9 Of The Most Popular Irish Surnames

9 Of The Most Popular Irish Surnames October 7, 2014

9 Of The Most Popular Irish Surnames

Here are the 9 most popular Irish surnames from top to bottom. Did you make the list?

  1. Murphy You win the prize for most common and widespread name in Ireland, especially in County Cork.The name was first anglicized to MacMurphy and then to Murphy in the early 19th century.
  2. Kelly – Kelly comes second to Murphy as the most common surname in Ireland. The Kellys are all over Ireland; the name originates from around 10 unrelated ancient clans or septs.
  3. O’Sullivan – Originally lords of the territory around Cahir, County Tipperary, in the 12th century, they migrated to what is now west Cork and south Kerry, where the name is still very popular
  4. Walsh – One of the most common of the Norman associated names found in Ireland. It seems to have been the name used by the many different groups of Welsh people who arrived in Ireland with the Normans during the 12th century. The name comes from Welsh, which simply means Welshman
  5. O’Brien – They are descended from one of the greatest and most famous Irish kings. The name indicates descendance from Brian Boru, the celebrated High King of Ireland. Most O’Briens can be found in counties Limerick, Tipperary, Clare and Waterford.
  6. Byrne – They can be found all over Counties Wicklow and Dublin.The O’Byrnes were chieftains of what is now County Kildare until the Norman invasion when they were driven from their lands and migrated into the mountains of County Wicklow.
  7. Ryan – The meaning of this Irish surname Ryan comes from the old Gaelic word “righ” and the old Irish diminutive of “an,” which together form the meaning of “little king”. Our personal favorite of all the 9 Irish surnames.
  8. O’Connor – The O’Connor name, with its varied spellings, doesn’t spring from a common source. The name arose in five areas of Ireland: Connacht, Kerry, Derry, Offaly and Clare.
  9. O’Neill – The O’Neill family traces its history back to 360 A.D. to the legendary warrior king of Ireland, Niall of the Nine Hostages, who is said to have been responsible for bringing St. Patrick to Ireland. Not only that but O’Neill has over 3 million descendants.

There you have it a list of 9 of the most popular Irish surnames, be sure to share with anyone you know who has one of these surnames. Thanks to wikipedia for the stats.