Ten most common surnames in Ireland 1890

 Ten Most Common Surnames in Ireland 1890

1    Murphy 62,600
2    Kelly 55,900
3    Sullivan 43,600
4    Walsh 41,700
5    Smith 33,700
6    O’Brien 33,400
7    Byrne 33,300
8    Ryan 32,000
9    Connor 31,200   
10  O’Neill 29,100

Estimated population of Ireland 1890: 4.7 million.

Source: Matheson, Special Report on Surnames in Ireland.

Common surnames provide a real challenge for the genealogist since the names can be so prevalent in certain areas that it is hard to separate not only individuals but familes as well. In the period after civil registration birth certificates provide the most genealogical information providing the name of both parents; marriage certificates give only the name of the father of the spouses and death certificates only give the name of the informant for the deceased (although this was often a relation and occassionally registrars did specify relationship to the deceased).


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Highly unreliable as a guide to strength of surname distribution in east Galway and possibly elsewhere

    Relying on the data from just one year of births throws up bizarre anomalies in our area where Deane (7 in the 1901 census) is dominant in the map whereas Mannion (1890 7 births in Mountbellew DR) is absent altogether

    Another example is Teague where 6 are recorded in the whole of Galway vs 50 for Mannion and 7 for Curley yet both absent while Teague promenient




Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Hearth Money Rolls 1660s

The Siege of Derry 1688-1689

Limavady street names from the past