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> Common Irish Surnames In Scotland, Irish surnames commonly found in Scotland
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Paul Kelly
post 29th Jul 2006, 02:33pm
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In the aftermath of the Potato Famine in Ireland, a number of the Irish immigrants who came to Scotland in the 1840s and 1850s changed their surnames and religion in order to conceal their roots and avoid discrimination. In documented cases, Sweeney was changed to Swan, O'Carroll to Charles, O'Donnell to Dodds. The Irish immigrants were viewed by the locals as undesirable, ignorant and superstitious (ie poor, uneducated and Catholic). The fact that the Irish immigrants were prepared to work for lower wages than the indigenous Scots did not help matters.
The Irish immigrants who came to Scotland from the 1860s onwards rarely changed their religion, but in many cases their surnames were recorded incorrectly by Scottish officials.
Most of the 19th century Irish immigrants to Scotland were illiterate. Several Irish surnames were often recorded as Scottish surnames. For example, the Irish surname of McCormack was often recorded in the Scottish form of McCormick. Other examples were McFadden(Irish) being recorded as McFadyen(Scottish), McLaughlin(Irish) as McLachlan(Scottish), McDonnell(Irish) as McDonald(Scottish), McCullough(I) as McCulloch(S), Duffy(Irish) as Duff(Scottish), Byrne(Irish) as Burns(Scottish).
Even some Irish surnames which had no Scottish equivalent were recorded in a Scottish manner (ie given a Scottish spelling).
For example, Gallagher was usually recorded as Gallacher,
Dougherty as Docherty.
The following Irish surnames are commonly found in Scotland, particularly in the Glasgow area:
Kelly, Docherty, Gallacher, Boyle, Coyle, Murphy, Reilly, Connor, Connolly, Donnelly, Sweeney, Rafferty, Lafferty, Devine, Devlin, Bonar, Byrne, Quinn, Molloy, Kane, Lynch, Daly, Dougan, Brennan, Dempsey, Duffy, Friel, Gillan, Healy, Ward, Sullivan, Meehan, Rooney, Mulligan, Flanagan, Carrigan, Flynn, Curran, Keenan, Scanlon, Gormley, O'Donnell, O'Neill, O'Brien, McLaughlin, McVeigh, McManus, McFadden, McCluskey, McCormick, McCabe, McCann, McGuire, McGinty, McGlinchey, McGinness, McNulty, McDaid, McBride, McMenamin, McGonigle, McMonagle, McGoldrick, McGinley, McGlynn, McFall, McGrath, McSorley, McAteer, McCarthy, McCafferty, McDonagh, McGurk, McGee, McInally, McMahon, McDermott, McMullan, McAvoy, McAuley, McCulloch, McNamee, McKenna, McShane, McGowan.
I hope I have not missed out your surname.

The 8 most common Irish surnames in Scotland, in descending order, are : Kelly, Murphy, Docherty, Boyle, Reilly, Gallacher, McLaughlin, O'Donnell.
Kelly, Murphy, Docherty, Boyle and Reilly are among the top 100 most common surnames in Scotland, with Kelly the highest at position 38.

The fact that most of the Irish immigrants to Scotland came from the northern counties of Ireland is reflected by the above surnames. Surnames like Kelly, Docherty, Boyle, Gallacher, McLaughlin, McMenamin are very common in northern and western Ulster (Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, etc). Surnames like Reilly, Murphy, McGuire, McManus, McKenna, McShane are very common in southern and eastern Ulster (Fermanagh, Monaghan, Armagh, etc).

This post has been edited by Paul Kelly: 30th Jul 2006, 09:45am


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stratson
post 29th Jul 2006, 05:12pm
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Am afraid you did miss out mine,,,MURRAY. rolleyes.gif


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rosie-k
post 29th Jul 2006, 05:37pm
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another irish name, shawnessy, or O'shaughnessy.
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Paul Kelly
post 1st Aug 2006, 01:18pm
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Hi Rosie and Stratson.

The list of Irish surnames commonly found in Scotland which I gave the other day is far from exhaustive. There are many others such as
Conroy, Cairney (Kearney), Cairns (Kearns), Brogan, Scullion, Mulhearn, Mulgrew, Mulholland, Callaghan, Donnachy, Conaghan, Coll, Fallon, Sharkey, Toner, Moan, Heaney, Bradley, Slaven, Hegarty, Farrell, Fitzpatrick, McGuigan, McConville, McCaig, McGarry, McGlennon, McKeown, McQuade, McColgan, McRory (to name just a few more!).

I should clarify that I have been refering only to Catholic Irish immigrants. As I have previously mentioned, most of the Irish immigrants to Scotland were from the northern counties of Ireland. A significant minority of these immigrants - around 25% - were in fact Protestants. The Protestant Irish - unlike their Catholic counterparts - were quickly assimilated into Scottish society. Most of the Protestant Irish immigrants had Scottish surnames. (They were largely descendants of the Scottish Plantation of Ulster in the early 1600s.) Moreover they shared the same religion as the native Scots - Presbyterianism.

I recently came across 2 terms in the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia while browsing on the net.

Scots-Irish : Northern Irish Protestants of mainly Scottish descent

Irish-Scots : Scots of mainly Catholic Irish descent

I have heard of the Scots-Irish before, but it is my first time to come across the term 'Irish-Scots'

This post has been edited by Paul Kelly: 2nd Aug 2006, 12:31pm


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Paul Kelly
post 1st Aug 2006, 02:54pm
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It has been well documented that Catholic Irish immigrants to Scotland and their descendants used to experience a lot of discrimination at the hands of the native Scots. Since the end of the 2nd World War this overt discrimination has largely disappeared. Personally, I see little sign of it these days whenever I visit Glasgow. There is now a large Catholic middle class, and Catholics can be found in every walk of life. (Only a few generations ago it was unheard of for Catholics to be employed in Scottish banking as well as several other establishment professions.) Years ago - when these things mattered - one way of figuring out a person's religion was to ask them which school they attended or even just their surname. It was widely assumed that an Irish surname indicated you were a Catholic, a Scottish surname that you were a Protestant. This of course could be very misleading.

Since the early days of Irish immigration to Glasgow, there had always been mixed marriages (Protestant and Catholic intermarriages). They were few in number at first. However, by the 1920s, around a quarter of all marriages conducted in Glasgow's Catholic churches were mixed marriages. By the 1950s it was around a third. By the 1980s it was around a half. The children of these mixed marriages were nearly always raised as Catholics. Due to the large number of mixed marriages over the past 100 or so years, a Catholic in Glasgow today is just as likely to have a Scottish surname as an Irish surname.

Recently I was reading an article about the British Cabinet Minister, John Reid, the MP for Airdrie and the current Secretary of State for Home Affairs in Tony Blair's government. Reid was born in Bellshill in 1947 and grew up in the small coal mining village of Cardowan, near Stepps, North Lanarkshire. He was raised a Catholic. While Reid's parents were Catholic, his grandparents were of mixed denomination. For example, his paternal grandfather was a Scottish Presbyterian and his paternal grandmother was an Irish Catholic. Reid's family history is a good illustration of how common mixed marriages have been in the Greater Glasgow area since the end of the 1st World War. When Reid left St Patrick's RC High School, Coatbridge in the mid 1960s he noticed that many of his schoolmates with Irish surnames had much more difficulty finding employment than those with Scottish surnames (like him!).

That brings me back to the thorny issue of government funded Catholic schools. Personally I think Catholic schools have encouraged people to discriminate against Catholics - Catholics deliberately separating themselves from the rest of society. When I was doing my teacher training practice in Easterhouse in February/March 1995 I experienced the ludicrous situation of 2 half-empty secondary schools less than a stones throw away from each other - Lochend (non-denominational and the school at which I was teaching) and St Leonard's (Catholic). A student could literally call over the fence to his/her friend at the other school. Each school had capacity for about 1000 students but each had a roll of around 400. (I understand that St Leonard's has since closed but I am not sure which school its students then went to!)

Following the Reformation in the late 1500s, Catholicism was virtually obliterated from Scotland. In the 1700s there were literally no Catholics in the Scottish Lowlands and only a few pockets of Catholics in remote parts of the Scottish Highlands in places such as Arisaig, Mallaig, South Uist and Barra.

According to the 2001 Scottish census, around 1 in 6 of the Scottish population is Catholic. In Edinburgh it is around 1 in 8. In Dundee it is around 1 in 5. In Glasgow it is around 1 in 3. In the Coatbridge/Bellshill area of North Lanarkshire it is around 1 in 2. These figures alone illustrate the impact that Irish immigration has had on modern Scottish society.

This post has been edited by GG: 21st Oct 2008, 08:36pm


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Riddrieperson
post 1st Aug 2006, 08:37pm
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QUOTE (Paul Kelly @ 29th Jul 2006, 04:50 PM)
I hope I have not missed out your surname.

Aye ye did.Miss out my surname that is.RYAN. from the Ryan clan in Killalla,County Mayo. biggrin.gif


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Heather
post 1st Aug 2006, 10:35pm
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Missed mine out too. ' Curran ' from County Waterford.


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Dexter St. Clair
post 1st Aug 2006, 11:19pm
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QUOTE
(I understand that St Leonard's has since closed but I am not sure which school its students then went to!)
St. Andrew's Secondary which is now the Top state school in Scotland and might give some reason as to why Catholic tax payers continue to choose Catholic schools when given the choice.

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Isobel
post 2nd Aug 2006, 01:23am
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Can you tell me anything about my maiden name..
McCloskey.......NOT McCluskey


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RonD
post 2nd Aug 2006, 10:41am
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I din't find anything about the meaning of the name but it soriginally from Derry and was connected to the larger clan O'Cahan (Kane)


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stratson
post 2nd Aug 2006, 12:16pm
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rdem, Thank you for latest info. re. Irish names .
During my geneology research discovered my paternal G/G/mothers maiden name was Kane.
On discussing this last year in Gortin with a third cousin he informed me she was really named O'Kane.


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hudggy
post 2nd Aug 2006, 02:21pm
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You missed Kerrigan but as you put down Carrigan I do mind too much as that is my name. As you say a lot of people changed their names my family for some reason not known to me change in the 1901 census from Kerrigan to Carrigan so from then on we were all registered as Carrigan. Also you mention not being able to get work I left school in1958 and was asked by nearly every firm I applied to which school I attended I got a few knock backs even the City Bakeries which was my first job had only started to take on Catholics when I got my start.

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Paul Kelly
post 3rd Aug 2006, 07:36am
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Hi Dexter.

I am very much in favour of parental choice when it comes to education as long as it is economically viable. In most cases, parents know what is best for their children. Nevertheless, educating children of different religions at separate schools from the ages of 5 to 18 has obviously not helped in the alleviation of sectarianism in Glasgow and more especially in Northern Ireland.

By the way, congratulations to St Andrew's. It is great to know that the best state school in Scotland is found in the east end of Glasgow.

Paul


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Paul Kelly
post 3rd Aug 2006, 07:53am
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If you do GOOGLE searches for

IRISH-SCOTS and CATEGORY IRISH-SCOTS

you will come across Wikipedia - the free internet encyclopedia - entries for both of the above.

Both entries make interesting reading, the latter giving a list of prominent Irish-Scots.


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Paul Kelly
post 3rd Aug 2006, 01:29pm
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If you managed to do a GOOGLE search for CATEGORY IRISH-SCOTS you would have noticed that many of the prominent Irish-Scots listed are Labour Party politicians. For example, the Cabinet Minister John Reid MP, and the Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin MP. In fact, the Labour Party in West-Central Scotland has always enjoyed very strong support in the Irish-Scots community. Even in the 1955 General Election when the Conservative and Unionist Party won 7 of the 15 Glasgow parliamentary seats (imagine!), Glasgow's Irish-Scots community still voted overwhelmingly for the Labour Party. Most of Glasgow's Lord Provosts since the 1940s have been Irish-Scots (Patrick Dollan, Michael Kelly, Pat Lally, Peter McCann, James Shields, etc) and the Labour controlled Glasgow City Council has long been dubbed 'The Murphia'.

I should mention that the SNP's most famous supporter - actor Sean Connery - is in the list of famous Irish-Scots. A noticeable omission from the list is Dr Liam Fox MP, who narrowly missed out becoming leader of the British Conservative Party last year to David Cameron.

In the early 1900s many of the founding members of the Communist Party of Great Britain were Irish-Scots from the Glasgow area who had been brought up as Catholics. Men such as Willie Gallacher, Harry McShane, Arthur McManus, John McGovern, John McGahey and Peter Kerrigan. (Catholic Communists you might say!) Arthur McManus was in fact the 1st Chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain (1914-1919) and when he died his ashes were taken to the Kremlin in Moscow. Some Irish-Scots socialists from the Glasgow area in the early 1900s, such as John Wheatley, Patrick Dollan and James Welsh, never joined the Communists.


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