Most people interested in Irish genealogy or the history of Irish surnames are probably aware of the process, that appears to have been strongest during the late 1700s whereby many families, all over the island of Ireland, changed their fine Gaelic Irish surnames, for whatever reason, into English surnames or even literal English translations of the Irish meaning of their names.
As promised, if a little late, my next blog on the adoption of the first surnames by the Irish. For this blog I have used the wonderful genealogies drawn up by my old history tutor, Professor Francis John Byrne, that appear at the end of his book, Irish Kings and High-Kings.
What really got me interested in genealogy was researching the history of my own McGettigan family. My grandfather was from County Donegal and my surname was quite unusal for County Wicklow, at least while I was young. While researching the McGettigans I discovered records of the deaths of two McGettigan chieftains in the Annals of the Four Masters, Diarmaid McGettigan in 1132 and Tadhg McGettigan in 1215.