This name originated in the lowlands of Scotland and they came
to Ireland during the time of the plantation of Ulster. Bearing
the name of Scotland's patron saint, Andrew, the name Anderson
means Anderson's son, and in Irish- Scottish Gaelic, means Gille
Andrais, which was a son of the servant of St. Andrew. A thomas
Anderson was the chief architect for building the "Titanic"
and the first of the name to own a steam engine and threshing
mill in the Finn Valley were the Anderson's of Lisnamulligan,
This is one of the oldest surnames in Ireland and it dates
back to 1095, being the most common in East and West Donegal
and the 24th most common name in Ireland. The name is taken
from the Irish "Cnaimhsighe" which means midwife.
First found in Lanarkshire. From the place Bowgyhill,
in Monkland, Lanarkshire, in Scotland, the name has been settled
in that location since ancient times, and also in Stranorlar,
where the Bogle family run the best flower shop in Donegal
Prop. Enda & Mary Bogle
Brady / Bradley:
These names are among the 60 most common names in Ireland
and come from the gaelic name, "Macbradaigh". A
large Breffni clan, they controlled a large area of land in
County Cavan. Members of the clan to make a name for themselves
were a Thomas Brady who served as aa General in the Austrian
army and, Brendan Brady, a Governor of Da/Matia. Local members
of the Brady clan helped to build the new St. Patrick's Church
at Crossroads in 1875 and in the late 1920's and early !(30's,
four Brady brothers were players for the famed Red Hugh's
Gaelic football team in the Valley.
This name is among the 40 most common in Ireland and comes
from three clans that can be of English, Scottish or Norman
origin. It is the 15th most common name in Ulster and dates
back to the 12th century when they became one of the tribes
of Galway. The Irish Browne descends from the Norman, Le Bruns,
meaning brown hair. The English branch of the family had their
most famous son in John Brown whose body lies a mouldering
in the clay, etc.
This name is the 10th most common in Ireland and most of them
reside in Leinster. The Irish for the name, O'Broin",
comes from the word Bran which means raven or black crow.
Much engaged in their battle against the English, one of the
clan became King of Leinster and from their stronghold in
the Wicklow mountains, their most famous victory came the
way of Fiach O'Byrne in 1850 against Lord Grey of Glenmalure,
Co. Carlow. The clan were descendants of Bran, son of Maolmorda,
who was King of Leinster in the 11th century.
Callaghan is among the forty most famous and common names
in Ireland and originated in the great O'Callaghan homeland
in Co. Cork. The Ancestor from whom the clan took their name
was Callachan, the King of Munster who died in 952. The Irish
spelling of the name, "O'Ceileachain", was taken
from the gaelic word,"Ceile" meaning companion.
A Patrick Callaghan piloted the flagship, "TheNina",
with Columbanus on the day he discovered America.The clan
had branch names of O'Kelaghan, Kealaghan and O'Keelan.
This name is of Scottish origin. It is most common in Ulster
and dates back to the 13th century when one of its most notable
sons was the Earl of Inverurie Castle in Argyllshyre, Scotland.
The clan, who were involved in a mighty battle against the
McDonalds of Glencoe, arrived in Ireland in the early 15th
century to settle in the then land of Tirconnail which is
Cannon(Irish) / Canning(English):
The name came from the gaelic, O'Canann" or "O'Canannain",
an important clan of Tirconnail that originated in the Letterkenny
area. The English clan Canning, came to Ireland during the
early 16th century and settled in Co. Derry The name Cannon
was taken from the french word, Chanoine, which means a clergyman
living with others in a clergy house.
O'Carolan / Carlin:
This name is English from the gaelic, "O'Caireallain"
and another english form of the name is Carleton. The name
Carlin dates before the 16th century and is a branch of the
english clan, Carleton, which settle in Co. Antrim in 1613.
A member of the Carlin clan in Strabane in 1724 became Governor
of Quebeck in Canada. The family were in command of the Church
lands of Clonleigh in the Barony of Raphoe and the name is
most common in Donegal, Tyrone and Derry.
The name originated in Argyllshire, Scotland, in 1241, and
is a branch of the DeKilpatrick clans of Luss along the banks
of Loch Lomond. Coming to Ireland in the 16th century, a member
of the clan , Sir George Colquhoun of Luss, was the owner
of 1,000 acres of land in the Lagan Valley of East Donegal.
The name is also common in counties Derry and Tyrone.
McConnell / O'Connell:
This name is among the 20 most common in Ireland, mainly in
Co. Kerry, and is of Scottish origin. The McConnell's and
O'Donohues were involved in many battles against each other
in the 11th. Century and having lost a major one, the McConnell's
were forced out of their homeland to the land of their father
clan, the McDonalds of Co. Antrim. Following the clan in much
later years was the liberator, Daniel O'Connell. Many of the
McConnell clan changed their surname to O'Connell.
This name is among 20 most common and widespread in Ireland
and it dates back to the time of the Normans. It is abranch
of the clan, "O'Conghalaigh" of Connaught. The family
name branched out in Tyrone, Fermanagh and West Cork. One
of the clan, Henry MacConuladh,(hound Of Ulster) died in 1375
as "Tansit of Oriel".
The name is of Welsh origin and is very common in Connaught
and Munster. Other branches of the name stemmed from a Tyrone/Derry
clan, "McConmidhe" (son of the hound of Meath).
The river Conway in Wales gives the idea for the origin of
the name. One of its clan , Sir Fulke Conway, founded the
town of Lisnagarvey in 1624 before his death in that year.
This name can also be MacCool and originated in the barony
of Kilmacrennan being common in Donegal, Tyrone and Cavan.
The original clan was the gaelic name of "Mac Giolla
Chomhghaill", son of the servant, "Comhgall"
from the Kilmacrennan Parish of Meeragh. Off-shoots of the
name are Cole, Cool and McCole.
The name is common in Co. Antrim and the Finn Valley area
of Donegal and originated in Lanarkshire, Scotland. One of
the clan, George Crawford, came over to Ireland during the
time of the Plantation and owned 1,000 acres of land in the
Omagh district. As in the Killygordon area of Meenlougher
(Gallaghers town) and Clonarl (Harpers Town), many townlands
in Ulster have the name Crawford's Town. Other areas include
Crawford's Hill, Crawford's Burn, and believe it or not, Crawfordsbum.
Another member of the clan, William Crawford, was an M.P.
in 1781 and was High Sheriff in Co. Down and founder of the
Ulster Tenants Rights Association.
The name is among the 100 most common in Ireland and, more
so, in Co. Wicklow, where it originated in Glencullen. The
English Church version of the name from "O'Cuilinn"
to Cuileann, means Holley and is common in Ayrshire and Galloway
in Scotland. It is likely the Ulster name, MacCullen, has
Scottish roots, the ancestors coming from there during the
time of the Ulster Plantation. Branches of the name are O'Cuileannain,
Cullion, Quillan and Collins.
The name dates back to before 966 when Daimhin, son of Cairbre
Dan Argait, King of Oriel, died, and is common in Donegal,
Tyrone, Derry and Fermanagh, where they were a leading clan.
The name was taken from the word "Damh" meaning
Ox and the clan's power in Fermanagh was broken after their
many battles against the O'Neill's and Maguires.
This name is abranch off the Irish and Scot Gaelic name "Donnchadh"
(brown warrior) and is more common in Connaught where they
came from a branch of the McDermott's. The Scottish name originated
in Argyllshire from the branch of the Campbells of Inverurie,
one of the clan having led in the battle of Bannockburn in
1314. Having come to Ulster during the Plantation, the name
is common in Tyrone, Derry and Antrim.
This name is very strong in Donegal and also in Tyrone. The
gaelic name, "O'Donnghaile", took their name from
Donnghaile O'Neill who was a descendant of O'Neill of the
Nine Hostages who died in 876. The clan Donnelly members were
soldiers in the army of O'Neill at the battle of Kinsale in
1602 and so also fought for Spain. About thirty years later,
a member of the clan, Daniel O'Donnelly, a native of Strabane,
was M.P. for Co. Tyrone. The name comes from the words , donn
and gal, meaning brown-haired warrior.
Doherty / O'Dougherty:
This name is the 15th. Most common name in Ireland and originated
in the neighbouring Barony of Raphoe. In numbers the name
comes second to that of the Gallaghers. In the days of long
ago the Doherty clan gave names to their territory of lands,
Tir Connail (Donegal) and Tir Eoghain (Tyrone). One of the
clan, Conail, descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages, having
won posession of the area, gave it the name Tirconnail, and
his brother, Eoin, did likewise, and gave his area the name
Like the Gallaghers, the Doherty's have Royal blood in their
veins when members of the clan were Kings of Tir Connaill
and were at the forefront until the time the Normans invaded
Ireland. After the departure of the Norman's, Sir Cahir,(Charles),
O'Dougherty, ruled Inishowen and Derry City until the arrival
of the English, when he had to join the Flight of the Earls.
The clan name, "Docharttach" means hurtful.
By origin this is a Greek name meaning defender of men and
they arrived in Scotland during the 11th. Century. It was
brought there from Hungary and took its roots in Ayrshire
from where many of the Alexander's moved to Ireland during
and after the Plantation of Ulster. The name is more common
in Counties Antrim and Down.
This name is known all over Ireland but is very common in
Ulster particularly in Co. Fermanagh. The clan's roots were
in Berwickshire in Scotland and they came to Ulster in 1609
to settle in Fermanagh when they formed a group strong enough
to survive the 1641 rising. It is interesting to note that
there are more than seventy ways to spell the name.
Ewing is another Scottish name that is common in Donegal,
Tyrone and Derry. A branch of the Campbells of Argyll, other
forms of the name are MacEwing, MacKeown and the Irish MacEoghain.
This is the 14th. Most common name in Ireland and it dates
back to the time of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the founder
of the Ui Neill dynasty. The descendants, the Gallagher's,
have the claim of being the most royal branch of Cenel Conail,
and, as such, can claim royal blood in their veins. Having
Donegal roots, the Gallaghers, based at Ballybeit , (Ballylast),
Castlefin, and Ballynaglack (Raphoe), controlled a large area
of Raphoe and Tirhugh (Finn Valley). Many of the clan were
high ranking Officers in the Army of the O'Donnell princes,
and in time to follow, gave many Bishops and Priests for the
Diocese of Raphoe and elsewhere.
Gallagher Clan Website
Paul Gallagher's family tree
Prop. Pat & Isobel Gallen
Prop. Tommy Gallen
Gillian / Galligan / Gillen:
These names are a mixture from Sligo clan that had the gaelic
names of, "O'Giollain". A branch of the clans of
Cenel Eoghain, the names are common in Donegal, Sligo, Tyrone,
Derry and Antrim.
Both of Irish and Scottish origin, the Irish for the name
is MacGiolla Easpuig(Bishop), and is taken from the Latin
word, "Episcopus". The Irish Gillespies originated
in Co. Down in the medieval period and extended to Donegal
in the 12th century when a member of the clan became Lord
of Kilcar. The name is more common in Tyrone, Antrim and Armagh.
Greer-Grier / MacGrier / Gregg:
Of Scottish origin thes names come from the clan chiefs, McGregor,
of Argyllshire, Scotland. In the middle of the 16th. Century,
a member of the clan arrived in Ireland and settled in Co.
Tyrone. One of the clan was founder of the Tenants League
in 1850 and another was the inventor of Gregg shorthand in
1867. The name is very common in Ulster.
Harper / Harpur:
The name is of Irish and Scottish origin. The Irish clan,
Harper, were a branch of the Normans who came to Ireland in
the 13th. Century and settled in Co. Wexford. The Scots name
Harpur, were a branch of the clan Buchanan of Stirlingshire
and Argyllshire. Common in Donegal, Tyrone, Antrim and Wexford,
the name signifies someone who played the Harp.
This name has others such as Hutcheson, Hutchinson and McCutcheon
entwined and can be of Scottish or English origin. It is likely
that the Ulster Houstons are a branch of the Scottish clan,
McDonalds, who were lords of the Scottish Isles. They came
to settle in Donegal and Tyrone where the name is most common.
Early in the 11th. Century people of this name came from Normandy
to Scotland and, coming near to the end of the 12th. Century,
a member of the clan, Almer Le Hunter, of Ayr, signed the
"Ragman Roll". Coming to Ireland in the 16th. Century,
the name is also common in Tyrone, Antrim and Down.
Prop. Henry & Lynn Kee
This name dates back to medieval times when it was known by
the Irish name of "O'Ceallaigh". They were descendants
of "Ceallach", meaning strife, and were a branch
of the O'Rourke's clan of the Kingdom of Breffni, Co. Cavan.
There are between seven and ten of the Kelly branch in Ireland
and they are situated in counties Monaghan, Donegal, Cavan,
Antrim, Tyrone, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and also in parts
of Scotland. In 135111 a chief of the Kelly clan, was host
to a Christmas Party to which he invited poets, musicians
and artists from all over Ireland and thus gave rise to the
phrase, "Kelly welcomes you". The clan claim descent
from the fourth century, "Colla-da-Crioch", King
of Ulster, and first King of Oriel through his son, Imchadu.
The name is a branch of the clan, MacCallion, who are themselves
descendants of the Scottish clan, the Campbells of Argyll.
The names are common in Ulster since coming to Ireland during
the time of the Plantation. The gaelic name of Killen is "MacCoileann".
This name is common in Donegal, Tyronre and Derry and extends
from the gaelic name, "O'Laithbheartaigh"The Lafferty's
were descendants from the Lord of Aileach, famous for the
great stone fortress, the Granian of Aileach. The first to
bear the name was Murchadh Ua Flaithbheartaigh of the Eagle
Knee, King of Tyrone, who died in 972. In the 13th. Century
there were many Lafferty's living in the Finn Valley and also
in the Lagan. However, they were driven from their rich lands
by the O'Neill's and settled at Ardstraw, Co. Tyrone. There
is a townland near there called Lislafferty.
The name can be of Irish, English or Scottish origin and is
most common in Ulster and in Dublin. In Scotland, Lyttle was
the name of one of the lesser clans of the border, and they
were neighbours of the Beatties in Dumfriesshire, who came
to settle in Co. Fermanagh, during the time of the Ulster
Plantation. In 1587, Lyttle was recorded as a synonym of Beggan
in Co. Monaghan. The gaelic, "O'Beacain", was the
name of the clan which was then anglicised to Lyttle.
This name is very common in Donegal and also can be found
in other parts of Ulster. In gaelic it is, "MacGiolla
Brighde", meaning son of the devotee of St. Brigid, who
was Abbess of Kildare and died in525. The homeland of the
clan is Donegal and since the medieval period the family were
important in the ecclesiastical world. Descendants from Giolla
Bride O'Doghartaigh , many McBrides were Bishops and Priests
for Raphoe Diocese.
This name is among the 50 most common in Ulster and can be
of Irish or Scottish origin. In Ireland, the name sprang up
in several places and was adopted by individuals whose father
was called Cormac. They are a branch of the Maguire clan of
Co. Fermanagh . In Scotland, the name comes from the gaelic
word, "MacCormaic" or "Mac Cormaig", who
were a clan of the Buchanans of Loch Lomond, based at Duckbay
near the town of Alexandra. The name has been known in the
Arda area of Co. Down since 1678.
The name of McCready is common in Donegal, Derry, Down and
The Irish name of the clan which originated in the Barony
of Kilmacrennan is "Mac Riada". One of the clan
was Dean of Derry and was martyred for his faith in 1608 when
he was quartered by four horses. Members of the clan also
spread to Scotland and settled in Stranraer.
The name originated in Oban, Scotland, early in the 12th.
Century and is numerous in Antrim, Tyrone and Down. Originally,
the clan of Dougall, the gaelic name is "O'Colla",
meaning little calf, and down the years many of the Kelly
clan changed their name to MacCulloch. One of the clan, MacCulloch
Lulach", the son of Gillacomgan of Moray, became world
famous during the 1800's. James McCullagh of Co.Tyrone was
a brilliant mathematician and John McCullagh of Co. Derry,
became a famous actor in the U.S.A. Scottish born, James McCullagh,
was one of the undertakers of the Ulster Plantation and was
granted 1,000 acres of land near Glenties.
Being a branch of the Donegal clan, O'Doghertaigh, it is only
natural that this name is more common in County Donegal than
anywhere else in Ireland, except for Tyrone and Derry. The
Irish version of the name, "MacDaibhidh", means
sons of David, and they are closely entwined with other names
such as Davey, Davis, Davidson and MacDavitt, all of the Kingdom
of Oriel. In 1608 members of the clan helped Sir Cahir O'Doghertaigh
in the taking and burning of Derry City.
Prop. Eamonn & Joan McElhinney
Prop. Damien McElhinney
The name is common in Donegal, Tyrone, Derry, Fermanagh, Sligo
and Leitrim, and they are descendants of Uallghrag O'Ruaric
(O'Rourke) who was Lord of Breffni, Co.Cavan, and died in
1231 when on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The Irish name
is "Mac Ualgharg", meaning fierce pride, and many
of the clan were distinguished soldiers in Europe and in Ireland
as well as giving sons to the priesthood.
This name can be of Irish or Scottish origin and is the 15th
most common in Donegal as well as being well known in Cavan,
Leitrim and Sligo. The Irish name, "MacGhabhann",
meaning smith, originated in Co. Cavan in medieval times when
they were one of the principal families of the Kingdom of
Breffni. In Donegal they were lords of Tirhugh and Clougher,
Co. Tyrone. In the Finn Valley, the most noteworthy McGowan
is the late Senator Paddy McGowan from Knock, Ballybofey,
who represented Donegal for almost 40 years in local and national
Prop. Noel McGowan
Of Irish origin the name is common in Connaught and West Ulster
and is a branch of the O'Flaherty clan of Connemara, Co. Galway.
The Irish name of the clan who are descendants of the Maguires,
is "MacAodh" ,(son of Hugh) whose grandson, Donna
Carrach Maguire, was based at Tuam, Co. Galway. Names entwined
with this family include Hughes, McCoy, McKay and Magee (McGhee).
This name has both Irish and Scottish origins and is most
common in Donegal and Tyrone. A branch of the McElwee's, the
Irish name is, "Mac Giolla Bhuidhe E", son of the
yellow haired. The name was noted in the 17th century as one
of the principal names in Co. Down.
Dating back to the 5th. Century, the name MacLaughlin is the
21st most common in Ireland and the 5th most popular name
in Donegal. Found mainly in Donegal and Tyrone, it is of both
Irish and Scottish origin and comes from the Norse name, "Lachlann".
The clan MacLochlainn was a leading Tirconnail clan and they
are descendants of King Neil of the Nine Hostages and were
rulers of Ulster until the middle of the 12th century. Their
branch-off, the MacLaughlins, were lords of their birthland,
Moville, in the Barony of Inishowen. The Scots, MacLachlan,
are a clan of Argyll, who in 1292, were chieftains of an island
in Loch Awe.
In Ireland this name is virtually exclusive to Ulster and
two-thirds of the name are in Donegal and West Tyrone. The
name is Gaelic, "MacMeanma", which means courage
or spirit, was first recorded in the Annals of Loch Ce of
1303. A Donegal clan, the McMenamin's were followers of the
O'Donnells and later joined them in the Flight of the Earls.
First of the clan to arrive in this area was to Crossroads
in1309 and since then the family roots have spread world wide.
Notables of the name and its spin-offs are Mae West, the film
star, and the Spillane brothers of the great Kerry G.A.A.
Webmaster: Robert Collins
The name of McNulty is more common in Donegal and in Mayo
and, as a Donegal clan, they were followers of the O'Donnell's
helping them on their many battles against the O'Neill's.
Two of the most prominent skirmishes took place at Burnrock,
Killygordon, and at Clady Bridge, below the village of Castlefin.
The gaelic name, "Mac an Ultaigh", means sons of
an Ulster man, and they are a branch of the MacDunleavy's,
a royal family of the 12th century. In 1872 one of the clan,
Joseph McNulty, was a famous labour leader in the U.S.A.
Maguire / McGuire:
As well as being a common name in Donegal, this name is also
to be found in Fermanagh, Monaghan and Cavan. The name is
Gaelic, "Mag Uidhir", means dun-coloured. The name
first appeared in the Annals of 956 but little was known of
them until 1200 when Doona Mor Maguire established it in Co.
Fermanagh where they owned most of the land. Members of the
clan engaged in the nine-years war 1594-1603, suffered most
at the time of the Wild Geese who fought in France and Austria.
As MacGuire, the name is also found in parts of Scotland.
The 40th most common name in Ireland is Martin and it can
be of English, Irish or Scottish origin. The clan is a branch
of the Gilmartins who are a branch of the O'Neills from Tyrone.
The Irish name, "MacMairtin", means Mars, God of
War, and has been popular since the 8th century in England
and Scotland. In Ireland the Martins became well known. Robert
Martin (1850) was the author of the History of the British
Colonies; Henry Martin (1848) was a brilliant biologist and
Professor at Baltimore University; and John Martin, who died
in 1875, and was a founder of the United Irishman newspaper
and became known throughout Ireland as "Honest John Martin".
Outside of Dublin this name is most commonly found in East
Donegal. Antrim and Down, and is of Scottish origin. The name
came from Maccus, son of Undewyn, a Saxon Lord in the reign
of Scottish King David 1st., and the family was granted land
on the River Tweed at the time before 1150. The Maxwell's
were a strong riding clan of the Scottish borders until they
were put on the move by James 1st. and transported to Ireland
during the time of the Plantation of Ulster. A Rector, William
Maxwell, 1830, was author of "Wild Sports of the West
The name is numerous in Co. Fermanagh and common in Donegal,
Antrim and Down. It is both of Irish and English origin. The
name in Gaelic, "O'Mordha" was given to a Co. Leitrim
clan which later branched into Fermanagh. The Irish roots
of the Morrows come from the Maguires.
The name is among the twenty most common in Ireland and is
to be found in practically every Irish county and also in
many areas of Scotland, their land of descent. They were a
clan of Freskin De Moravia in Moray where they were granted
land by David 1st., as a royal branch of the ancient pictish.
The Irish branch of the Murrays, "O'Muireadhaigh",
was recorded in 1034 in Ards, Co. Down, where a Cathalan MacMuiredaig
was ruler. Some of the Scottish Murrays came to Ireland at
the time of the Plantation of Ulster and were granted 1,500
acres of land in Co. Donegal.
This name is the 6th most common in Ireland and apart from
the Donegal O'Brien's, it is most common in the province of
Munster. The name is Gaelic, "O'Briain", denotes
a descendant of Brian Boru, High King of Munster, who was
engaged in the famous Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The name
is recorded many times in the Annals of the Four Masters.
The name Porter can be of English or Scottish origin and first
came to light in the 13th century but, in Ulster terms, can
be found much more prominently since the time of the Plantation.
The Scottish-Gaelic for the name, "Portair", means
ferryman, and comes from the French word "Portier"
meaning door-keeper. One of the clan, Rev. James Porter, 1753-1798,
a united Irishman, published a series of letters under the
titles, "Billy Bluff" and "Squire Firebrand".
For this he was hanged by the Government of the time within
sight of his home and Church.
Patterson is the 40th most common name in Ulster and has its
origins in the lowlands of Scotland. The Scottish Gaelic name
was "Macphetruis", meaning son of Peter, and in
Irish, "MacPaidin", means son of Pat. A member of
the clan, Robert Patterson (1821) was a founder member of
Belfast Natural History Society. Entwined with the Scottish
clan of the Pattersons are the names Kilpatrick, McFetridge
This name can be of Irish or English origin and is common
in Mayo, Donegal, Antrim and Down. The Irish, "O'Peatain",
was the name of the clan which existed at the time of St.
Patrick and they were then domiciled in the townland of Ballinacor.
The O'Peatain's of Donegal, and the Tyrone clan, O'Cion, were
in control of Church lands in the Ballybofey and Strabane
areas. First to own their steam engines and threshing mills
(following the Anderson family of Lisnamulligan) were the
Patton brothers, also Lisnamulligan, and the Patton brothers
of Kennyland, Ballinacor.
Found in every County in Ireland, this is the 20th most common
name in Ireland, but more of the name are to be found in Donegal,
Tyrone and Monaghan than anywhere else. The clan are the descendants
of Fergus who was the son of Eoghan, son of the 5th century
Niall of the Nine Hostages. With the O'Hagan's of Armagh,
the Quinn's were the fighting vanguards of the O'Neills and
acted as quartermasters for supplies in both peace and war.
The name is Gaelic, "O'Coinne", is taken from Coinne,
a Grandson of Fergus of the clan Feargusa.
Reid is the name most commonly found in Donegal, Tyrone, Armagh,
Antrim and Down. The clan are descendants of the Gaelic clan,
"O'Maoilderig" from the Glens of Antrim who were
known as the Red Warriors. In medieval times the clan name
was Reed which came from the word, "Red" meaning
a person with red hair or ruddy complexion. In Scotland, the
Gaelic name of the clan, "Mac Ian Ruaidh", (son
of Red John) was changed in latter years to Reid.
The name was first recorded in Scotland in 1496 and is among
the twenty most common names in Ulster as well as being found
in England. The Scottish origin of the name means, "Son
of Robert" which is a pet form of Robin.
The name is more common in Tyrone and Antrim and is of English
origin. It comes from the place-name spelt, "Rovelstun"
of Staffordshire, meaning "Rolf's Farm". From that
area, a Robert Roulston was an undertaker at the time of the
Plantation of Ulster.
A Tyrone clan that dates from before 1600's the name is common
in Tyrone and Donegal. However, very little is known about
it. The Gaelic name, "O'Searchaigh", means loving.
The name is very common in Ulster and is to be found in numerous
places in Antrim, Down and Armagh. It is thought that it was
taken from St. Steven, the first Christian martyr after Christ.
The personal name, Steven, was a favourite among Norman's
who made it popular in Britain. The name was occasionally
used in Ireland as a synonym of the Anglo- Norman name of
This name is the 60th most common in Ireland and is very popular
in Ulster as well as being found in Connaught and Munster.
Of Scottish origin, the Sweeney's descended from a mixture
of the Irish Dalriadic Gaels and Norsemen. The first of the
clan came to Ireland in 1267 and settled in Fanad, Co. Donegal,
where they used the Gaelic name, "MacSuibhne". From
the 14 th to the 17th century, the Sweeney's played an important
part with the O'Donnell's in the history of Ulster. Many of
them were distinguished soldiers in the Irish brigades on
the Continent. The Irish and Scottish Sweeney's are distantly
The name is common in Dublin, Antrim, Down and Derry and can
be either English, Scottish or Irish. The name is recorded
as "Le Taylour" in the medieval Irish records and
this would suggest its Irish origins were in Dublin. The Scottish
Taylors were a branch of the clan Cameron.
The name Ward means Watchman and is the most common in Donegal
but can also be found in England and Wales. Most of the Ulster
Wards are of Irish stock and are based at Lettermacaward,
near Glenties, and were noted poets and bards to the O'Donnell
clan. In 1580, a Hugh Ward, who was at Lettermacaward in his
infant years, later became a Professor of Theology at an Irish
College in Belgium, while a John Ward of Belfast worked most
of his life in the publishing and printing firm established
by his father.
The name is among the 30 most common in Ireland, among the
first ten in the United States of America and 15th in England
and Scotland. The Wilsons were a branch of the Scottish clan,
Gunn, who was coroner of Caithness in Scotland. William Wilson
of Belfast in 1880 was a self-taught Astronomer and studied
the temperature of the sun. Another of the clan, Woodrow Wilson,
was a former President of the United States.
This name is common in Donegal but is even more common in
Armagh, Antrim, Down, Tyrone and Fermanagh. Most of the Woods
in Ulster are of Irish stock and are descendants of the "MacEnhills",
a clan located near Omagh, Co. Tyrone, who were hereditary
keepers of the Bell of Drumragh. The Gaelic name, "O'Caoilte"
was changed to Woods.