In 1909, Sir Robert E. Matheson published a Special Report on Surnames in Ireland, a study on Irish names and their origins.
One of the most fascinating parts of the report is where he ranks the Top 100 most popular surnames, based on births around the turn of the century.
How many of these surnames do you have in your family tree? You’re probably a direct descendant of at least a few of these families, and even if you can’t prove that, you surely have hundreds of cousins (thousands?) with these surnames, whether you know it or not:
And now in alphabetical order, where it may be easier to spot familiar names: Barry, Bell, Boyle, Brady, Brennan, Brown, Buckley, Burke, Burns, Byrne, Callaghan, Campbell, Carroll, Casey, Clarke, Collins, Connell, Connolly, Connor, Cullen, Cunningham, Daly, Doherty, Donnelly, Donovan, Doyle, Duffy, Dunne, Dwyer, Farrell, Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, Flanagan, Flynn, Foley, Gallagher, Graham, Griffin, Hayes, Healy, Higgins, Hogan, Hughes, Johnston, Kane, Kavanagh, Keane, Keeffe, Kelly, Kennedy, Kenny, King, Leary, Lynch, Lyons, Magee, Maguire, Maher, Mahony, Martin, McCarthy, McDermott, McDonald, McDonnell, McGrath, McKenna, McLaughlin, McMahon, McNamara, Moloney, Moore, Moran, Mullan, Murphy, Murray, Nolan, O’Brien, O’Donnell, O’Neill, Power, Quinn, Regan, Reid, Reilly, Robinson, Rourke, Ryan, Scott, Shea, Sheehan, Smith, Stewart, Sullivan, Sweeney, Thompson, Walsh, Ward, Whelan, White, Wilson.
As I add to the Families section here at Irish DNA Net, I will link the above families to their appropriate page, so you can see what the DNA shows for some of these families.
Looking for more information on Irish surnames or names in Ireland? There are several excellent books on the subject:
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