Irish Surnames - History
Irish surnames are usually Patronymic in etymology. Patronymic means that the name is derived from the given name of the persons parent or ancestor, usually their father or grandfather but sometimes the name can be derived from the mother or grandmother.
Etymology is defined as the science which relates to the history of words. It involves the significance of words, tracing out their origin and how the meaning and form of words have changed over time. Certain surnames originate from specific parts of Ireland, lots of examples are listed below. The map at the bottom of the page shows the origin of Irish surnames from the beginning of the 16th century.