Irish Surnames in Texas

Our Genealogy radio show today covered some aspects of Irish surnames in Texas. Naturally, we will have to do another show on it as there was so much fascinating info and we missed out the Alamo so we'll do another show in the New Year. Do take a listen to The Genealogy Radio Show Archives for all the shows. We have over 100 shows now podcast for you to listen to and to help trace your Irish roots.  Our recommendations for further reading for Irish ancestral research this week is at

Irish surnames in Texas may have begun with Hugo Oconór {Hugh O'Connor]. Hugo's O'Connor belonged to a legacy of providing military sources for the Spanish Royal Army. From the early 1600s, many leading families had left for the continent to provide military prowess to crown powers. The term for these family serving crown forces was 'The Wild Geese'.

The Irish had their own regiments and were to supply France, Italy, and Spain with military forces.

There is also an excellent resource for leading genealogists on The Wild Geese website for those interested in starting Irish Genealogy and this is available at

A Spanish official is reported to have advised the King of Spain to welcome the Irish "because they are strong, tough people, unafraid of cold weather...They will sleep on the bare ground, making them the fiercest warriors".

Hugh Oconor's hair gave him the new name of "El Capitán Colorado" meaning red in Spanish. In 1765, Hugo was was appointed as the Governor of Texas and through his family connections to Alejandro O'Reilly, a cousin, he was promoted to high positions controlling vast regions. The connections between the O'Reillys and the O'Connors showed how these family networks were essential for upward mobility.

Ulick O'Connor's excellent article available here shows the origin and path of The Wild Geese and you can read it here after the poem by Emily Lawless


She said 'They gave me of their best,

They lived, they gave their lives for me;
I tossed them to the howling waste,

And flung them to the foaming sea.'
She said 'I never gave them aught,
Not mine the power, if mine the will;
I let them starve, I let them bleed, -

They bled and starved, and loved me still.'

She said 'I never called them son,
I almost ceased to breathe their name
They caught it echoing down the wind,

Blown backwards from the lips of Fame.'

She said 'God knows they owe me nought,
I tossed them to the foaming sea,

I tossed them to the howling waste,

Yet still their love comes home to me.'
Emily Lawless 1845-1913

Sources  'The Texas State  Historical Association (TSHA)

The Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) "illuminating Texan History since 1897" gave an excellent set of sources for the radio show and the blog. This is a non-profit organisation and is very worthy of support. It gets a 5***** recommendation from us. See Texas State Historical Association



We used the Texas State Historical Association resources online to learn about the McGLOINS and the McMULLINS. The McGloins came from Castlegal, Co. Sligo. They were powerful influences on immigration of settler families into Texas. The townland of origin for the McGLOIN surname can be located at the website  and this is an excellent source for all other Irish surnames also as it gives a link by place at the bottom to the 1901 and 1911 census. See 

To assist learning, we also include a map of Ireland so you can follow origins of Irish surnames in Ireland by county. Within each county, there are parishes, which contain townlands.

Some Irish Surnames of Texas

Lacey  Lacy Thornton Irwin, Moore O’Connor McGloin McMullan Hall, Spinks Colleran Walker Raines Casey Lively Dossy Sheeran Gallagher Cavanaugh Crawford Wallace Millican Lowry McDonnell Delaney McIlhaney Logue Swift Savage McNeil Henry Rice Hovey Luttrell Doherty Nolan Power Reilly Moore Wilson Taylor Miller White Thomas Harris Martin Lewis Allen Greene Haran Adams Robinson Craig

Luttrell: The Luttrells were of Norman origin and fought with William at Hastings. They were rewarded with large estates in Yorkshire and Leicestershire. The family had strong influences in both England and Ireland. As a strong Catholic family of the Pale. The Pale was the area around Dublin and if you were "beyond the Pale" it meant you were in dangerous territory. The Luttrells retained their faith after the Reformation, while at the same time benefiting greatly from the confiscation of the religious houses in Ireland.

So our Irish Surnames in Texas have a great antiquity and may have more than one country of Origin.


"In the south of Co Down travelling from Newry and going southeastwards along the mouth of Carlingford Lough staying on the bending coastine of Co Down you soon enter the civil parish of Warrenpoint, where there are traces of Lively, then turn NE ie inland, and they lived also in next civil parish Clonallen [in the townlands of Cabragh, Cullion, Milltown ] continuing NE into two civil parishes, the one to the north is Drumgrath [In the townland of Drumlough, and the one to the east is Clonduff, townland Leitrim with a further two traces of ladies one Tartaraghan Co Armagh, and the other Kilanny Co Louth" Sometimes old posts on Ancestry are very useful for locating surname informaton.


fairly rare: Tyrone-Derry, Dublin etc. Ir. Mac Maicín. A sept of Oriel. See also Macken and Mackin: it became anglicised to Macken

MacMurtre  2 to be found in Island Magee in County Antrim, Quite numerous: E Ulster. Ir. Mac Muircheartaigh. See Moriarty. This form is usually Scottish and associated with Bute.


MacCord - Mac Cuairt, in Oriel but Mac Cord is Scottish from Galloway, still the same basic name of which the derivation is not certain

Hovey  - Cavan, 1 in 1901 census,

Haran_ Ó hEaghráin. The prefix "Ó" ("Ua" in Middle Irish) signifies "son of" or "descendant" and would indicate the patronymic origin of the surname, while the second element of the name is the genitive case of the name Eaghra,an ancestor of the related clan Ó hEaghra. The surname is referenced Annals of the Four Masters: This is a source freely available online through the UCC Celt Website - Corpus of Electronic Text. "1052 AD, Echthighern Ua hEaghráin, the successor of Ciaran of Cluain-mic-Nois [Clonmacnoise] and of Comman, died on his pilgrimage at Cluain-Iraird [Clonard Abbey]."

The O' and the Mac appear and disappear throughout the journey of Irish surnames so it is important to create your searches with or without it as history dictates.


The sources for the radio show "Irish Surnames in Texas" traced origins of surnames such as Crawford, McDaniels, Cambell, McDonnell" and located the writings of Barry McCain, see  This provided a full list of the surname which has many matches for Irish Surnames in Texas.


We learned that Redshanks was the nickname for the new military forces which came through marriage to support Shane O'Neill and was as a result of advantageous marriages to Agnes Campbell and Finola McDonnell. (Inion Dubh) Agnes dowry included 1200 mercenaries or Redshanks.The Scottish influence extended to castle building and you can see these in Burt Castle built by the O'Doherty Clan.

"The Elizabethan English were very cognizant of the Redshanks in Ireland.  The Calendar of the State Papers Relating To Ireland has many letters and reports of English officials in Ulster concerning Redshank activities from the mid 1500s until the early 1600s.  English concern and fear of the Redshanks grew greatly when they began to settle in Ulster. The nature of the Redshanks’ function was changing in Irish society.  Initially, the Redshanks were only paid for time in service and there was the added benefit that the Irish lords did not need to grant them land to live on.  This made them popular with these lords as they were less expensive than Gallóglaigh.  However, more Scottish warriors were needed as the wars against the Elizabethan English escalated.  The Redshanks were available in much greater numbers than the Gallóglaigh and the broadening scope and changing nature of warfare of the 1500s led some Irish lords, those that could afford it, to have Redshanks settle in strategic areas on their lands. "(Barry McCain)


1630 Muster Rolls

We would certainly  recommend Barry McCain's work on this  topic and it pointed us in the direction of the 1630 Muster rolls.This resource as part of the R. J. Hunter legacy showed a searchable database freely available online. Muster Rolls give over 13,000 names in Northern Ireland and can be located here  Such a source tells us the names of the tenants on the landlords estates and names that were once English and Scottish hibernicise and become Irish surnames.

Our Recommended Readings 30 November - 3 December

Clans and Surnames - Product and Service Recommendations

This latest blog post announces Clans and Surnames product and service recommendations prior to our Irish family research week May 15 -19, 2017. We are happy to endorse, recommend and work with this listing.

I met with Wladimir Ledochowski at WDYTYA 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham and am very impressed with his work. Wladimir has always been interested in Genealogy and started painting family trees for friends and family as a young boy. With experience he came to realise that whilst people wanted to own his work, many were unable to pay for the 6 weeks work it typically takes to paint a bespoke family tree. During a family reunion he was asked whether it was not possible to make fine art prints of his work to share with other family members. Out of this idea grew the fine art print business he now manages. By digitizing his work and subsequently "recycling" (for lack of a better word) his paintings he can offer bespoke family trees that look hand painted. This way he can significantly reduce time spent on each custom family tree thus making the product accessible to everyone. Families can order multiple copies pf the family tree and spread the cost of the fine art print amongst themselves. By mixing technology with good old fashioned handycraft Wladimir creates a unique product that will transform your family history into a unique work of art. Wether you are looking for an ascendant or descendant family tree Wladimir can cater to most tastes and has many different variations that should appeal to everyone. His work is amazing and I am happy to discuss small and large projects, commissions and portfolios at and suggest you take a look at his website at

Wladimir Ledochowski   

Wladimir Ledochowski  

'Found Dead or Alive' Genealogy Talks at City Hall, Cork, - Over 50s show March 4th & 5th

You all know that Over 50 is the new Over 30s for interests, resources and cultural pursuits. This is why Lorna Moloney (APG) & SoG(UK) who is Over 50 but doesn't look a day over 27 years has scheduled a genealogy corner at the Over 50s show in Cork. This is taking place in City Hall, March 4th & 5th. Just click and then Click to get your FREE TICKET 'FOUND DEAD OR ALIVE'. Our talks at the Genealogy Corner at the Over 50s in Cork are simply wonderful with terrific experts. These talk will take place in City Hall, Cork City on March 4th & 5th. If you would like to take a table with us or would like leaflets displayed for a nominal cost, please contact Lorna Moloney at 085-8721184 or email  Our talks include:

(1) Dr Michael Christopher Keane; From Family Tree to Published Book - From Laois to Kerry. This talk will explore the journey of this author on a family history topic and goal for many. Contact Michael at

(2) Dr Penny Walters - Dr Penny Walters was adopted at birth (‘luckily’to a lovely couple), and is now a University guest Lecturer (within Psychology, Business Studies & Ethics). Penny is a mother of 6 (aged 11-30). Her ancestral search has taken her back from the UK, through south Wales’ coalmines, to the Irish Famine and specifically to Cork (Drimoleague) & Kerry (Sneem) Penny's aim is to talk about the issues adopted people have when looking at one’s roots, specifically, that adopted people can’t verify any information from blood relatives.  Penny will talk us through the issues adopted people have when looking at one’s roots, specifically, that adopted people can’t verify any information from blood relatives. In addition, there are ethical dilemmas when researching a family that you have never met, nor have any information about, the Pandora’s box you may be opening, and not being able to put any ‘flesh on the bones’ of the lives of the people within the certificates you can obtain.

DNA testing revealed that Penny has 71% Irish heritage, which supports the paper trail of ¾ of her ancestors coming from southern Ireland. This emotional search has led Penny to travel within the last year to Cork, Belfast, Dublin, and soon to Nenagh, where Penny will be lecturing on the Clans and Surnames Irish Family History Research week May 15 -19, 2017 see Feel free to email her at: or add her on FB or Instagram, (Penny Walters). 

(3) Lorna Moloney - How to hand your Family Tree using Online sources Lorna will be talking you through the opportunities to be gained online for Irish genealogy. Lorna is running the event Clans and Surnames in May at Nenagh, Co. Tipperary which is a wonderful opportunity to trace your Irish roots.

(4) Tony Harpur: The 1842 Catholic Parish of Midleton in County Cork. Tony is an expert on Midleton and has a wonderful professional experience of Irish History and Ancestry. Tony will also be speaking at the Clans and Surnames event in May, 2017.

(5) Uilleann Ceoil - Irish Musical Lecture Uilleann Ceoil are leading ambassadors providing music accompaniment for Heritage events in Ireland. With a proven track record of providing trad sessions for University College Cork, Uilleann Ceoil will take us through the story behind Irish music. for more information and bookings.

(6) Sandra Bamber - How to draw your family tree using traditional methods of calligraphy, pen and ink. Sandra is an arts and crafts expert and has assisted with the running of events at Merriman Research with Lorna Moloney for years. Sandra will be leading the arts and crafts component of the Winter event at the GN Abbeycourt, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on November 7 -10, 2017 for our Curious Tourist series for Irish heritage tours, see

(7) Christine Deakin Irish Genealogy Solutions : Are you looking after your family History Collection? Acid free storage products are essential for long term preservation. The usual types available in the high street are full of chemicals which can damage or destroy items. Irish Genealogy Solutions supply acid free products which are specifically designed for the storage and mounting of Certificates, photos, documents and other forms of memorabilia. We also supply the Irish Roots Binder Magazine Binder. 024 97963 / 087 3156807 Christine is an expert on these matters and this is a valuable opportunity to meet with her at this event website :

(8) David Ryan ' How to Trace your Cork ancestors' David Ryan an expert on Cork and Tipperary ancestors will be available to talk to you about this avenue of Genealogy research. David is currently compiling genealogy workshops in Cork and is highly recommended.

(9) Kay Caball. 'Finding your ancestors in the Census' author and expert genealogist of My Kerry Ancestors  of

(10) Daniel Purcell, Irish Family History Centre - Getting started in Family                   History Genealogy

Our tables in situ at the event offering advice, products and information are:

Family History Events - Clans and Surnames

Family History Club - The next evening for the Family History Club is 29 November at the County Arms Hotel, Birr, Co. Offaly. This commences at 7:00 and finishes at 9:00p.m. This is ideal for those who are looking for practical advice on their family history research. It is led by Lorna Moloney and the cost is €10.00

Family History Club - Limerick city. This will be held on 2 December at LEDP, Roxboro Rd from 2.30 to 4.30 and is ideal for those who are absolute beginners in their family history research. The cost is €10.00 and this is led by Sandra Bamber.

Family History Fair - 11 December at the Great National Abbeycourt Hotel, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. This is a day for those who wish to engage with resources of traditional and online types and to find valuable resources to aid in undertaking Family History Research. We will have Genealogy Professionals on hand to assist and Admission is Free.

Clans and Surnames Week - May 15 -19, 2017. This is a week of lectures, fieldtrips, seminars and workshops and includes a conference on Friday 19 May also. We have a call for papers for same so please email with same. Our programme can be seen at



The Tribes of Galway by Adrian Martyn


Fourteen families from the medieval Irish lower-classes rose to become Galway’s prime merchant families, nicknamed the tribus Galvia in the 1600s.

The families of Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, Darcy, Deane, Font, French, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martyn, Morris, Skerrett, have been THE TRIBES OF GALWAY ever since.

Over the course of four centuries, they and their fellow Galwegians survived and o en thrived against warlords and sieges, during economic booms and busts, times of plenty, famine, and plague. All within Europe’s most westerly urban settlement. This is their story and Adrian Martyn is launching his book tonight. The book is on sale through bookshops and online through Adrian's website at An absolute must for the Christmas list. Well done Adrian.


The History of the naming of County Laois and County Offaly

Tomorrow's genealogy radio show is going to be about the history of the naming of Laois as Queen's County and Offaly as King's County. Popular practice for English monarchs to name locations after people. For instance Queens in New York was established as one of the 12 counties of NY being named after the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza, the wife of Charles II of England in 1683. 
Only Queen's county and King's County was over one hundred years earlier during the Tudor rule of Mary, a.k.a Bloody Mary, Queen Mary I, the infamous monarch known as a burner of heretics. Kings county was named after husband King Philip II of Spain. You can tune in via your computer live at 4p.m. for Raidio Corcabaiscinn and the genealogy radio show or pick it up later on the podcast.

Clans and Surnames Newsletter & Events Memo

Our newsletter is underway and will be launched shortly. This will give information about events coming up, sources, and development in Irish family research and on clans and surnames. Our current calendar has the following events planned:

For details on any of the events below, contact Lorna Moloney at 085-8721184 or

  • County Arms Hotel, Birr, Co. Offaly 29 November -  Family History Club, Convener: Lorna Moloney   7p.m. - 9p.m.  adm: €10.00
  • Great National Abbeycourt Hotel, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Family History Fair,  December 11th 2016 - 11.30 - 4.30, Admission Free.
  • Clans and Surnames Programme May,  15 -19, 2017  Organiser: Lorna Moloney: Great National Abbeycourt Hotel, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, we have a presentation at and for Early Bird Booking details see

Clans and Surnames at Back to Our Past in the RDS 21 - 23 October

Clans and Surnames are at Back to Our Past 2016 this year. Back to Our Past is at the RDS this weekend running from 21 October to 23 October. The lectures are simply amazing at this years event and we will be on hand to help you with your family research and to overcome your research brick walls. 

We will be promoting our event coming up in Tipperary in 2017, our clans and surnames week of family history research which concentrates on practical aspects of getting your family history research done or in some cases started.

In addition, we have a 3 hour research prize for a lucky winner this weekend, so do drop by for a chat with us. The programme guide for lectures, exhibitors and contact details for all is available here #BTOP2016   Programme Guide

Our Clans and Surnames Programme and event details are available at



Sources for Mac and O in Surnames

Irish surnames are fascinating, complex, confusing and have irritated many for a variety of different reasons.  The disappearance of the Mac and O and reappearance over centuries frequently exasperates the searcher of Irish roots whether amateur or professional. Which is more common? Why do some families use the Mac and others not? Some of these issues can be solved by knowing a little of Irish historical events.

This shows investigates the impact of the Tudor conquest and the  subsequent perception of the barbarous nature of Irish surnames using Mac and O. It evaluates the need for names to sound English and ‘civilized’, no longer belonging to a barbarous sounding tongue. The use of the Mac and O and sources for same can be found by listening to ‘The History of the Mac and O in Surnames”



Edward MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland (Dublin, 1999). - A detailed and compact guide giving a wealth of information of the background of Irish family names. More than 4,000 Gaelic, Norman and Anglo-Irish surnames.

John Grenham   This is excellent value and provides an expert research tool for those mapping surnames from Griffiths valuation.

UCC Corpus of Electronic Text:

Facebook page Irish Medieval History source to

Irish Genealogy, Heraldry and family history at the National library of Ireland
PDF sources here

An excellent annotated bibliographic recordfor Irish surnames can be seen by the following bibliography at