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Distribution of Surnames in Ireland, 1890
(Matheson’s Special Report)

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Distribution of Surnames, IrelandThis statistical report is based on the births registered in Ireland during the year 1890.┬áThis data was derived from Robert R. Matheson’s Special Report on Surnames in Ireland.

As the former Chief Herald of Ireland, Donal Begley, pointed out “Its value lies in the fact that it provides authorative information as to the numerical strength and distribution of family names throughout the country” (Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder, Heraldic Artists Ltd).

In recognising the usefulness of this data in helping to focus a search, it should be noted that it provides a snapshot of Irish surname distribution in the late 19th century after Ireland had experienced significant population change caused by factors such as the Great Famine, emigration, rural to urban migration etc.

As such, one might expect differences between this data and the distribution of surnames in Ireland in the first half of the 19th century. A further limitation is the fact that it includes only surnames having five or more birth entries thus excluding some of the rarer Irish family names.

Enter a surname to search for. Results will be displayed for surnames having five or more entries in the births indexes of 1890, together with the number registered in each of the four provinces, and the counties in which these names are principally found along with any variations in spelling where applicable

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Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100280