Smith - Anglicised Surnames in Ireland

AuthorPadraig Mac Giolla-Domhnaigh
Date1923
SourceSome Anglicised Surnames in Ireland
Section

Smith—This name is the anglicised form of some few Irish and of County Cavan sept, a branch of the Clan Rury, another branch of this sept occupying the East of Co. Down. The Co. Cavan sept name as anglicised Smith is common in the Parishes of Lavey, Laragh and Killinkere in that County; in Gaelic Mac Gobháinn.

The Co. Donegal sept is found all over Co. Tyrone, part of Armagh and Fermanagh, under the name of Smith; M'Cona to Smith in Innishowen; Magough to same in North Sligo. In the districts of Enniskillen and the Moy and Blackwatertown, in Armagh, the names Goan and Goane are changed to Smith (O'Gabhann).

In the district about Cootehill, Co. Cavan, we find the name Gow (MacGobha) is also changed to Smith. This name, Gow, was extremely common all over Scotland well into the 19th century, and is still in parts of Perthshire and Inverness-shire, and had its chance to run close to the English families of Smith, but within this last ninety years the majority of the Scottish Gows changed it to Smith, becoming more English than the English themselves.

The most notable personage in Scotland of that name was the famous Scottish Reel and Strathspey musician, Nathaniel Gow.

The correct form of Goan and Goane is O'Gabhann, and this sept name is of the O'Gavan sept that occupied the district of Aughabog, in South-West Monaghan.

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