Finnegan is an Irish surname coming from the Gaelic Ó Fionnagáin, meaning “son of fair-haired.” James Joyce immortalized the name for all time in his 1939 novel Finnegans Wake. But literary giants aside, Finnegan is one of the most recognizable Irish surnames of our times. The Finnegan clan’s ties to America have only bound more tightly since the election of Joe Biden as … [Read more...] about The Finnegan Clan
Galway joins Mayo and Louth as an Ancestral Home
Ireland loves to claim her own, so President Biden – who’s conspicuously proud of his 5/8 Irish ancestry – is a source of pride for many in the land of his ancestors. I first explored his heritage before he became Vice President, and later shared some of my findings in Irish America when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in … [Read more...] about DNA Links President Biden
Names such as Kelly, Murphy, O’Brien, and Ryan are distinctively Irish and are widely known to be. However, there are many other names that are Irish – but far less obviously so. Names such as Holland, King, Waters, Rabbitte, Woods, Smith, Kidney, Bird, Salmon, Moore, Traynor, Moss, Fox, Dean, and many others can be of Irish origin due to some strange evolutions of language and … [Read more...] about Roots: That’s Not an Irish Name!
The Irish Tracey (Tracy, Treacy, Treacey) comes from the historic sept of the Ó Treasaigh; however, the name originally stems from the word treasach, meaning war-like, fighter, more powerful, or superior. Although the surname O’Tracy is rooted in the ancient and noble English family from Saxon ancestry, many of the Anglo-Irish Tracys (Ó Treasaigh) were from County Limerick. … [Read more...] about Roots: O’Treasaigh, Tracy, Tracey, Treacy
Members of the O’Neill Clan (anglicized from Ui Néill, “Néill” meaning “champion”) can trace their origins back to Niall Noígíallach “of the Nine Hostages” (c. 361-452). Niall united all the provinces under his rule, using hostages as a way to get power and influence. He also was up for a spot of kidnapping and that’s how the Welsh lad with Roman parents – a lad whom we now … [Read more...] about Roots: The Ferocious and Fascinating O’Neills