Some Anglicised Surnames in Ireland

Reynolds—This name in Ireland is the anglicised form of two or three sept names. The first we notice is the M'Grannell sept of Muintir Eoluis, or Conmaicne of Moyrein, a district which comprised the present Baronies of Carrigallan, Mohill and Leitrim in the present County of Leitrim, and a part of North Longford. Camden, in his "Brittania," published in London in 1617, says: "The principal families are O'Rorke, O'Murray, Mac Lochleein, Mac Glanchie and Mac Granell, all downright Irish," referring to the septs of Co. Leitrim. The first of the Co. Leitrim sept of M'Granell to change his name was Thomas M'Granell, in obedience to Queen Elizabeth, by Act of Parliament. He belonged at that time to the main line, and the 11th in descent from him was George Nugent Reynolds, who is claimed to be the author of "The Exile of Erin," by Thomas Campbell.

Henry M'Grannell of Annaduff, Co. Leitrim, born in 1610, of the old line, was the direct ancestor of Dr. Reynolds, the friend of Wolfe Tone.

The M'Grannells belong to the Clan Rury of Emania, as do many of the other sept of Leitrim, Cavan, and Longford. The name in Gaelic is Mag Raghnaill, and the name is also anglicised Magrannell.

The second anglicised name is Magronan and M'Gronan. This is a sept name in South Tyrone, and has almost been anglicised wholesale in Co. Tyrone and bordering counties.

It is only at present, as far as my knowledge leads, that families bearing synonymously M'Gronan and Reynolds are found in the three Parishes of Clonfeckle, Eglish, and Aughaloo, in the Counties of Armagh and Tyrone. The name in Gaelic reads correctly Mag Rónain. Father Woulfe gives Mag Rághnainn.

The third name is Renaghan (O'Reannacháin) in the districts of Keady, Crossmaglen, and Castleblaney, in Co. Armagh and Co. Monaghan respectively.

The fourth name is the Scottish sept of M'Crandle, making this name the base. This sept belongs to the McDonalds of Clan Ranald. It is variously anglicised, namely, Crandle, Crindle, Crangle, Cringle, M'Crindle and McReynolds. We find it also written McRannall in the district about Pointzpass, in the Counties of Down and Armagh, where the inhabitants are descendants of North of Scotland settlers referred to in another place. This is written in the Scots Gaelic Mac Raonuill. The name Raghnaill was adopted by the Scots and Irish about the 13th century, from the Norse Rögnvaldr, which means "Ruler of the Gods."

« Renilson, Ronaldson, Ronalds | Index | Riach »

Alphabetical Index of Surnames

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | V | W


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In Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland (first published in 1924) John J. Marshall examines the origin of a variety of rhymes and sayings that were at one time in vogue around different parts of the country, including those which he recalled from his own childhood in County Tyrone. Numerous riddles, games and charms are recounted, as well as the traditions of the ‘Wren Boys’ and Christmas Rhymers. Other chapters describe the war cries of prominent Irish septs and the names by which Ireland has been personified in literature over the centuries.

The book is also available as a Kindle download.


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Annals of the Famine in Ireland, by Asenath Nicholson, still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord's field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be appalled and distressed.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

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This book, the prequel to Annals of the Famine in Ireland cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Refusing the luxury of hotels and first class travel, she stayed at a variety of lodging-houses, and even in the crude cabins of the very poorest. Not to be missed!

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

The Scotch-Irish in America

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Henry Ford Jones' book, first published in 1915 by Princeton University, is a classic in its field. It covers the history of the Scotch-Irish from the first settlement in Ulster to the American Revolutionary period and the foundation of the country.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».


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