Irish Surnames Mac


A list of Irish surnames beginning with Mac (or Mc), from McCann to McSweeney.


Variants: McCauley, McAwley, Cawley,Magawley.

In Irish: Mac Amhalghaidh

Found in: Cork, Fermanagh, Westmeath.

Origin: Gaelic

Mac Amhalghaidh means “son of Auley”, once important Gaelic Lords.


In Irish:MacAmhlaoibh

Found in: Cork

Origin: Norse

From the Norse name “Olaf”.


Variants: McBride

In Irish: MacGiolla Brighde

Found in: Donegal,

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of the servant of St. Brigid”.


Variants: McCabe

In Irish: Mac Cába.

Found in: Cavan, Leitrim

Origin: Scots-Gaelic

“Caba” means “hat or cap”. The family originally came from Scotland to serve as Gallowglasses (a type of mercenary soldier) to Irish lords. Their name may come from their wearing of distinctive hats.


Variants: Canny, McCann

In Irish: MacAnnadh

Found in: Armagh, Ulster

Origin: Gaelic

Related to the O’Neills of Ulster


Variants: McCarthy

In Irish: MacCarthaigh

Found in: Widespread

Origin: Gaelic

Descendents of Carthac, a 12th century chieftain.


Variants: McCormick

In Irish: MacCormaic

Found in: Widespread

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Cormac”, not descended from a single Cormac – it was a common name.


In Irish: Variants: Cully, MacNully

In Irish: Mac Con Uladh

Found in: Antrim, Down, Ulster

Origin: Scots-Gaelic

Means “Son of the hound” Known in Scotland as MacCulloch.


Variants: MacDermott, Kermode.

In Irish: MacDiarmada

Found in: Roscommon, Sligo

Origin: Gaelic

Means “Son of Dermot”. Dermot was a 12th century King of Moylurgh, a place now known as Coolavin, in Sligo.


Variants: McElroy

In Irish: MacGiolla Rua

Found in: Fermanagh, Leitrim

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of the red haired man”.


Variants: McAvoy, McEvoy

In Irish: MacGuiollabhuidhe Mac A Buidhe

Found in: Laois, Louth

Origin: Gaelic

May mean “woodsman”; or, “yellow (blonde?) son”.


Variants: Magee, MacKee, McKee

In Irish: Mac Aodha

Found in: Antrim, Armagh, Down.

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Aodh (Hugh)”.


Variants: Magill

In Irish: An Ghaill

Found in: Ulster

Origin: Gaelic


Variants: Maginn, McGinn, MacGinne

In Irish: Mac Fhinn

Found in: Armagh, Down, Tyrone

Origin: Gaelic

Means “Finn’s son”or sometimes “son of the foreigner”. A foreigner could also simply mean a stranger.


Variants: MacGowran, McGovern, McGowran

In Irish: Mac Samhrain

Found in: Cavan, Fermanagh, Leitrim

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Samhradh (summer)”.


Variants: Gowan, Smith

In Irish: MacGhabhann

Found in: Cavan, Leitrim, Monaghan, Ulster

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of the smith”. The same origin as the English name Smith, to which is was sometime anglicised.


Variants: Magraw, MacGraw, Magrath, McGrath, McGraw.

In Irish: MacRaith

Found in: Clare, Donegal, Fermanagh, Limerick. Widespread.

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Raith”; raith also means “wealth”, so it may mean “son of the wealthy man”.


Variants: MacCoy, McKee, Hughes, MacKay, McHugh, Hewson

In Irish: MacAoda

Found in: Donegal, Fermanagh, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Hugh”, so is a related name to McGee, above.


Variants: Macnairney, Mcnerney, McInerney

In Irish: Mac An Airchinnigh

Found in: West of Ireland

Origin: Gaelic

Comes from the old name MacErenagh which means “son of the lord”. Lord as in nobleman, not God.


In Irish: MacCionaoda

Found in: Cavan, Monaghan, Ulster.

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Cionaoid”.


Variants: McKown, McKeon, MacKowen.

In Irish: MacEoghan

Origin: Gaelic

“Eo” means “Yew Tree”, but may not be relevant. Eoghan is one of several Irish versions of John, so it may just mean “Eoghan’s son”.


Variants: O’Loghlen, MacLaughlin, McLaughlin

In Irish: MacLochlainn

Found in: Clare, Derry, Donegal, Meath.

Origin: Gaelic


Variants: Mahon, McMahon, Mohan, Vaughn

In Irish: , Mac Mathghamhna

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of a bear”, presumably a large or strong man.


In Irish: MacMaghnuis

Found in: Fermanagh, Roscommon

Origin: Norse

Derived from the Norse or Viking name Magnus.


Variants: McNally, Macannally, Nally

In Irish: Mac an Fhailghigh

Found in: Armagh, Mayo, Monaghan.

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of the poor man”.


Variants: McNamara

In Irish: MacNamara

Found in: Clare, Limerick

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of the sea hound”.


Variants: McNulty, Nulty

In Irish: Mac An Ultaigh

Found in: Mayo, Ulster

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Ulster”.


Variants: McQuaid, McQuaide, MacWade, McWade

In Irish: Mac Uaid

Found in: Ulster

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of Uaid (Walter)”.


Variants: McQuillan

In Irish: MacCoilin or MacUighlilin

Found in: Ulster

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of little Hugh” and refers to Hugeli de Mandeville a Norman-Welsh lord who arrived in Ireland in the 12th century.


Variants: MacSwiney, Sweeney, Sweeny

Found in: Cork, Donegal.

Origin: Gaelic, Scots Gaelic

Means “son of the pleasant man”. The Donegal branch are of Scots Gaelic origin.

More Like this:


  1. I am from Canada, I found out I am related to the late Lord and Lady McCann, parents off Rachelle McCann ( Born Feb 14), I was wondering the history of the family, if there is still any descendent living, Etc, thank you, Brenda

    • I have never heard of a Lord and Lady McCann. I just did a search of Burke’s Peerage and it came up blank. I am not really sure they ever existed to be honest. People who are Lords are generally quite well documented and that’s really not so in this case. There was a Lord Mayor of Dublin called McCann, but he lived his whole life in Ireland and died in the 1980s, so it’s probably not any good to you.

      McCann is quite a frequently found name in Ireland.

  2. I have the last name of Fitzgerald. I understand that this name comes from the Gaelic name of “Gearauilt” and the “Fitz” was added by the Anglicans. Could you provide the pronunciation of “Gearauilt” and is it appropriate to add the Mac to the Gaeilc name?

    Thank you very much for assistance in this matter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *