Danish Names

Robert E. Matheson
Chapter IV | Start of chapter

From the Ninth to the Twelfth Centuries the Ostmen or Danes came to Ireland and established themselves on the seaboard. They founded the Kingdom of Dublin A.D. 852, and their chief towns were Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick. Some of the surnames now in use are traceable to Danish origin. Amongst these may be mentioned Betagh, Coppinger, Dowdall, Dromgoole or Drumgoole, Gould, Harold, Palmer, Plunkett, Skiddy, Sweetman (Swedeman), Trant, &c. The name “Ost” is met with in County Wicklow.

Dr. MacDermott, in his annotations to the Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters, states:—“Many families of Danish origin took Irish surnames, prefixing O and Mac, so that their descent cannot now be ascertained, and several of their chiefs took Irish Christian names, particularly that of Patrick in honour of the patron saint of Ireland. The Danes and Norwegians being in possession of Dublin and some other parts of the country, and having maintained their colonies there for more than 300 years, there is consequently much of Danish blood in the Counties of Dublin and Meath, particularly in Fingall, and there are many families of Danish descent mixed by intermarriages with the old Milesian Irish.”