Clearys

A list of Irish surnames beginning with the letter C

Cahill

Variant:MacCathail

Found in:Clare, Galway, Tipperary

Origin: Gaelic

Cathal is one Irish equivalent of Charles.

Campion

Found in:Kilkenny, Laois

Origin: Norman-French

From “de Champagnes”

Carey

Variant:O’Kerry, Kerry, Carew

In Irish: Ó Ciardha

Found in:Kerry, Kildare

Origin: Gaelic

Carroll

Variant:Carville, MacCarvill

In Irish: Ó Cearbhaill

Origin: Gaelic

Cassidy

In Irish: Ó Caiside

Found in:Widespread, Fermanagh, Donegal

Origin: Gaelic

Clancy

Variant:Clanchy, Glanchy, MacClancy

In Irish: MacFhlannchaidh

Found in:Clare, Leitrim

Origin: Gaelic

Clarke

Variant:O’Clery, Macalary, MacClery

In Irish: Ó Cleireach

Found in:Ulster

Origin: Gaelic and English

Son of the Clerk. In some cases Clarke is an Anglicised version of Clery but some have ancestors from England, where the name has the same derivation.

Clery

Variant:Cleary, Clarke

In Irish: Ó Cleirigh

Found in:Connaught

Origin: Gaelic

Cléireach is the Irish for “clerk”.

Cody

In Irish: MacÓda

Found in:Kilkenny, Wexford

Origin: Norman-French

Coghlan

Variant:Coughlin, O’Coughlan, Coughlan, Cohalan, MacCoughlan. .

In Irish: Ó Cochlain

Found in:Cork, Offaly

Origin: Gaelic

Means “cape or hood” in Irish.

Collins

In Irish: Ó Cioleáin

Found in:Widespread, West Cork

Origin: Gaelic, English/Norman

Cioleáin means “young hound” or pup. Also an English name of Norman origin.

Conaghan

Variant:Cunningham

In Irish: Ó Connacháin

Found in:Ulster

Origin: Gaelic

Means “cape or hood” in Irish.

Connolly

Variant:Connely, Connolley

In Irish: Ó Conghaile

Found in:Widespread. Galway, Mayo, Cork, Monaghan

Origin: Gaelic

Means “valorous”. An very old Connaught family

Conroy

Variant:O’Mulconry, Mulconry, Conary, Conree, Conry

In Irish: Ó Conratha

Found in:Clare, Roscommon, Longford

Origin: Gaelic

Means “hound of prosperity”

Conway

Variant:O’Conway

In Irish: MacConnmhaigh

Found in:Clare, Kerry, County Dublin.

Origin: Gaelic

Means “hound of the plains”.

Cooney

Variant:Conan, Coonan, O’Cuana, Counihan

In Irish: Ó Cuanaic

Found in:Clare, Galway, West Cork

Origin: Gaelic

Means “handsome”.

Corcoran

Variant:O’Corcoran

In Irish: Ó Corcrain

Found in:Fermanagh, Kerry, Mayo, Offaly

Origin: Gaelic

Means “ruddy”.

Costello

Variant:Nangle, Costelloe

Found in:Widespread, Galway, Mayo, Sligo

Origin: Norman

From MacOisdealbh “son of Oistealb”, but originally from the Norman name “de Nangles”

Crowley

Variant:Crawley

In Irish: Ó Cruadhlaoich

Found in:Cork, Roscommon

Origin: Anglo-Norman

Means “strong hero”.

Cullen

Variant:Cullion, Culhoun, MacCullen, Cullinane

In Irish: Ó Cuillin

Found in:Kildare, Wexford

Origin: Gaelic

Means “holly tree”.

Cummins

Variant:Commons, Comyns, Hurley

In Irish: Ó Comáin

Found in:Kerry, Limerick, Mayo

Origin: Gaelic

Comáin means “hurley”. .

Curran

In Irish: Ó Corráin

Found in:Galway, Kerry, Waterford

Curtin

Variant:MacCuirtin, MacCruitin, MacCurtin, Curtayne

In Irish: Ó Cuirtin

Found in:Cork, Dublin, Limerick

Origin: Gaelic

Derived from Cruitín maning “hunchback”.

Cusack

In Irish: Ó Cíomhsóg, MacIosóg

Found in:Kildare, Meath, Mayo

Origin: Anglo-Norman

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19 Comments

  1. i would like a listing of the original surnames of all parts of Ireland and the most common used since the early 1900’s. My last name is Campbell. I’ve been told that I have English, Irish, and Black Dutch in my family history. in a brief study of  the origin of the Campbell name, I found it to be of Scottish origin and not English. Can you give me some info if the name Campbell is a mixture of English, Irish and Scottish or of just one origin? 

    Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.  Also can you tell me in what part of Ireland the name McFee originated in.  Thank you so much for your time.

    Sandra Campbell.

    • Campbell is definitely Scottish. There are Campbells in both Ireland and England, but they would be of Scottish descent.

      McFee is a Scottish/Irish name, found pretty much exclusively in the North of Ireland, mainly around Co Down, sometimes as McAfee. It is from Mac Dhuibhshíthe which means “dark man of peace”, but that does not mean it’s an Irish name – Scots Gaelic is pretty like Irish and the name would be mainly of Scottish origin I’d be fairly sure.

      Most names that are originally Scottish are more common in the North of Ireland, since a lot of Scottish people settled there over the centuries.

      It sounds like you have a lot of Scottish in there! Bear in mind that quite a few people who were of Scottish origin but whose ancestors had settled in Ireland emigrated to the US, so it could be that the Irish connection in your family was actually Scots Irish.

      That’s about all I can tell you – hope it helps.

    • McAfee is a Northern Irish spelling.  The old name was McDuffee.  McAfee and McDuffee are interchangeable.   Most McAfees lived in the area of the Co. Antrim and Co. Derry border in Ulster – Northern Ireland.  McDuffees came off the isle of Islay, Jura and Colonsay, Scotland.   One of the seven clans of Siol Alpin.

  2. Terry Callaghan | February 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    You should remember that the Scots originally came from Ireland and displaced the Picts. Thats why the names and language are similar. There were many to-ings and fro-ings between Larne and Stranraer long before the world Scotland was even thought of.

  3. Eileen (Co Clare | May 11, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    We are trying to find out if anyone has information on my Great Grandmother’s name which was CROASH.  She lived in Wexford, Wellington Bridge area around mid 1800’s.  Has anyone every heard of this name and do they know what was the country of origin on this one. 

    Would appreciate some help!

    Thanks very much

    • Hello Eileen,

      I believe I may be able to provide some information on your Great Grandmother. If you would like to forward her Christian name to me at jcroash@hotmail.com I will pass on to you relevant research which I have completed on the Croash family tree.

      Sincerely,

      Jim Croash
      Dublin 15

  4. I’m interested in the English language form of the surname Cinnchnamhaitha. I’ve just seen it for the first time in my life. It was accompanied by a Scots-English first name, so it may be an introduced name.

  5. It’s a common misconception that “Connolly” is translated as Ó Conghaile. This probably arises from the fact that Patrick Pearse helpfully provided James Connolly with an Irish name for to sign the Proclammation of Independence in 1916 (Séumus Ó Conghaile).  Pearse summered in the Aran Islands, where ‘Conneely’ is often rendered Ó Conghaile (though, originally Mac Conghaile, see “A History of Iar-Chonnaught”, edited by Hardiman, page 27. This is an old family, probably Conmaicne Mara and was also “McNeela” in south Mayo and or “McConneely”, “McCunneela” etc.) Connolly Station is hence, Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile.
    Connolly in east Galway (Síl nAmnchadha Uí Máine i.e. Madden), Meath (Sil Aedh Slaine sept, Uíbh Néill a’ deisceart) and Monaghan are in each case Ó Conghalagh.

    In west Cork, Connolly is Ó Coingheallaigh.
    In Fermanagh, south Mayo and perhaps Wicklow, Ó Conghaile. In Sligo, “Crilly” is often Ac’ Crollaigh or Mac Conghaile.
    In south Galway, Connolly is sometimes Ó Conghaola, a toponymic c.f. Gowla., belonging to the Uíbh Fhiachrach Aidne, I think.

  6. My fathers last name is callaway and my mothers maiden name is cunningham, I know my moms madien name is Irish but is the name callaway irish or english? can someone let me know…Thanks.

  7. What about the name Caufield, or Caulfield? My great-grandmother’s madein name was Sara/h Caufield and she had told my family that she was from Belfast.

    I’m interested to know if it is even Irish!

    Thank you

    • It is indeed an Irish name, and quite a widespread one if not exactly common. It is an English form of a very old Gaelic name (dating back well more than 1000 years) MacCathmhaoil which was translated into Caulfield at the time when the English in Ireland banned Irish names.

      Caulfield is also an Engish name, and that can seem confusing – how can it be English and Irish? In fact that’s a fairly common occurrence. At the time when names were translated into English, they were often translated into multiple different English names, because direct translations did not really exist. Quite often a vaguely similar sounding English name was chosen, and that appears to be what happened with this name.

      That said, given that she was from Belfast, it may be that she was not a Gaelic MacCathmhaoil, but was one of the Caulfield family who were given land in Northern Ireland by Queen Elizabeth during the early 1600’s, and later became the Earls of Charlemont. If you ever make it to Ireland you should visit Mayo, and especially Ceide Fields, which was excavated by Seamus Caulfield, who was a professor of Archeology at University College Dublin.

  8. I know that the Costello name actually originated from Spain and that when the armada got destroyed quite a few sailors with the name costello settled in Ireland

  9. I was wondering about the last name Courtney – my great-grandfather’s last name. I know he was born around 1891 and migrated from Ireland to Australia in his early 20’s. I can only find records of the emigration and nothing before that. I heard that some Irish last names were changed by the English? And that before Courtney, it would’ve been Cournan? I THINK just before moving to Australia, him and his family moved to England, which might explain the name change?

  10. My grandmother Hellene left Ireland during the potato famine and we have
    located what appears to be her marriage certificate with the surname listed as
    Cullanne.  Is may be mispelled or mispronounced.  Any help would be appreciated.

  11. I think you might be missing Coyle from your list.

  12. Shane Cronogue | April 15, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Hi I’m looking for some information into the Cronogue surname..I can go back as far as 1796 in the Flax growers census of Ireland and I found three Cronogue’s living in Drumsna Co.Leitrim.The oldest record of the surname I can find is found only in Co.Leitrim.The Cronogue clan might of been a family living under the rulers of Co.Leitrim (Breffni) called the O’Rourkes is one guess.Or another is that the name could derive from the Irish man made islands called Cránnogs and later anglicized to Cronogue over the centuries. Any more research or info of the origins of this surname would be greatly appreciated. kind regards Shane Cronogue 

  13. Any info on the last name collins? I know it’s Irish but didn’t know if there a viking link to the name.  Thanks so much!

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