The original Gaelic form of Moore is Ó Mórdha, and means
descendant of royalty, or majesty. The family bearing this name have distinguished
themselves many times in the course of history in their steadfast resistance
to attempts to displace them from their seat of power in the Laois area,
a county still known today as the O’Moore county. One of the most
famous was Rory O’Moore who was their leader in the 16th century,
contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I. They were finally broken in the early
seventeenth century, and are now to be found all over Ireland.
Mallon / Mellon
The name Mallon or Mellon is common throughout Tyrone and Armagh and it
is in this area that it had its origin. It is based on the word meall,
meaning attractive or pleasant, and its diminutive form meallán,
little pleasant one, is what gives the name it’s basis. The Ó
Mealláin family have particular ties with the area around Donaghmore,
near Dungannon, where they were hereditary keepers of the Bell of St.
Patrick. A Toirdhealbhach Ó Mealláin, a friar of the Franciscan
Order based at nearby Brantry, kept a celebrated account of the events
during the 1641 rebellion during which he was chaplain to some of the
Irish soldiers, which is an important historical source.
Carville / Carroll / Carolan
The names Carville, Carroll and Carolan may appear to be unrelated but
are almost identical in origin. They are based on the personal name Cearbhall,
and the aspirated b falling silent in some pronunciations of the name
has given rise to Carroll as an pronunciation. Descendant of Cearbhall
is the meaning of the names, and again a diminutive suffix added to the
end, to make Cearbhallán, has given rise to the surname Carolan.
The name Carville is quite plentiful in Armagh and Down, with Carolan
more common in the west midlands of Roscommon, Leitrim and Westmeath.
Perhaps the most famous bearer of the name was Turlough O’Carolan,
the blind harper from the eighteenth century, from near Nobber in Co.
Meath, so renowned for his composition.
to surnames index
to Beginners Blas