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> Are The Scots Really Irish? Dalriada, Gallowglass, The historical links between Ulster and Argyll
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Paul Kelly
post 25th Oct 2008, 08:50am
Post #167


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http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.ph...st&p=172828

In post #81 of this topic, I gave an updated list of all the Gallowglass families that I have heard of. I recently received correspondence from someone asking if the McKeown or McKeon surname of County Antrim is of Galloglass origin. As far as I am aware it is not.

McKeown/McKeon (Mac Eoghain or MacEoghain) is a native Gaelic Irish surname originating in Connacht Province (Sligo, Leitrim) in the west of Ireland and the surname is also common in the Irish Midlands and south Ulster. There also appears to be an unrelated Catholic McKeown family from County Antrim in north Ulster. Believe it or not, this family is said to be of Norman origin like the McQuillan family of County Antrim (see post #56 of this topic). John Bisset or Bissett was a Scot of Norman origin who was exiled from Scotland to Antrim for his supposed part in the death of the Earl of Athol in the 13th century. His descendants in Antrim used the surname MacEoin or Mac Eoin (son of John) and they heavily intermarried with the native Gaelic Irish and Scottish Gallowglass families of Antrim. It is also known that some McKeowns adopted the surname Owens in the years following the 17th century Plantations.

There are also a number of Protestant McKeown families in Ulster (in and around County Down) and these families are probably descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McEwan Planters from mainly Galloway who adopted the Irish spelling of McKeown. I wrote extensively about the Scottish McEwan/McEwen family of Otter in Argyll in posts #38 and #53. I am not sure if the McEwans of Galloway were connected to the McEwans of Argyll. Similar sounding and sometimes identical Gaelic surnames arose independently in different parts of Scotland and Ireland.


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Paul Kelly
post 26th Oct 2008, 07:39am
Post #168


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Mac Giolla Eoin is a relatively rare Irish Gaelic surname from County Fermanagh in south west Ulster and has been Anglicised as McAloon. The surname means the son of the devotee of St John.

Mac Gille Eain is a common Scottish Gaelic surname from the Isle of Mull in northern Argyll and has been Anglicised as McLean. This surname also means the son of the follower of St John. As I mentioned in post #172 of the topic 'Common Irish Surnames In Scotland', a few Catholic McLean Gallowglasses are said to have settled in Ulster in the 15th or early 16th century. However the vast majority of McLeans in Ulster are undoubtedly descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant Planters. The McLean surname is sometimes spelt McClean or even McClane in Ulster.

Mac Eain or MacEain (meaning the son of John) is a relatively rare Scottish Gaelic surname from Argyll and has been Anglicised as McIain or MacIain. Some members of this family settled in Ulster during the 17th century Scottish Protestant Plantations where the surname was further Anglicised as McKean or McKane or McCain. The Scottish Planter surname of McKean/McKane/McCain should not be confused with the native Irish Gaelic surname of O'Cathain which was Anglicised as Kane (O'Kane) in Ulster and as Keane in the south of Ireland. Most of the McKeans in Ulster today are descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McIain Planters though it is possible that a few native Gaelic Irish families adopted the McKean surname in the years following the Plantations. (see post #145 and post #197 of the topic 'Common Irish Surnames In Scotland')

Finally Mac Seain or MacSeain is a native Irish Gaelic surname from south Ulster meaning the son of John which was Anglicised as McShane. The original Irish Gaelic for 'John' is 'Eoin' not 'Sean'. However the Irish Gaelic spelling 'Sean' arose as an imitation of the Norman-French 'Jean'. The McShanes were a branch of the O'Neills of County Tyrone.

Finally, the Scottish Planter surname of McKean and the native Irish surname of McShane were both sometimes Anglicised as Johnson or even Johnston or Johnstone in the years following the Plantations in Ulster. Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone was of course a common Scottish Planter surname (from Dumfries) in Ulster.


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Paul Kelly
post 26th Oct 2008, 02:01pm
Post #169


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To clarify my last 2 posts where I was discussing the Gaelic names of Eoin (John) and Eoghan (Owen or Ewen):

Mac Eoghain (son of Owen) is an Irish Gaelic surname from north Connacht and south Ulster which has been Anglicised as McKeown or McKeon.

Mac Eoghain (son of Ewen or Ewan) is also a Scottish Gaelic surname from Argyll (and Galloway) which has been Anglicised as McEwen or McEwan. Scottish Protestant Planters with this surname settled in Ulster in the 17th century and many of them adopted the Irish spelling of McKeown/McKeon.

Mac Eoin (son of John) is an Irish Gaelic surname from County Antrim in north Ulster (originating in the 13th century) and was used by the Irish descendants of the exiled Norman-Scot John Bissett. This surname was also Anglicised as McKeown or McKeon.

Mac Eain (son of John) is a Scottish Gaelic surname from Argyll which has been Anglicised as McIain or McIan. Scottish Protestant Planters with this surname settled in Ulster in the 17th century where the surname was further Anglicised as McKean, McKane or McCain.


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Fintan
post 8th Nov 2008, 07:51pm
Post #170

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Paul (I used to be FinkPloyd but forgot my password),

I have several questions in mind, and I will appreciate any help you can give me. Firstly, there are many Cambro-Norman and Anglo-Norman surnames in Ireland e.g. Walsh, Fitzgerald and Burke. However, how many people with such names are really likely to be descended from a Norman lord or earl? Is it not more likely that they are descended from Welsh and/or Flemish settlers who were introduced after the Norman invasion?

Secondly, the origins of Gaelic seem to be highly disputed. I have heard theories that Gaelic arrived in prototype form during the Mesolithic era, that the Neolithic Irish were proto-Celts/Gaels and that the Gaels were Indo-European invaders from Galicia who arrived at around 100 BC. Do you have any idea what the most probable theory is? I have heard that there is no evidence for an Iron Age colonisation or even small-scale invasion of Ireland by Indo-European Celts, and that Gaelic is likely to be the indigenous culture. I also wonder whether there is any basis for the claims that the Cruthin lived in Ulster at all, let alone before the Gaels came to Ireland (if, that is, either group were Iron Age invaders.)

Thirdly, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your highly informative posts and hoped that you could help me out with a few surnames in my Ulster-Scottish family. Firstly, there is the name Coulter, which you have already explained. Secondly, there is Noble, which is Anglo-Norman. However, most people with Norman surnames are Roman Catholics and my Ulster-Scottish family are, as far as I know, all Presbyterians. Is it therefore likely that this branch of my family also came during one of the seventeenth century plantations? If they did, would they have been descended from a Norman family anyway? There is also the surname Mark, which I know can be Scottish, English and Irish. The surname McKee is the final surname I know, and a very interesting one. Are the Presbyterian McKees of County Antrim of Old Irish descent (I know a lot of Irish people moved to Scotland e.g. the Dál Riadan Gaels and the gallowglass) or are they likely to be of Pictish or Scottish descent? All my family are from County Antrim, if that at all helps.

Thanks,

Fintan
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Paul Kelly
post 9th Nov 2008, 08:13am
Post #171


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Hi Fintan. Nice to hear from you again.

QUOTE (Fintan @ 8th Nov 2008, 09:42pm) *
I have several questions in mind, and I will appreciate any help you can give me. Firstly, there are many Cambro-Norman and Anglo-Norman surnames in Ireland e.g. Walsh, Fitzgerald and Burke. However, how many people with such names are really likely to be descended from a Norman lord or earl? Is it not more likely that they are descended from Welsh and/or Flemish settlers who were introduced after the Norman invasion?


As was mentioned in posts #156 and #159, there are probably several origins for the Walsh surname in Ireland. Some Walshes are undoubtedly of Cambo-Norman ancestry whereas others are probably descended from ordinary Brittonic (Welsh, Cornish and Strathclyde British) peoples who accompanied the Normans to Ireland. As for the other common Norman surnames in Ireland (see posts #56, #57 and #80), these families are said to be primarily descended from powerful Norman warlords who settled in Ireland in the 12th/13th centuries. In ancient times, powerful warlords frequently fathered many children often by many differen women, including native Gaelic Irish women. It is also possible that some native Gaelic Irish families were absorbed into these powerful Norman families or adopted the surnames of these powerful Norman families.

QUOTE
Secondly, the origins of Gaelic seem to be highly disputed. I have heard theories that Gaelic arrived in prototype form during the Mesolithic era, that the Neolithic Irish were proto-Celts/Gaels and that the Gaels were Indo-European invaders from Galicia who arrived at around 100 BC. Do you have any idea what the most probable theory is? I have heard that there is no evidence for an Iron Age colonisation or even small-scale invasion of Ireland by Indo-European Celts, and that Gaelic is likely to be the indigenous culture. I also wonder whether there is any basis for the claims that the Cruthin lived in Ulster at all, let alone before the Gaels came to Ireland (if, that is, either group were Iron Age invaders.)

There are many theories on the internet. In posts #149 #160, #164 and #165 I wrote what I thought sounded the most plausible.


QUOTE
Thirdly, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your highly informative posts and hoped that you could help me out with a few surnames in my Ulster-Scottish family. Firstly, there is the name Coulter, which you have already explained. Secondly, there is Noble, which is Anglo-Norman. However, most people with Norman surnames are Roman Catholics and my Ulster-Scottish family are, as far as I know, all Presbyterians. Is it therefore likely that this branch of my family also came during one of the seventeenth century plantations? If they did, would they have been descended from a Norman family anyway? There is also the surname Mark, which I know can be Scottish, English and Irish.


Families of Norman extraction in Ireland are predominantly Roman Catholic primarily because the 16th century Reformation did not really affect Ireland. In addition, most of the Norman families that settled in Ireland in the 12th/13th centuries adopted Irish Gaelic culture and customs in the subsequent 3 or so centuries, including the Irish language, and they heavily intermarried with native Gaelic Irish families.

However, in England, Wales and Scotland, families of Norman extraction did become Protestant during the 16th century Reformation and some of these families would have ended up in Ireland durind the 17th century Protestant Plantations. From the top of my head, some famous Scottish families of Norman origin are Bruce, Stewart, Fraser, Graham and possibly even Campbell (see post #48).

Noble is an Anglo-Norman surname and has been found in Ireland since the 13th century. In Ireland, the surname is most commonly found in Ulster. The Ulster Nobles are said to be descendants of 17th century Norman Scottish Protestant Planters from Lothian and Borders.

http://irishtimes.com/ancestor/surname/


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Paul Kelly
post 9th Nov 2008, 08:29am
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Hi again Fintan.

Concerning your Presbyterian McKee ancestors from County Antrim, I am sure they are probably descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McKie Planters from Dumfries and Galloway.
I wrote about this surname and similar sounding surnames in post #175 of the topic 'Common Irish Surnames In Scotland'.

QUOTE (Paul Kelly @ 5th Aug 2007, 11:43am) *
The following surnames are all commonly found in Ulster and I have discussed them in previous posts: McHugh/McCue, McCoy/McKay, McKee and McGee/Magee. These surnames are often confused with one another and I would like to clarify a few things.

The McHugh/McCue surname is a native Irish surname originating in west Ulster and is common in County Donegal.

The McCoy/McKay surname is commonly found in east Ulster, particularly County Antrim. Some of the Ulster McCoys/McKays are descendants of 15th century Scottish Catholic McKay Galloglasses from Kintyre and Islay while the other Ulster McCoys/McKays are mainly descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McKay Planters from Kintyre. McCoy is the Irish spelling of the Scottish surname McKay and both forms of the surname are found in Ulster.

The McKee surname is commonly found in east Ulster, particularly Counties Down and Armagh. The Ulster McKees are mainly descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McKie Planters from Dumfries and Galloway. McKee is the Irish spelling of the Scottish surname McKie which originates in Galloway.

The McGee/Magee surname is common in both east and west Ulster. The McGee family of west Ulster (Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh) is a native Irish family. The Magees of east Ulster (Antrim and Down) are mainly descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McGhee Planters from Ayrshire and Galloway. McGhee is a Scottish surname originating in Galloway. The McGhee and McKie families of Galloway are said to be related.

Most of the 19th century Irish McCoy and McGee/Magee immigrants to Scotland had their surnames recorded in the Scottish forms of McKay and McGhee.

There has been some intermingling of all the above surnames because of the many movements of families between Scotland and Ireland.


I think all the above surnames are Mac Aodha or MacAodha in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. This Gaelic surname arose independently in different parts of Ireland and Scotland. The different Anglicisations reflect the different pronunciations in different parts of Ireland and Scotland.


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Paul Kelly
post 9th Nov 2008, 10:03am
Post #173


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QUOTE (Paul Kelly @ 9th Nov 2008, 10:20am) *
I think all the above surnames are Mac Aodha or MacAodha in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. This Gaelic surname arose independently in different parts of Ireland and Scotland. The different Anglicisations reflect the different pronunciations in different parts of Ireland and Scotland.


I have just been checking.

Mac Aodha or MacAodha is the Irish Gaelic spelling of McHugh/McCue.
Mhaoil Ghaoithe is the Irish Gaelic spelling for McGee in west Ulster (Donegal).
Mag Aoidh or MagAoidh is the Irish Gaelic spelling for Magee in east Ulster.
Mac Aoidh or MacAoidh is the Scottish Gaelic spelling of McKay, McKee/McKie and McGhee.

Aodh is the Gaelic word for Fire which has been Anglicised as Hugh.

There is also an Irish Gaelic surname O'h-Aodha.
O'hAodha was Anglicised as Hayes in the south of Ireland and as Hughes in the north of Ireland. Occasionally, the native Gaelic Irish surnames of MacAodha and MagAoidh were also Anglicised as Hughes in the north of Ireland instead of as McHugh or Magee respecticely.


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Paul Kelly
post 9th Nov 2008, 01:00pm
Post #174


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QUOTE (Paul Kelly @ 5th Aug 2007, 11:43am) *
The McGee/Magee surname is common in both east and west Ulster. The McGee family of west Ulster (Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh) is a native Irish family. The Magees of east Ulster (Antrim and Down) are mainly descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McGhee Planters from Ayrshire and Galloway. McGhee is a Scottish surname originating in Galloway. The McGhee and McKie families of Galloway are said to be related.



QUOTE (Paul Kelly @ 9th Nov 2008, 11:54am) *
Mac Aodha or MacAodha is the Irish Gaelic spelling of McHugh/McCue.
Mhaoil Ghaoithe is the Irish Gaelic spelling for McGee in west Ulster (Donegal).
Mag Aoidh or MagAoidh is the Irish Gaelic spelling for Magee in east Ulster.
Mac Aoidh or MacAoidh is the Scottish Gaelic spelling of McKay, McKee/McKie and McGhee.


As I previously mentioned, most of the Magees in east Ulster are descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McGhee/McGhie Planters from Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway. However some of the Magees in east Ulster belong to the native Irish MagAoidh sept from Islandmagee in County Antrim.

Some of the McGees in west Ulster are also of Scottish Planter extraction. However a majority of the McGees in west Ulster are said to be of native Irish extraction. While some are probably connected to the native Irish Mhaoil Ghaoithe sept of Donegal, most are probably connected to the native Irish MacAodha families of west Ulster (Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh) and north Connacht (Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo). The MacAodha surname was Anglicised as McHugh in north Connacht. However in west Ulster the surname was Anglicised as McHugh or McCue or sometimes even McGee.


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*Guest Hebridean **
post 10th Nov 2008, 03:57pm
Post #175






It would be interesting to see if someone can unpick Mhaoil Ghaoithe, the Donegal version of the McGee/Magee surname. Maol in Gaelic normally refers to baldness but has a particular significance as the distinctive tonsure worn by followers of St. Columba. Hence, the name MacMillan in the Highlands of Scotland appears as MacMhaolain. Doubly interesting is that the Magees of Donegal are thought to have come from around Kilmacrenan, also thought to be the birthplace of St. Columba.

All of this might be quite fanciful as Maol sometimes, though less commonly, simply refers to a feature of landscape. This might fit in better with Ghaoithe which in Gaelic means of the wind. Therefore Muintear Mhaoil Ghaoithe, the full Gaelic form of Magee, might simply mean those ones from the exposed windy place!
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Fintan
post 14th Nov 2008, 05:38pm
Post #176

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Thank you very much.

There are three other surnames, two of which which I am fairly certain you will not be able to help me with, but I may as well ask anyway. One surname in my West Cork family is Howrehen, which seems ridiculously obscure, and another is Buttimere. I do not know if Buttimere is a corruption of the English Buttermere, which would indicate English planter family, or if it is an obscure Gaelic or Anglo-Norman surname. Howrehen comes up with one result on google and may well be a bizarre, one-off name in my family, or possibly a misspelling of Howren.

I also have Hurley family from West Cork. They came from Ballinacarriga, near Dunmanway, a few miles west of Bandon. I visited Cork recently, and there was a castle in Ballinaccariga that was associated with the Hurleys. Any information you have on this surname (I know very little of the Hurleys besides the original Gaelic spelling of the name) would again be greatly appreciated.

Regards (and yet more thanks),

Fintan.
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Fintan
post 16th Nov 2008, 10:04pm
Post #177

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I was also wondering whether or not you would be able to help me with the etymology of some of the surnames in my Scottish family.

Finlayson - I believe this to be an Anglicisation of the Gaelic MacFionnlaigh, a name given to those of Norse descent. However, does this actually mean that there is a Norse ancestry here?

Robertson - no idea. Supposedly derived from some earl or other (but aren't they all?!)

Gillander/Gillanders - no idea.

These families are, as far as I know, all from Aberdeen city and Kincardineshire, which is the county just south of Aberdeenshire.

No doubt you are inundated with requests such as these, but any help would be appreciated. The name that intrigues me the most is Finlayson, as I am wondering whether it simply would have referred to someone with fair hair or someone who was actually of Norse Viking stock.
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*Gerry McGlone*
post 18th Nov 2008, 09:58am
Post #178






Just stumbled upon your thread and found it fascinating, I haven't had time to go through all the posts yet but am intrested in finding out a little more about both my own surname and my mothers maiden name which is " Boylan"
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Paul Kelly
post 30th Nov 2008, 03:24pm
Post #179


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QUOTE (Paul Kelly @ 26th Oct 2008, 09:30am) *
Mac Giolla Eoin is a relatively rare Irish Gaelic surname from County Fermanagh in south west Ulster and has been Anglicised as McAloon. The surname means the son of the devotee of St John.



QUOTE (Gerry McGlone @ 18th Nov 2008, 11:49am) *
Just stumbled upon your thread and found it fascinating, I haven't had time to go through all the posts yet but am intrested in finding out a little more about both my own surname and my mothers maiden name which is " Boylan"


Hi Gerry.

I think McGlone is an alternative Anglicisation of the the native Gaelic Irish Mac Giolla Eoin surname which I discussed in post #168. I think McAloon or McAloone was the usual Anglicisation in County Fermanagh in south west Ulster whereas McGlone was the usual Anglicisation in south Ulster (Tyrone, Monaghan, Armagh) and McGloin was the usual Anglicisation in north Connacht (Sligo, Leitrim).

McGlynn is a common surname in County Donegal in west Ulster. The Irish Gaelic for McGlynn is Mag Fhloinn, and since this surname was more associated with Counties Galway and Roscommon in south Connacht, I think it is likely that some of the McGlynns in Donegal are really McGloins. However, some of the Donegal McGlynns are said to have originated in County Galway.

http://www.mcglynnfamily.co.uk/page13.htm

Boylan (O'Baoigheallain in Irish Gaelic) is a south Ulster surname associated with Counties Monaghan and Cavan. It shouldn't be confused with the Boyle (O'Baoighill) surname which is strongly associated with County Donegal in west Ulster.

http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/surname/


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*Fifer*
post 10th Dec 2008, 01:31pm
Post #180






QUOTE (rdem @ 8th Sep 2006, 02:22pm) *
That makes sense Paul. Another Gaelic "Stranger ' in Scotland is Galbraith which means British foreigner. By British they mean Brittonic as the Strathclyde Britons who were akin to the welsh.
Also plain foreigner or stranger is covered in Gaelic by such surnames as Gall and Gault.



Hi

I am a Gault from Fife and orginally Ulster, always thought the Gault or Galt name was of French Huguenot origins. Believe they moved from France to Ayrshire and Ulster around the 1500's.
There are not many of us in Fife but still a great amount left in Ulster. Anybody able to throw any more light on this one ???
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Paul Kelly
post 19th Dec 2008, 07:11am
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QUOTE (Fifer @ 10th Dec 2008, 03:13pm) *
Hi

I am a Gault from Fife and orginally Ulster, always thought the Gault or Galt name was of French Huguenot origins. Believe they moved from France to Ayrshire and Ulster around the 1500's.
There are not many of us in Fife but still a great amount left in Ulster. Anybody able to throw any more light on this one ???


Hi Fifer.

I could only find one website that indicates that the Gaults of Ayrshire are of French Huguenot (French Protestant) extraction.

http://wham.org/TomWhamHistory.htm

Gault is a surname associated with Ayrshire and the surname is also common in Ulster as a result of the 17th century Scottish Protestant Plantations.

There is a Gault surname in England. However the Gault surname in Scotland is said to be of different origins. As RonD (rdem) mentioned in posts #8 and #146, the Gault surname in Scotland is said to be similar to the Galbraith surname, and indicated someone who was 'foreign' in the eyes of the Gaelic-speaking 'Scots'. See post #148 of this topic. What was making the Gaults foreign in the eyes of the 'Scots' I am not sure. They might have been of Brittonic, Anglo-Saxon or Norman extraction.

While most of the Gaults in Ulster are of Scottish Protestant Planter extraction, it seems that some of the Gaults in Ulster are of 'native' Irish extraction. The relatively rare Irish Gaelic surname of Gallda (meaning a foreigner or a stranger) was also Anglicised as Gault and this surname was similar to the Breathnach (Walsh) surname, although nowhere near as common. See posts #154, #156, #159 and #171. The Gallda surname in Ireland predates the 17th century Scottish Plantation of Ulster and probably first appeared in the wake of Norman settlements in Ireland in the 12th/13th centuries. See posts #56, #57 and #80. Having said all that, I am sure most of the Gaults in Ulster are descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant Planters.

http://www.surnamedb.com/surname.aspx?name=Gault


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