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  1. Aug 25, 2012 · Ogham is the earliest form of writing in Ireland, it dates to around 4th century A.D. and was in use for around 500 years. The Ogham alphabet is made up of a series of strokes along or across a line. Ogham is sometimes referred to as the "Celtic Tree Alphabet" as most of the letters are linked to old Irish names for certan trees.

    • Histor
    • Doyle – The Dark Stranger
    • Fitzgerald – Son of Gerald
    • O’Connor – The Hound of Desire
    • O’Reilly – Descendants of Raghaillach
    • O’Brien – Eminent Person
    • Ryan – Little King
    • Kennedy – Fierce Head
    • O’Sullivan – Hawkeyed/One-Eyed
    • Kelly – Warlike
    • Murphy – The Sea Warrior

    Pronounced: “Doil” Doyle’s roots come from the south-east of Ireland – it issaid to be most common in County Carlow, Wexford, and Wicklow. It is derivedfrom the old Irish phrase “Dhubh-ghall”, which translates to “dark stranger”. This has since led to the traditional belief that the nameDoyle was born out of the settlers in Ireland a millennium ago – eitherAnglo-Saxon settlers from Britain or Danish Norsemen.

    Pronounced: “Fits-gerald” This name is of Anglo-Norman French origin, and Fitzgeraldtranslates as “son of Gerald.” The Gaelic version is MacGearailt. It is said that this name originally came from Maurice, son of Gerald, who came to Ireland with powerful archers during the Norman invasions. For his valiant efforts he was awarded land, and his family hence became powerful in County Kildare, although Fitzgerald families were also strong in what is today County Kerryand Limerick.

    Pronounced: “O-Conn-or” The O’Connor name has numerous variations and spellings,meaning it’s difficult to point out where exactly it derived from. We know thatit originated prominently in five areas of Ireland: Connacht, Kerry, Derry,Offaly, and Clare. The name was initially spelt O’Conchobhar – a name which goesback to Conchobhar, a 10th-century ruler of Connaught (a kingdom in the west ofIreland). It once meant something along the lines of “hound of desire”in Gaelic. Unusually for Irish names, the “O” prefix has remained, with moreO’Connors than Connors in both Ireland and America.

    Pronounced: “O-Ri-ley” Another Irish name which has kept its “O” – this name hasits roots in the old Gaelic kingdom of Breffny, where the O’Reilly family wasknown as one of the most powerful septs. Today, this area is known as County Cavan. The family name is derived from the Irish “O’Raghailligh,”meaning “descendants of Raghaillach”. Raghaillah is said to be born out ofcompounds ragh (race) and ceallach (sociable). Reilly, or the shortened Riley, is also a popular first nameacross the United States.

    Pronounced: “O-bri-en” This Irish surname you’ll hear in America comes from the O’Briandynasty, led by Brian Boru who was High King of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. He broughtMunster together in times of great unrest and fought for control over thesouthern half of the Emerald Isle. Boru’s descendants, the O’Briens, became one of thecountry’s most important dynasties and have since poured out across the worldand into the U.S.

    Pronounced: “Ry-an” The meaning of the Irish name Ryan comes from the old Gaelicword “righ” and the old Irish diminutive of “an,” which together roughlytranslate as “little king” in English. The O’Riains were most famous in Counties Carlow and Wexfordfor their authoritative power, and even today continue to frequent the southernhalf of Ireland more than in the north.

    Pronounced: “Kenn-edy” Known best around the globe as the surname of the U.S.President John F. Kennedy, this ancient Gaelic name was originally spelt “Ceannéidigh”,translating roughly as “fierce head”. JFK’s family originated from County Wexford, but the name isheld most strongly in County Tipperary where the medieval O’Kennedys once inhabited. Although it is both an Irish and Scottish name, it is theIrish Kennedys who more vehemently flocked to the United States.

    Pronounced: “O-Sull-i-van” In Irish, O’Sullivan is spelt O’Suilleabhin. It is widelyaccepted that this word derives from súl (eye), though whether it is to be translatedas “one-eyed” or “hawkeyed” is still in dispute among scholars. Originally lords in the area of Cahir, County Tipperary, inthe 12th century, the O’Sullivans migrated to what is now West Cork and SouthKerry, and have since travelled further afield to populate the United States.

    Pronounced: “Kell-y” Kelly, the second most popular Irish surname in the States,is the anglicised form of Gaelic Ó Ceallaigh, or “descendant of Ceallach.” Thisis an ancient personal name that loosely translates as “bright-headed” or“warlike.” The name originates from around ten unrelated families andsepts across Ireland. These include O’Kelly septs from Meath, Derry, Antrim,Laois, Sligo, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Galway, and Roscommon. Although seen more commonly as a surname, it is also aparticularly popular first name for women in the United States.

    Pronounced: “Mur-fy” The most common of all Irish surnames you’ll hear in America is Murphy. This highly popular surname means “sea warrior”, a personalname that was once particularly popular in County Tyrone. In Irish ittranslates as MacMurchadh, a derivation of the first name of Murchadh orMurragh. O’Murchadh families were known to live in County Wexford,Roscommon, and Cork – where it is now most common, with the MacMurchadhs of theCounty Sligo and Tyrone areas responsible for most of the Murphys in modern-dayUlster. The name became anglicised first to MacMurphy and then shorteneddown to Murphy in the early 19thcentury. Recognise a lot of these names? The Irish have a hugehistory of migrating to the United States and make up one of its biggesthistorical migrant demographics. Since then, Irish Americans have gone on toshape American culture and even changethe world. Check out a list of other Irish surnames you’ll hear in America and elsewhere using our guide.

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  3. The Cathach is the oldest extant Irish manuscript of the Psalter and the earliest example of Irish writing. . . . It is traditionally ascribed to Saint Columba as the copy, made at night in haste by a miraculous light, of a Psalter lent to Columba by St. Finnian.

  4. Irish ( Gaeilge in Standard Irish ), sometimes referred to as Gaelic outside Ireland, is a Goidelic language of the Insular Celtic branch of the Celtic language family, which is a part of the Indo-European language family. Irish originated on the island of Ireland and was the population's first language until the late 18th century.

  5. Oct 02, 2020 · Using an Irish family name as a first name has become an increasingly common practice for baby namers in the United States. Today, fashionable parents are turning to monikers that embody Celtic ...

  6. AT this stage it may be well to give for the reader's information the following Irish proper names and adfixes:— Aodh [ee], anglicised Hugh, was one of the most frequent names of Kings and Chiefs among the Irish; the word signifies fire, the Vesta of the Pagan Irish, and was probably derived from the religious worship of the Druids.

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