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Where did your Dublin City Ancestors come from?

The Dubliners that travel to Croke Park and Hill 16 to wave the chequered blue flag of County Dublin are descended from the people who flooded in from the countryside in the 1840's. Many of those poor country folk would settle in the notorious Dublin slums (my earliest Bowes ancestors can be traced to Golden Lane in the Wood Quay area of Dublin). After completing the Surnames of Ireland maps (Medieval and Plantation), I was curious to see whether the surnames of the Dubliners were representative of all of Ireland or whether today's 'Dubs' come from specific areas? 

I set about examining the surnames of the Catholic male, heads of households, in the 'Lanes' of Arran, Inns, Merchants, Ushers and Wood Quay areas of Dublin City. The 1901 census revealed that there were 996 households with a total of 448 different surnames found within that small area of Dublin's inner city. However, the surnames of those households were NOT RANDOM. Firstly, they are dominated by Gaelic Irish surnames, 54 of those surnames occur four times or more, see attached table. Secondly, those surnames are not representative of Ireland, far from it, they are in fact dominated by notable Gaelic Irish Leinster surnames! In fact, almost all of the most notable Gaelic Irish Clans that were associated with Leinster are represented in that table! The surnames in the accompanying table are colour coded to reflect their area of origin. The census reveals that the poor Gaelic Irish that flooded into the slums of Dublin came from 3 distinct areas of Leinster and bordering Ulster.
By examining the Clan Territories and Surname maps of Ireland, it reveals that the most numerous Byrnes together with the Kavanaghs, Nolans, O'Tooles, Doyles and Kinsellas originate from the lands that lay to the south of County Dublin. The Kellys, Moores (O'More), Carrolls, Dunnes, Phelans/Whelans, MacDonalds (Scottish Mercenaries) and my own Bowes ancestors came from the Gaelic lands of the Irish Midlands. While the Farrells, Reillys, Bradys, O'Briens, Lynches, and Cartys came from the Gaelic lands of Longford in Leinster and Cavan in bordering Ulster, see attached image

This should probably not come as a surprise, our ancestors were pragmatic, they migrated to the nearest city. However, today, almost all my fellow Dubs have no idea where their ancestors originated (unless I have DNA tested them). The connection with our ancestors has been lost and can only now be rediscovered using commercial DNA testing! To find out about a suitable painless commercial DNA test or for a FREE CONSULTATION you can contact Irish Origenes CLICK HERE.

This analytical process can be applied to other cities throughout Ireland and beyond. What commercial ancestral DNA testing is revealing is that the vast majority of the Irish that emigrated to the Americas came from Southwest Ireland and the west of Ireland. In contrast, Donegal folk flocked to the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland. So if you know where in the city that your Irish ancestors first settled, look to the surnames of their neighbours for clues as to their origin! 

Lastly, I should not forget those Dubliners whose links with the city are far older. There are quite a few Gaelic, Viking and Norman surnames that have much older links with Dublin; their story is detailed in the video below. The maps featured in the blog and video are exclusive to Irish Origenes and can be purchased at a discount CLICK HERE.


English Origenes

Scottish Origenes