Anglo-Norman Names

Robert E. Matheson
Chapter IV | Start of chapter

The circumstances connected with the Anglo-Norman invasion need not be referred to here. It suffices to say that through it the second great graft on our Celtic stock took place, many of our present surnames, notwithstanding the changes in form and spelling which time has wrought in them, being traceable to an Anglo-Norman source. As examples the following may be given:—

Barry, Bellew, Bermingham, Burke, Carew, Clare, Cogan, Dalton, Darcy, De Courcy, Delamere, Dillon, FitzEustace (Eustace), Fitzgerald, Fitzhenry, Fitzmaurice, Fitzsimons, Fitzstephen, Gernon, Grace, Hussey, Keating, Lacy, Le Poer, Marshall, Montmorency, Mortimer, Nangle, Nugent, Petit, Prendergast, Purcell, Roche, Staunton, Taaffe, Talbot, Tuite, Tyrrell, Verdon, Vesey.

Dr. MacDermott, in a note to the “Annals of the Four Masters,” states:—

“The following Anglo-Norman or English families adopted Irish surnames:—The de Burgos or Burkes, of Connaught, took the name of MacWilliam, and some of them that of MacPhilip; the de Angulos or Nangles, of Meath and Mayo, changed the name to MacCostello; the de Exeters, of Mayo, to MacJordan; the Barretts, of Mayo, to MacWattin; the Stauntons, of Mayo, to M‘Aveeley; … the de Berminghams, of Connaught and other places, to MacFeorais, or Peorais; … the Fitzsimmons, of the King’s County, to MacRuddery; … the Poers, of Kilkenny and Waterford, to MacShere; the Butlers, to MacPierce; the Fitzgeralds, to MacThomas and MacMaurice; the de Courcys, of Cork, to MacPatrick; the Barrys, of Cork, to MacAdam; and many others, in like manner.”