Irish Surnames K-L

A list of Irish surnames beginning with the letters K and L, from Kavanagh to Lyons.

Kavanagh

Variants: Cavanagh, MacMurrough

In Irish: Ó Caomhánach

Found in: Widespread

Origin: Gaelic

Descendants of Diarmuid MacMurrough, a 12th centurt. King of Leinster.

Keane

Variants: Kane, O’Cahan, MacCloskey

In Irish: Ó Cathain, Ó Cahain, Ó Céin

Found in: Munster, Ulster, West Clare

Derives from the personal name Cian. The different Irish versions are different families – “Cathain” from West Clare, “Céin” from Munster and “Cahain” from Ulster.

Keating

Found in: Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford

Found in: Welsh-Norman

The same as the Welsh surname Cethyn

Kelleher

Variants: Keller

In Irish: Ó Céileachair

Found in: Clare, Cork, Kerry

Origin: Gaelic

Derived from the Irish for “loving spouse”.

Kelly

Variants: O’Kelly

In Irish: Ó Ceallaigh

Found in: Galway, Roscommon Widespread

Origin: Gaelic

Derived from Ceallach, who was a 9th century chieftain. Said to mean “war”.

Kennedy

Variants: O’Kennedy

In Irish: Ó Cinneide

Found in: Clare, Kilkenny, Tipperary

Origin: Gaelic

“Cinn” means “head” and “Éidig” means “ugly” – do the name literally means “ugly head”. Said to be descendents of Dunchad, who was Brian Boru’s brother. Presumably he was no
looker.

Keogh

Variants: Kehoe, Hoey, Haughey, MacKehoe

In Irish: Eochaidh, MacEochaidh

Found in: Wexford, widespread.

Origin: Gaelic

English name is a mispronounced Anglicisation of the original Irish.

Killoran

Variants: Cloran, Killoren, Killaurin

In Irish: Mac Giolla Luairinn

Found in: Sligo

Origin: Gaelic

Means “servant of Saint Luairean (Lorcan)”.

Kinsella

In Irish: Ó Cinnsealach

Found in: Wexford, Wicklow

Origin: Gaelic

Kirwan

In Irish: Ó Ciardubháin

Found in: Galway, Louth

Origin: Gaelic

“Dubhain” meand “black” which probably refers to a dark person from Spain. The Kinsellas were one of the tribes of Galway.

Lacy

Variants: Lacey, de Lacy

In Irish: de Léis

Origin: Norman

Originally came from Lascy in Normandy, France.

Lalor

Variants: Lawlor

In Irish: O Leathlobhair

Found in: Laois

Origin: Gaelic

Name literally translates as “half-leper”.

Lee

Variants: Leddy

In Irish: O Laoidhigh Mac an Leagha

Found in: Cork, Galway, Limerick, Tipperary.

Origin: Gaelic

Means “son of the physician”.

Lennon

Variants: Leonard, Lannon, Linnane

In Irish: Ó Leannáin

Found in: Fermanagh, Galway, Mayo

Origin: Gaelic

Loughlin

Variants: O Loughlin, MacLoughlin, MacLaughlin

In Irish: Ó Lochlainn

Found in: Clare, Derry, Kildare

Origin: Norse

From a Norse personal name

Lucey

Found in: Cork

Origin: Norman

From de Lucy

Lynch

In Irish: Ó Loingsigh,

Found in: Clare, Limerick, Sligo. Very widespread.

Origin: Norman

Two main families.1. de Lynch, of Norman origin; 2. Longseach (meaning “mariner”), was an early King of Ireland. One of the 14 Tribes of Galway.

Lyons

Variants: Lehane, Lane, Lyne.

In Irish: O Laighin, Ó Liathain

Found in: Limerick, Galway

Origin: Gaelic, Norman

Two derivations, one Gaelic, the other from the Norman de Lyon

Article updated: March 31, 2017 | Image Credits

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9 Comments

  • Leonie says:

    @ ROLAND YOUNG
    I just stumbled across your 7 years old comment here!
    Just started my family history research and I just came upon to learn that this very William Peter Young of Limerick seems to be the oldest relative I can find!
    But since you were looking for Infos on this family so urgently
    I wonder.. we might be related as well? Very far I guess but could be possible? My name is Leonie Merlin Young by the way..
    Would be deadly to get in touch..

  • Barbara Reynolds says:

    Where does the name Harvison ( Harvey’s Son ) derive from. Does it have any viking origin?

  • Patti says:

    I believe my great, great paternal grandparents were hugenot & passed through Ireland. Does Luse appear to have a regional association?

  • Nick K says:

    “Kilroy” isn’t on this list!

  • JC says:

    We have an ancestor who was conscripted into the British Army to fight in the French and Indian War (aka, The seven Year War). Most of the regiment was were conscripts from Ireland, but some were Scottish. After the war he remained in the colonies and subsequently fought in the American Revolution as an American Patriot. His given surname was Cockestarls . Over time, he changed it to simply, Cook. He was born in 1727 and lived to the ripe ol’ age of 102. Internet searches show no use of the Cockestarls surname, so it may be it was not correctly spelled or is one of those names having faded in use o’er the years. Anyone out there ever see a surname of this or similar spelling? It would assist us in potentially narrowing down his place of origin. It is quite the brick wall.

  • Would like to find out the old Gaelic name for Lucid.

    Thank you,
    Virginia

  • Roland Young says:

    I have been looking for Peter Young in Co. Limerick born 1749. His father was born in 1723, William Young. Peter may have been William Peter Young. I was told that Young family used Peter as a middle name.
    They lived in Glenosheen Co. Limerick. Peter left there in abt. 1760+- to the US.
    I need to find all the info on this family I can. It was said that Peter had to leave Ir. in a hurry? I did findPeter in the St. Marys Church in Limerick City. Bap./Christ.?
    Thanks for any Help.
    Roland Young, Fresno, Ca.

  • Shelagh Keating says:

    Keating – Céitinn (Irish, an Céad Tine, the first fire, from the Cambro-Norman  under Dermot Mc Murrough who lit fires on the beaches to lead the Normans in)

  • What is the Irish for the surname Cooke and Lonergan says:

    I want to know the Irish for the surnames Cooke and Lonergan please?  I hope you can help me.

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