Derivation of Surnames

Robert E. Matheson
Chapter III

The consideration of the Derivation of Surnames forms an interesting branch of study, but it would be impossible within the limits of this Report to enter fully into the subject, and all that can be attempted is to give a brief summary of its main sub-divisions as applicable to this Country.

Surnames in Ireland may be divided with reference to their derivation into six classes, viz.:—

  1. From Personal Names.
  2. From Rank or Occupation.
  3. From the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Kingdoms.
  4. From Locality.
  5. From Personal Peculiarities or Attributes.
  6. Other Surnames.