roscommon, derived from the Irish word for ‘shoulder’.
A Co. Clare surname derived from the Irish for ‘gentle chief’, which has been changed to Mulligan in parts of west Clare.
Has it origins in Cos. Fermanagh and Galway. In the former county they were suppressed by the Maguires. In parts of Galway it was changed to Moroney. See Rooney.
Has its origins in Cos. Longford and Mayo. Means ‘red chief’.
in many instances it had been abbreviated to Ryan, one of the ten most numerous surnames in the country.
Mainly found in north Leinster but with origins in north Ulster. See also Cavan.

It is about the book that John wrote about William Mulvany who is a relative of mine. The book is "Breaking Ground". I visited  John in 2003 in Germany and was last in contact with him December 2006. However, since my return from Dublin in 2007 looking up more genealogical connections for the Mulvany family I have been  unable to contact him. His email address I have is <annegreto@debitel.net>. I have a letter from him dated Jan 2003 but am unable to read his hand written address which has changed from the previous one. It appears to be Bert??????. 18, 50999 Koln. Would anyone be able to supply me with his email address or home address or would you be able to contact him and ask him to get in contact with me? I am related to William Mulvany through my great grandfather Thomas John Mulvany and for the past 10 years have been following up leads on various family members who were resident in Dublin. John was a great help to me taking me around the various sites in Germany where the Mulvany  brothers lived and worked. Because his book had not been published at that time we weren't able to swop much information. However I have a copy of the book and it has been of great assistance to me.
I look forward to your reply.             
Thank you
T.Elliott (Mrs) c.elliott@xtra.co.nz
Derived from the Irish for ‘honourable’, with origins in Clare and Leitrim.
Originated in Co. Roscommon and means ‘follower of St. Michael’. In some instances changed to Mulville or Melville in Cos. Clare and Galway and to Mitchell in Ulster.
mainly found in Co. Donegal, of Scottish origin.
a Co. Mayo surname with Monnelly and even Manley as variations.
Of Scottish origin and adopted by some O’Mellans and Mulroys.
Found mainly in Ulster, originated in Scotland and sometimes a variant of Murtagh.
An Ulster surname distinct from Murnane and meaning ‘loveable’. The BBC broadcaster Dermot Murnaghan, who resisted pressure to change it, is best known of that name
Of Limerick origin and in some cases changed to Marrinane and Marnane.
The most popular Irish surname and derived from the Irish for ‘sea-warrior’. Has its origins in Cork, Wexford and Roscommon. Popularity intensifies as you go south.
Has origins in Cos. Down and Roscommon. Also a Scottish surname. Very popular around south Roscommon and Athlone area of Westmeath.
Originated in Wexford and well known in medieval times now rare. The surnames Kavanagh, Kinsella, Hendrick and Mernagh were once part of the MacMurrough sept.
A Co. Meath surname means ‘navigator’. See Moriarity. In Ulster it is sometimes a synonym of Murdoch. See also Westmeath.
An English surname introduced during the Plantation of Ulster and later came to the fore in Waterford
Anglicisation of an old Co. Clare surname Meere, meaning ‘mirth’. Very popular in west Cork.
Myler, Meyler
Descended from a Welsh family which settled in Wexford shortly after the Norman invasion.
Of English origin, moved to Wexford in 17th Century. See Mitton.
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