Irish Genealogy

Murphy comes from the two Old Irish surnames, O’Murchadha and MacMurchadha, both meaning ‘sea warrior’. For reasons unknown, the Murphys…

Murphy

Murphy comes from the two Old Irish surnames, O’Murchadha and MacMurchadha, both meaning ‘sea warrior’. For reasons unknown, the Murphys of the 19th and 20th centuries chose not to re-adopt either the O’ or Mac prefixes. In 1992-97, about 70,900 Murphys were telephone subscribers in Ireland


Kelly

The derivation of the name is not certain. It may have come from ceallach, meaning ‘strife’. In Irish, the name is written O’Ceallaigh. Originally only a surname, it became first a boy’s first name and, later, a girl’s name.


O’Sullivan

Internationally recognised as one of the great Irish surnames, O’Suileabhan, meaning ‘hawk-eyed’ or ‘one-eyed’, remains the most common name in counties Cork and Kerry. In 1992-97 there were approx 41,500 telephone subscribers of this name across the island of Ireland.


Byrne

O’Broin, meaning raven, can be traced back to Bran, the son of an 11th-century king of Leinster. It remains one of the most common Irish surnames in Wicklow and neighbouring counties and in 2016 was the sixth most common surname. 


O’Reilly

What a difference 100 years can make! By the dawn of the 21st century, almost 60% of Reillys used the O’ prefix. The name comes from raghallaigh, possibly meaning ‘sociable tribe or group’. The origins of the Reillys lies in Breffny.