Irish placenames as surnames

This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 4 months ago by Bob Frewen.

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     Bob Frewen

    Unlike those in Ireland, many English and French surnames are derived from localities. The Statutes of Kilkenny (40 Edw. 3) of 1366 were an attempt to stop ‘creeping Irishness’ and one requirement was every Englishman should not follow Irish naming patterns. These were followed by Edward IV’s law (1483) that compelled “certaine Irish” to adopt surnames – “They shall take unto them a Surname, ………………..either of some Town, or some Colour, as Black or Brown, or some Art or Science, as Smyth or Carpenter, ……….etc.” This seems to have worked to a small extent with occupational names – e.g. Mac Gabhan/Smith and the MacGiolla- prefixes, but use of a placename as a surname appears to have been largely ignored. Some examples are :
    Brosnan, Cashell, Finglas, Galway, Kilcullen, Kilkenny, Laffan, Monahan, Santry, Swords.
    Can anyone add to the list?

     Web Editor

    There’s an actor called Patrick Malahide but I’ve never heard of any other people so called.

    Have seen Derry as a surname too.

     Bob Frewen

    Thanks. Malahide is a stage name – his surname is Duggan. Another is Nellie Clifden, but I think that too might be a stage name as she was an actress. There are a few Derry’s in the Census and also Cork’s.

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