Where your folk
came from

Padden, MacPadden
Derived from MacPaidín , a diminutive of Patrick. The surname was adopted by some the Barrett and Staunton families in parts of Connacht, especially Mayo. Also a gaelicized form of Patterson or Pattison.
Introduced from England in the mid-1500s, though there are earlier instances of the name. Found in east Galway and in Ulster, where is was translated into Irish as MacGiolla, ‘the son of the servant or page’.
Originated in the Scottish town of the same name. Common in Ulster since the early 17th Century. The Northern Ireland politician and clergyman, founder of the Free Presbyterian Church and Democratic Unionist Party, Rev. Ian Paisley is the best known of that name in this country.
Came to Ireland in the 16th Century and established themselves in Co. Westmeath and later earned the peerage of Longford.
See Payne,
An English surname derived from the French word for ‘pilgrim’. Arrived in Ireland in the 13th Century.
Originally introduced to Ireland in medieval times and derived from the Old-French word for ‘park keeper’. The Ulster Parkers are a more recent introduction.
Arrived in Co. Wexford in the 16th Century and still mostly found there. Originates in a diminutive of Peter
A Co. Offaly surname. Some Parlons in the Roscrea area changed their name to Parnell. See Partlan and Parnell. Tom Parlon is a former leader of the IFA (Irish Farmers Association) who in 2002 became a TD and Junior Government Minister.
The name is also derived from Peter and the family came from Cheshire in the early 1600s. Charles Steward Parnell’s family established themselves in Co. Wicklow, while other branches of the family settled in Dublin and Longford.
Rare surname of English origin derived from the city of Paris and an shortened version of Patricius. Parish is a variant of it and not connected with the word parish. Found in Youghal, Co. Cork from the 14th Century and later in parts of Leinster.
An English family who settled in what became known as Parsonstown (now Birr), Co. Offaly in the late 1500s. The Gaelic form of MacPherson, Mac an Phearsain has in some cases been abbreviated to Parsons.
Partlan, MacPartlan, Parlan
Originated in Armagh, often confused with the Scottish MacFarlane. The surname Bartley is another variant.
Taken from the bird’s name, arrived in Ireland in Cromwellian times.
Of Scottish origin belonging to the Lamont clan. Also a shortened form of the rare Longford name Mulpatrick meaning ‘servant of St. Patrick’.
Patten, Patton
See Peyton.
Patterson, Pattison
English surnames common in Ulster. In parts of Co. Galway the names have used as synonyms of Cussane. The Irish word for ‘path’ is casán.
Paul, MacPaul
In Ireland, a synonym of MacPhail or MacFall. The English surname Paul is not connected.
An English surname on record in Ireland since the 14th Century. Now found mainly in Dublin.
See Peyton.
An English surname recorded in Meath since the early 1600s.
Derived from the Old-English word meaning ‘a thickset man’. Originated in Cos. Derry and Tyrone, where the prefix has been retained. Found without the prefix elsewhere.
Settled in Co. Cork in the 16th Century. See Peart.
See Pierce.
Introduced into Leinster in the 17th Century and found in many parts of the country. Means ‘son of Piers’.
Recorded in Kilkenny as early as 1659. Distinct from Peard and possibly a variation of Perrot. The main family arrived in the 1700s from Newark-on-Trent.
Found in Cos. Armagh and Antrim, of comparatively recent origin.
Scottish surname used as a synonym of Peoples in parts of Ulster.
Pender, Pendy, Pinder
shortened forms of Prendergast.
An English surname, introduced to Ireland in Cromwellian times, derived from ‘penny father’ and has variants Pennyfeather and Panfare. Was a prominent surname among the landed gentry in Leinster and Munster.
Recorded in the Dublin as early as 1296. The Cork family of the same name are comparatively recent immigrants.
Originated in Penrose, Cornwall. Arrived in Ireland via Yorkshire and settled in Cos. Waterford and Wicklow at the end of the 1600s where they were prominent Quakers.
First settled in Meath in the 12th Century and now also found Cos. Louth and Dublin. Originally de Repenteny, (a reference to its French origins). Started adopting abbreviated forms Pentony and Pentheny in the late 1300s.
Originated in Co. Donegal as Ó’Duibhne which sounds like daoine, the Irish word for people, hence this anglicized form. Also translated as Deeney.
Of Norman origin. Settled in Louth and Meath, where the name is still found, in the late 12th Century. Pepper is a variant of it.
Derived from the words par Dieu. This Huguenot family first settled in Youghal, Co. Cork
Another derivative of Peter. In Munster since the 1500s and found mainly in Cork. The Irish family of this name have no connection with the family of the famous Englishman Sir John Perrot, who was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1584.
Of English origin and introduced here in the early 17th Century. Derived from the word ‘pear-tree’. Pirrie is an Ulster synonym. Pery and Peery are other variation. Found in all parts of Ireland.
See MacFeeters, which is a Derry-Tyrone surname which simply means ‘son of Peter’.
See Petty.
A Huguenot family that settled in Co. Tyrone in the 1600s. Derived from the French petit cru which means small growth.
Variant of Petit or Petitt. The Petits settled in Meath. Sir William Petty (d. 1687), author of the Down Survey, settled in Co. Kerry. Little, as English translation of Petit, is a synonym in the south east.
Peyton, Payton, Patton
Mainly found in Donegal and are anglicized versions Ó’ Peatain ( possibly derived from diminutives of Patrick). In other parts of the country Payton and Patton are of English origin.
Mostly of Scottish origin and also Manx, but in some cases a variant of McFall.
MacPhelimy, MacPhilemy
Means ‘son of Phelim’ and has its roots in Co. Tyrone.
Originated in Waterford and Kilkenny. Their chief was Prince of the Decies before the arrival of the Normans. The name is derived from the Irish for ‘wolf’.
Associated with Co. Sligo, an Irish variation on the English Phipps, which is derived from Phillip.
(Mac) Philbin
A branch of the Burke family, who became hibernicized. Derived from a diminutive of Phillip
An English name that has also been adopted by members of the Philbin family.
Pierce, Pearse
An Anglo-Irish name found in eastern counties of Leinster. In Kerry, the Pierces or MacPierces were a branch of the Fitzmaurices.
Pigot, Piggott
Located in many parts of Ireland since the 16th Century and of Old-French origin. In Co. Cork some members of the Beckett family changed their name to Pigot.
See Pyke.
Of English origin, first recorded in Co. Louth in the early 1400s. During the Cromwellian period (the mid 1600s) was introduced to Cos. Meath and Kilkenny and by the 1800s numerous in Co. Clare.
A Quaker surname, arrived in Ireland in the mid 17th Century and found mainly in Cos. Laois and Dublin.
See Pender.
See Prendeville.
Of English origin, an occupational name and sometimes a variant of Peppard. See Pyper.
See Perry.
An East Anglian surname dating back to the mid-13th Century. Introduced to Ireland in the 17th Century and associated with Cos. Longford and Wicklow.
Derived from the Irish pilibín, ‘little Phillip’ which is also the Irish word for Plover and is an anglicisation of MacPhilbin found in Co. Mayo.
Plummer, Plumer
Occupational derivatives, the former from plumber and the later is a dealer in plumes and feathers. Arrived in Co. Cork from Wiltshire, England in the 17th Century and later became well-known in Co. Limerick
Associated with Co. Meath. This family, of French origin, settled here at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion in the late 12th Century and left their mark in Irish life. St. Oliver Plunkett (1625-1681) was Archbishop of Armagh and was executed in London. Joseph Mary Plunkett was one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. Sir Horace Plunkett (d. 1932) was founder of the Irish co-operative movement. Edward John Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany, was a dramatist and author, as well as being patron of the Co. Meath poet Francis Ledwidge.
Polan, MacPolin, Poland
All three are derived from the Irish word Póilin, a diminutive of the Irish word for ‘Paul’. Found mainly in Cos. Armagh and Down, and in some instances has been changed to Poland. The latter name also has Co. Offaly associations.
The name of an English family that arrived in the 1300s and settled in what in now Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath. The word suggests a closely cropped head, but is sometimes another derivative of Paul.
Found in north-east Antrim Ulster since the 17th Century.
A prominent Anglo-Irish family that acquired estates in Cos. Kerry and Kilkenny, the head of the latter branch became Earl of Bessborough with extensive estates. John Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough, was sworn in as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1846 and ordered the restarting of relief works during the famine.
On record in Dublin in the 1500s, but the main branch arrived about 100 year late and were numerous in Co. Waterford in the later 19th Century
Of English origin and found in most parts of Ireland except Connacht. Now numerous in Ulster
Derived from the French le Poter, arrived in Dublin in the 13th Century and found in small number in all parts of Ireland
Powderley, Powderly
Apparently originated in Powerlough Co. Meath in the mid-1800s and confined mainly to that county and neighbouring Louth.
Welsh surname and found throughout Ireland in small numbers. Occasionally a variation on Guillfoyle.
Introduced at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion, the family became absorbed into Irish life. One of the most numerous surnames in the country, particular in Waterford and surrounding counties.
An older form of the Norman surname Punch, settled in Co. Armagh in the 17th Century.
An English surname, but arrived in Co. Cork in pre-Cromwellian times and found mainly in the south-east.
A powerful Anglo-Norman family that settled in south-east Tipperary. Also found in south Mayo, where some adopted the name Fitzmaurice. In some instances the name has been abbreviated to Pender, Pinder, Pindy and Pendy.
Prenderville, Prendeville
A Norman family that settled in Co. Kerry in the 13th Century. Pendy, Pindy
a variant of the Ulster surname Prunty. From the Irish proinnteach meaning ‘bestower’ or ‘generous person’.
Derived from the Old-English words for ‘priest’s cottage’. Mostly found in Dublin and Belfast, but recorded in Co. Meath as early as the 15th Century and two centuries later established in Co. Kilkenny.
Arrived in Ireland in the late 12th Century and settled on the Meath-Dublin border. John Preston was granted the Nangle estates in Meath in the 1650s in return for loaning money to the English Parliament a decade earlier. He founded schools in Ballyroan, Co. Laois and in Navan, the latter functioned until the 1960s. Another member of the family was instrumental in suppressing the 1978 rebellion in Meath.
Pryle, Priall, Pryell
Recorded in Co. Tipperary as early as 1666 and later in Mayo and Clare. Of uncertain origin, possibly French.
Welsh surname found in Ireland since the 1300s and not associated with any particular part of the country. Sometimes a variant of Bryson.
Originated in Scotland as Hoppringle and introduced to Co. Down in the 17th Century. Also associated with Cos. Down and Armagh.
In Cos. Leitrim and Cavan an old Irish surname. Elsewhere an Anglo-Norman surname derived from the French word for ‘friar’, where as the Irish family.
Of Welsh origin, variant of Uprichard. Close links with Lurgan, Co. Armagh, also found in other parts of Ulster.
Families of soldiers from the north of England that settled in Cos. Armagh and Donegal in the mid-1600s.
Found in records relating to Cos. Cork and Meath at the end of the 13th Century. More common in the latter county.
Rare surname derived from the Norman for ‘proud’. Arrived in Kilkenny in the 1200s.
Prunty, Pronty
An east Ulster surname, from the Irish proinnteach meaning ‘bestower’ or ‘generous person’. Bronte was a variant adopted by the clergyman father of the famous writing sisters.
Of Norman origin, introduced to Co. Kildare in the late 13th Century and later associated with Munster.
Another Anglo-Norman who became immersed in the local culture. Associated with Cos. Tipperary and Kilkenny. Derived from the French for ‘little pig’.
Found in north-east Ulster since the 17th Century. A variant of Perdue or Purdue
Pyke, Pike
On record in Youghal, Co. Cork since the late 14th Century and found later in Cos. Waterford and Tipperary. An Anglo-Irish surname with little Ulster connection, where it is sometimes a variant of McPeake. Three possible derivations; the tool, the fish and the Scandinavian word for a thin person.
Pyper, Piper
A rare Palatine name associated with Co. Limerick. More common in Ulster, where it is of English occupational origin.