Where your folk
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Rabbitt, Rabbitte
According to MacLysaght this apparently English name is hardly ever of English origin in Ireland. As coinín is the Irish for rabbit, Cunneen, Cunnane and Kinneen are synonyms in Cos. Clare, Galway
A Wexford surname part of the county’s hurling heritage due to the exploits of famous brothers Nicky, Billy and Bobby. A modern form of MacRackard, who were a branch of the Bulters possibly the Kavanaghs.
An English surname found mainly in Wexford since the 1500s.
Has its origins in Co. Donegal and derived from the Irish for ‘prosperity wielder’. Though distinct in origin from O’Roarty, from the Irish for ‘full tide’, the two have been treated as one since the 1400s, with Roarty found mainly in Co. Donegal and Rafferty associated with Cos. Tyrone and Louth.
A Co. Kilkenny surname from the Irish for ‘decree’, occasionally a variant of Raftery in Co. Mayo.
Also derived from reacht meaning ‘decree’ and associated mainly with Co. Mayo.
Means ‘untidy’ and one of the ‘Tribes of Kilkenny’.
Has its origins in Co. Tyrone but for a long time associated with Co. Kerry. Best known of this surname are the Kerry poet Aogan O’Rahilly (1670-1926) (Aodhagán Ó’Rathaille) and ‘The’ O’Rahilly who was killed in Dublin during the 1916 Rising.
An English surname found mainly in Ulster and sometimes a variation of Reaney.
See Rawley.
Found mainly in Cos. Offaly and Westmeath. In the latter it is a synonym of Raleigh and in some instances is a variation on Raleigh.
Found mainly in east Leinster. Rauf is on record in Drogheda in the early 14th Century.
See Reynolds.
Scottish in origin, a branch of the clan Maclean. Arrived during the Plantation of Ulster. Found mainly in Derry and surrounding counties.
A Leitrim surname that in some cases has evolved into Reynolds. MacGrannill of Moynish was the chief of the family. Grannell, found mainly in Wexford is another form of this name.
Another surname derived from the Irish word for ‘decree’. See Raftery and Rafferty. Sometimes spelt Rhatigan or Rattigan. Originated in Co. Roscommon.
An abbreviation of Hanratty. Both are derived from a word meaning ‘unlawful’ and translate as Ó’ hAnrachtaigh in Irish. Hanratty originates in Co. Monaghan and is found today in Cos. Louth, Monaghan and Meath. All the listings for Ratty in the telephone directory reside in the Navan area.
(O) Rawe
A Co. Antrim surname of uncertain origin for which Rea and Reeves may be anglicisations.
Rawley, Raleigh
Of English origin the family were well established in Ballinrawley Co. Limerick in the late 1500s, with evidence of an ancestor in the area as early as 1307. Rawley is occasionally an anglicisation of Rahilly.
Can be a variation of Rea and Wray or even Reavey and is similar in origin to Roy.
Found mainly in Cos. Cork and Kerry, where it is a variation of Redmond.
Found mainly in Co. Antrim and surrounding counties. Frequently an abbreviation of McCrea and synonymous with Reagh, Reavy and Wray as has Raw.
Synonymous with both Reidy and Reddy. MacReady is synonymous with MacCready.
The Irish family of this name originated in Co. Westmeath. Also an English surname and sometimes spelt Rainey. See Rainey.
See Riordan.
Originated in Co. Clare where the family were stewards of the O’Briens in the east of that county.
An English name sometimes used as a synonym for Mulderrig, which translates as ‘red chief’.
A form of Roddy associated with Co. Kilkenny.
A Wexford name with Norman origins. The surname was adopted by a branch of the MacMurroughs in north Wexford. The family have made a significant contribution to Irish history. John Redmond MP became leader of the Home Rule Party in 1900 and died in 1918 aged 62. Mary Redmond was a 19th century sculptor responsible for the statue of the temperance priest Fr. Theobald Mathew in O’Connell St, Dublin which was completed in 1890.
Distinct from Redmond, a Co. Galway surname and a branch of the Burke clan.
A variation of Ring found in west Cork and Kerry.
Families of this surname that in Ireland are of English origin and came to this country in the 17th century.
A family name with its origins in Clare, Cork and Laois, the latter in earlier times were one of the ‘Tribes of Tara’. The Clare family were connected to Brian Boru and those in Cork to the McCarthys.
Reid, Reade
An English name common in Ulster and derived from the colour red. Those of Irish origin are either synonymous with Mulderrig (dearg being Irish for red) or an abbreviation of Mulready.
A Tipperary surname found also in Clare and Kerry. The best known person of this name was the composer John Reidy, better known under the Irish form of his name, Seán Ó’Riada.
A Co. Fermanagh name with variants Rahill and Rehill found in Cos. Cavan and Longford.
(O) Reilly
One of the most numerous surnames in Ireland particularly in Co. Cavan also widely found in Co. Meath.
Originated in Co. Antrim but now found mainly in Cos. Kerry and Cork.
Renehan, Ronaghan
Derived from the word rainneach which means ‘sharp-pointed’ and ‘starry’. The former is found in Co. Cork and the latter mainly in Monaghan. The name Ferns is a synonym due to the similarity of the word raithneach, which is the Irish for Ferns.
Rennick, Rennicks
Originated in Cumbria, England and found mainly in Cos. Monaghan and Meath. The earliest record of the name dates back to 1585 when a soldier of that name got a lease in Co. Kildare. Renwick and Rennix are other forms of the name.
Mostly Scottish but occasionally a variant of Rainey.
A Co. Wexford surname with English and French roots. Most of this name arrived in the 17th century.
See MacRannall. Numerous in Meath, Westmeath, Louth and Longford.
Rice, Rhys
Those in Munster are of Welsh origin, the origin of those in Monaghan and Louth is less certain. Rice is very common in Down.
This surname is of English origin.
Some English families of this name settled in the west in the 17th century. Some took the Irish form Mac Iomaire (iomaire being the Irish word for Ridge).
Settled in Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster and received large estates in Cos. Cavan and Tyrone. Some settled in Laois and Waterford
Originated in Co. Offaly
A variant of Rigney found in Co. Kerry.
Originated in east Cork and possibly derived from the word for ‘spear’. The famous Cork hurler Christy Ring was a native of Cloyne in east Co. Cork.
Originated in Yorkshire and arrived in east Clare in the early 17th century.
A Co. Leitrim surname derived from the Irish for ‘raven’ and distinct from Ring. The surname MacCrann is a synonym.
(O) Riordan
Originated and found mainly in Co. Cork. Derived from the Irish for ‘royal bard’.
Found mainly in north east Ulster, it is a Scottish surname and shortened form of Richard.
A variant of Rowan in the Athlone area. The English surname is derived from the French city Roeun.
Originated in Co. Donegal. See Rafferty and Groarty
A branch of the McFarlane family found mainly in north east Ulster.
Found in all provinces but rarely in Connacht. Welsh origin.
Surname of Scottish origin.
English surname numerous in Ulster and also found in other parts of Ireland. The most common of English surnames in Ireland.
A Scottish (borders) surname also has strong links with the north east of England.
Originally a Norman name from the French for ‘rock’. Common in Munster and Wexford where there are six places called Rochestown.
An Anglo-Norman family that settled in Meath and Kilkenny. Those in Co. Cork were originally de Ridlesfords. A branch of the Meath Rochford sided with Cromwell and are commemorated by village of Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath.
In Galway and parts of Leinster it is a partial translation of carrig the Irish word for rock. It is also an English surname.
Has a long association with Waterford dating back to the late 14th century, distinct from the Huguenot name Rocquet and a corruption of Rockell, which is derived from de la Rochelle.
A Co. Leitrim surname. O’Roddy, a Donegal name is believed to be unconnected.
Has several origins including rua the Irish for red. See Ormond. It may also be synonymous with the English surname Rowe or a shortened from of McEnroe.
Originated in Co. Armagh and once a family of considerable importance. Also derived from rua and found in Co. Leitrim.
Rogers, Rodgers
English surnames which are also translations of MacRory in Ulster. Found throughout the country but rare in Munster. A common name among Cromwellian adventurers.
Found mainly in Cos. Kerry and Cork.
A Mayo surname which in most cases is now Rowley
See Ralph.
Ronan, Ronayne
Possibly derived from the Irish word for a seal. Found mainly in east Cork, but also in Dublin and Mayo.
Originated in Co. Down and found in the other provinces but rarely in Munster. In parts of west Ulster and north Connacht it is sometimes an abbreviation of Mulrooney. Common in Mayo
Originated in Cos. Tyrone and Derry and in some instances has become Rogers or Rodgers
An English surname on record in Ireland as far back as the 14th century, but the main family of that name settled in Limerick in the mid-1600s.
Roseman, Rosemond
Arrived from England in the 17th century and became established in Cos. Longford and Cavan. Originated in Germany.
A rare Co. Kerry surname.
Of Scottish origin and found mainly in Ulster. Elsewhere it maybe of English origin.
Of the earliest English families who settled in the south east of the country which the surname is still mainly found.
Derived from the Norse word for red. They settled in Kilkenny in the 1300s and were counted among the city’s ‘Ten Tribes’. In recent times the name has been changed to Ruth and Routh.
Rouine, Rowine
a Co. Clare and south Galway variant of Ruane.
Rountree, Roantree
Derived from the Rowan tree and sometimes spelt Roundtree. Found mainly in Cavan and Armagh.
(O) Rourke
In Irish O’Ruairc in Irish. Originated in Co. Leitrim. One of the great families of Brefni (the other being O’Reilly?). Though Ruairc is derived from a Norse first name the surname is not of Norse origin.
Sometimes a variant of Ruane and Rohan. Occasionally of English origin and derived from the Rowan tree.
See Roe.
Rowland, Rowley
An anglicisation of Rolan except in north east Ulster where it is of English origin.
Found mostly in Wexford and rarely outside that county. Originally a Quaker surname.
Derived from roi the French for king, this English surname is rare in Ireland where in most instances it is an abbreviation of McIlroy. See Ray, which is also derived from roi.
An English surname derived from rye croft. Found in Co. Cork since the 17th century. Raycroft and Raecroft are variations.
An different spelling of Ronayne.
(O) Ruane
Another surname derived from rua meaning red. Originated in east Co. Galway and in parts of Co. Mayo has evolved into Ryan.
A variation of Roddy.
Two different origins; in Co. Mayo it is a translation of Ó Luachra (luach being the Irish for rush), in Co. Monaghan it is an English surname derived from the Norman de Russhe. Ros in Irish has four meanings, the most common being a wood.
Derived from the Old-French meaning a red-haired person and found in Ireland since the Norman invasion notably in Ulster and Leinster. It is also an anglicised version of the Huguenot Rossel.
See Rothe.
a variation on Ryle.
The origin of one of Ireland’s most common surnames in unclear. It is the most numerous surname in Co. Tipperary. Originally Mulryan, in most cases now abbreviated to Ryan. The family name which originated in Co. Carlow is not a shortened form of Mulryan.
An English surname adopted by members of the Markey and Markahan families. Marcach is the Irish for rider.
Riall, Ryall and Rahill are other form of this name. Ryle is mainly found in Co. Kerry. The Irish translation Ó Raghill is regarded as an shortened form of O Raghailligh , the Irish for O’Reilly.