Your Irish surname can help you to locate the precise region in Ireland where your Irish relatives lived.
It is not difficult to broadly discover the region your Irish Last Name originated. Irish families generally stayed in the same regions for many generations and it is not unusual for surnames to be found only within small areas for several hundreds of years. If carrying out your Irish Genealogical Research you will begin to notice how Irish Surnames extend out from their original area but still often staying within one or two counties, sometimes for several more generations.
With this information you will find that starting you Irish surname and Irish family research is not that difficult. Now on to some of the most common Irish surnames and their locations:
50 common Irish Surnames
Widespread Irish last name, found in Sligo, Fermanagh, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, and Westmeath. Now mostly found in Sligo the Leinster province.
Brown or Browne
Found in England and Ireland, most commonly found in the province of Connacht as well as County Kerry.
Donegal chieftains, now also found in Offaly and Kildare.
Norman name, settled in Ireland in the 12th century mainly in the province of Connacht.
Byrne crest, courtesy of www.araltas.com
The O Byrne (Ó Broin), a powerful clan originally came from County Kildare. They opposed the Anglo-Normans when they arrived and they were forced to the Wicklow mountains where they continued to harass the occupying powers. The Byrne surname is still very common in Wicklow, as well as Dublin and Louth.
A powerful family in the province of Munster, and mostly found in Clare and Cork.
Very prevalent in Donegal and also Cavan (mainly descended from Scottish mercenary soldiers).
Found throughout Ireland including Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, and Offaly.
One of the oldest surnames in Ireland(O Clery) is most prevalent in Cavan.
Originated in Limerick and fled to County Cork after the Norman invasion.
Three distinct O Connell clans in the provinces of Connacht, Ulster, and Munster.
Originally from Galway, the Connolly families also settled in Cork, Meath, and Monaghan.
Ó Conchobhair or Ó Conchúir, the name means hero or champion, found in Clare, Derry, Galway, Kerry, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Ulster.
Ó Dálaigh from the word dáil, meaning a place of assembly; Dalys hail from Clare, Cork, Galway and Westmeath.
Ó Dochartaigh means obstructive or hurtful. Settled in the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal since the 4th century, their surname is the most common in Derry.
From dubh ghall, the “dark foreigner,” this name is thought to be Norse in origin. In Ulster they were known as Mac Dubghaill (MacDowell and MacDuggall) found mainly in the province of Leinster, Roscommon, Wexford and Wicklow.
Ó Dubhthaigh meaning black or swarthy. Original from Monaghan they are also found in Donegal and Roscommon.
Ó Duinn (Brown); Dunne is the most common surname in Laois where this Irish surname originated.
Chieftains lords of Annaly (near Longford) and Westmeath.
A Norman family who settled in Ireland in 1170, the Fitzgeralds had vast holdings in Cork, Kerry, Kildare, and Limerick.
Ó Floinn, prevalent in the province of Ulster. The ‘f’ is no longer pronounced and the name is now Loinn or Lynn. Also be found in Clare, Cork, Kerry, and Roscommon.
In Donegal since the 4th century, this s the most common surname in the region.
Most commonly be found in Cork and Sligo.
Both Welsh and Irish in origin, is found throughout the provinces of Connacht, Leinster, and Ulster.
Most common name in the province of Ulster.
Primarily from Derry, Galway, Kildare, Leitrim, Leix, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, and Wicklow.
Both Irish and Scottish in origin, hails from Clare, Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Wexford.
Ó Loingsigh Irish family name originally settled in Clare, Donegal, Limerick, Sligo, and Westmeath (most common).
Primarily from Cork, Kerry, and Tipperary.
Most common in Fermanagh.
Most numerous in Cork.
Common in both England and Ireland, found chiefly in Galway, Tyrone, and Westmeath.
The ancient Irish Moores settled in Kildare, also from Antrim and Dublin.
The most common Irish surnames, the Murphy last name can be found in the four provinces, mainly from Antrim, Armagh, Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Roscommon, Sligo, Tyrone, and Wexford, however.
Abundant in Donegal.
Numerous in Carlow, also be found in Fermanagh, Longford, Mayo, and Roscommon.
oconnor_kerry crest, courtesy of www.araltas.com
O Connor – in Irish O Conchobhair or O Conchuir – comes from a personal name meaning champion.
Primarily from Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford.
Originally settled in Clare and Galway, now most numerous in Donegal.
From Antrim, Armagh, Carlow, Clare, Cork, Down, Tipperary, Tyrone, and Waterford.
From the Irish word Ceann (head), the name means intelligent, the Quinns are primarily from Antrim, Clare, Longford and Tyrone (most common).
Lineage of the O Conor kings of Connacht, primarily from Cavan, Cork, Longford, and Meath.
Ó Riain chiefly from Carlow and Tipperary(common surname), also be found in Limerick.
Originally from Kerry, later settling in Tipperary (12th century) and Kilkenny (15th century).
Both English and Irish, they are mainly from Antrim (most common surname), Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, and Sligo.
Originally from County Tipperary, the Sullivan family settled in Kerry and Cork, where they are now most numerous and their last name the most common.
Chiefly in Cork, Donegal and Kerry.
English in origin, this is the second most common non-Irish name found in Ireland.
Used to describe the Welsh people who came to Ireland during the Anglo-Norman invasions. Numerous throughout all four provinces of Ireland is is the most common surname in Mayo.
Mac Faoitigh or de Faoite, mainly from the “le Whytes” who came to Ireland with the Anglo-Normans. Found in Ireland throughout Down, Limerick, Sligo, and Wexford.