Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ulster Surnames

GEN 929.4209416 BELL
The Book of Ulster Surnames
by Robert Bell

From the Book Cover
The Book of Ulster Surnames has enteries for over five hundred of the most common family names of the province, with references to thousands more. It gives a history of each name, its original form, where it came from--Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France--and why it changed to its present form. It also includes notes on famous bearers of the name and where in Ulster the name is now most common.


  • Hereditary surnames came into being in the Irish provinces in the tenth century and became widespread in the eleventh century.
  • Many Irish surnames were derived from Viking personal first names.
  • From the twelfth century the Anglo-Normans brought their surnames to Ulster
  • The English also brought their surnames at this time.
  • Scottish mercenary families (galloglasses) brought names such as MacCabe, MacDonnell, MacSweeney.
  • Many Scottish clans claim descent from the same historical and legendary figures as their Irish equivalents, and from the time of the creation of the Irish Dalriadic kingdom in Scotland, the two regions and their surnames have been closely related through language, alliance, war, marriage, migration and trade.
  • The Plantation of the early seventeenth century was the most significant influx of names of all. Ulster Plantation from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Irish Surnames

Scottish Surnames

Welsh Surnames