Tuesday 18 January 2022

RootsIreland adds 386 surname histories to Derry database

RootsIreland.ie has added 386 surname histories to its Derry Genealogy database of more than 910,000 records. These histories have been compiled by Brian Mitchell MAGI who manages the Derry family history centre and is well-known for his many excellent genealogical publications, some of which relate only to Derry while others have an all-island focus.

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These surname histories (see an introduction to the topic here) cover mostly Gaelic and Planter names from the north-west of Ireland and are an invaluable guide to those researching their family from these areas. The surnames and their numerous spelling variations have been recorded in Derry Genealogy's database of church and civil registers spanning 1628–1930.

They are free to subscribers. You'll find a list of the included surnames here.

There is some repetition on background to surnames in each surname history as the intention was to create a surname history for each surname that enabled the bearer of that surname to understand the wider origins of their surname as well as its connection to a particular locality.

Although only detailed family history research will confirm the actual origins of an ancestor, surname histories are a very useful first step in any exploration of Irish roots. Surnames, as they are very much connected to place in Ireland, are an integral part of Irish identity and family history; hence they further cement a connection with Ireland among the Irish Diaspora.

Also included on the RootsIreland.ie site is a list of the top 60 surnames of Derry City.