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.
Alphabetical Index of Surnames
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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