Friday 24 July 2015

IT's Irish Ancestors lists 'Exclusive' county surnames

I've always known my surname, Santry, was rare, but it's good to see it's earned the title 'exclusive' from John Grenham!

John's latest free-to-access option to his Irish Times's Irish Ancestors database is an interesting one. He has gathered together surnames that are localised to such an extent that they're rarely found (historically) outside one single county. my own case, Santry, despite its apparent Dublin connections, is found as a surname only in County Cork. It's one of nearly 30 names that John's research has identified as a Cork name. Others include Soonish (a name found only on the Beara peninsula), Foohy, Pomphret and Hutch.

These county-by-county listings of 'exclusive' or near exclusive surnames inevitably identify some pretty unusual names. How about Grills in Co Louth, O'Drain in Co Antrim, Furphy in Co Armagh, Noud in Co Kildare or McWeeny in Co Leitrim?

You can access the exclusive surname listings when you use the Browse facility and select a particular county. The extended menu offers a 'Local County Names' option.

I also spotted that the Catholic Records menu option has been updated. Parish maps now link directly to the relevant section of the National Library's new RC registers database.