Like everyone involved in Irish genealogy and local history, I spend a lot of time looking at Griffith’s Valuation Griffith’s is(...)

After independence, official Ireland understandably set about undoing the grievous distortions wrought on Gaelic surnames by English-speaking administ(...)

Received wisdom in Ireland has long been that the process of reclaiming and resuming the Gaelic patronymic prefixes “Mc” (mac, “son of”) and “Ó” (“(...)

The process of dragging the old Gaelic surnames into English was messy and surprisingly long drawn out. As late as the 19th century, some parish re(...)

Hereditary patronymic surnames, O (“grandson of”) and Mac (“son of”), were a central part of Gaelic Irish culture from at least the 11th century, t(...)

The Norman arrival in Ireland in 1169 was just one end-point of their extraordinary expansion out of Flanders and northern France between the 11th and(...)

There is no such thing as a Viking surname. True hereditary surnames were only introduced in Scandinavia in the late 18th century, more than 700 years(...)

Over the past few months, I’ve spent more and more time using what is still the only absolutely essential website for Irish genealogy, the Irish Famil(...)

Over the years, Irish surnames have received a good deal of careful attention, from Fr Patrick Woulfe’s Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall (1923) to Edward Mac(...)

The Irish Genealogical Research Society ( have just come up with a humdinger of a record-set, the esoteric-sounding “Dublin Presbyte(...)