The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names of Ireland

ISBN : 9780198803263

Kay Muhr; Liam Ó hAisibéil
872 Pages
219 x 276 mm
Pub date
Jun 2021
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  • An extensive introduction gives the history and formation of Irish family names, of Gaelic and English-language origin, and the research methods and sources used to compile this dictionary
  • Covers over 3,800 family names in Ireland, both the Republic and Northern Ireland, including variant spellings, that had more than 100 bearers in the 1911 Census of Ireland
  • Each entry contains the name's frequency in 1911, its main locations in both 1847-64 and 1911, its language/culture of origin, and an explanation of its meaning. Many entries also include extensive lists, in historical order, of early bearers as recorded in major Irish-language and administrative sources, ranging from the medieval period to the nineteenth century

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names of Ireland contains more than 3,800 entries covering the majority of family names that are established and current in Ireland, both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.
It establishes reliable and accurate explanations of historical origins (including etymologies) and provides variant spellings for each name as well as its geographical distribution, and, where relevant, genealogical and bibliographical notes for family names that have more than 100 bearers in the 1911 census of Ireland. Of particular value are the lists of early bearers of family names, extracted from sources ranging from the medieval period to the nineteenth century, providing for the first time, the evidence on which many surname explanations are based, as well as interesting personal names, locations and often occupations of potential family forbears.
This unique Dictionary will be of the greatest interest not only to those interested in Irish history, students of the Irish language, genealogists, and geneticists, but also to the general public, both in Ireland and in the Irish diaspora in North America, Australia, and elsewhere.


List of sources
Counties, Islands, and their Abbreviations
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names of Ireland
Index of Irish Names

About the author: 

Kay Muhr and Liam Ó hAisibéil, National University of Ireland, Galway
Kay Muhr read Celtic Studies at Edinburgh and gained a PhD from the same university. After postgraduate fellowships in Cambridge, Dublin and Queen's University Belfast, she became a research fellow on the Ordnance Survey Memoir project in Queen's University's Institute for Irish Studies. She was Senior Research Fellow of the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project in Irish & Celtic Studies in Queen's from its foundation in 1987 until 2010. She is the author of vol. 6 in the Place-Names of Northern Ireland series, an introduction to local place-name study called Celebrating Ulster's Townlands, and joint author (with Patrick McKay) of Lough Neagh Places: Their Names and Origins (2007). She has been president of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland, and chairman of the Ulster Place-Name Society (www.ulsterplacename.org).
Liam Ó hAisibéil is a Lecturer in Irish and Celtic Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His teaching and research interests include onomastics and medieval Irish literature. He has spent periods of research with the Locus Project at University College, Cork, as a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University, and as a Visiting Researcher at the University of Glasgow. He is a member of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland and of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences.

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