Irish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the Anglo- Normans began to settle in Ireland, they brought the tradition of local surnames to an island which already had a Gaelic naming system of hereditary surnames established. Unlike the Irish, the Anglo- Normans had an affinity for local surnames. Local surnames, such as Irish, were formed from the names of a place or a geographical landmark where the person lived, held land, or was born. The earliest Anglo-Norman surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they often created names that referred to where they actually resided. Therefore, English places were used for names when the Normans lived in England, and then Irish places when the Anglo- Normans had been settled in Ireland for some time. Originally, these place names were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French. However, this type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or it was eliminated entirely. The Irish family originally lived in the counties of Armagh or Antrim. As one might expect, the surname simply refers to a person from Ireland.

Early Origins of the Irish family

The surname Irish was first found in Shropshire, where they settled very early in their history.

Early History of the Irish family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Irish research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1273 and 1379 are included under the topic Early Irish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Irish Spelling Variations

Scribes and church officials generally spelled a name as it sounded; as a result a person's name could be spelt innumerable ways in his lifetime. Different spelling variations of the Anglo-Norman surname Irish were found in the many archives researched. These included Irish, Irishe, Ireys, Irysh, Iris and others.

Early Notables of the Irish family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Irish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Irish migration to the United States +

A great number of Irish families left their homeland in the late 18th and 19th centuries, migrating to such far away lands as Australia and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off and but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship, or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name Irish:

Irish Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henrie Irish, aged 16, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • John Irish, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1637 [1]
  • John Irish, who sailed to New England between 1620 and 1650
  • Jone Irish to Virginia in 1653
  • Jone Irish, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Irish Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Irish, who landed in New England in 1711 [1]
  • Pegg Irish to Potomack, Maryland in 1731
  • William Irish, who landed in America in 1760-1763 [1]
  • William Irish to America in 1763
Irish Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Irish, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Thomas Irish, who arrived in New York in 1841 [1]
  • G Irish, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]

Canada Irish migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Irish Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Levi Irish, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
Irish Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Peter Irish was registered as a United Empire Loyalist who fled to Canada as a result of the American Revolution

Australia Irish migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Irish Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Edward Irish, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847 [2]
  • Thomas Irish, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847 [2]
  • Samuel Irish, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1848 [3]
  • Richard Irish, aged 23, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond" [4]
  • George Irish, aged 25, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond" [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Irish (post 1700) +

  • Edward S "Ned" Irish (1905-1982), American basketball promoter, president of the New York Knicks (1946-1974), inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1964
  • Carolyn Tanner Irish (b. 1940), American clergyman, the 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah
  • Ned Irish (1905-1982), American basketball promoter
  • Sir Ronald Arthur Irish (b. 1913), Australian business executive, Chairman of Rothmans of Pall Mall (Australia)
  • Mark Irish (b. 1981), English rugby player
  • George Irish, Montserrat academic, professor of Caribbean studies
  • Fred Irish, Arizona football coach, 1896-1906
  • Fatima Irish Fullerton (b. 1983), American singer and actress
  • Estelle Irish Pillsbury, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1932 [5]


Suggested Readings for the name Irish +

  • 4687 John Irish, His Life and Ancestors, 1086-1677 by George E. Irish.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TRAFALGAR 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Trafalgar.htm
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE - 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Constance.htm
  4. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 20th January 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Willaim Hammond 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/williamhammond1854.shtml.
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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