Surnames database added to Clare Library website

22 Aug 2007

Combining modern technology with meticulous, century-old research, Clare County Library has announced a major expansion of its online genealogical database.

The surnames database allows members of the public to find information on the frequency and spread of surnames in County Clare over a period of over one hundred years. The three genealogical sources used on the website are the Census of Population of 1901, Griffith’s Valuation of 1855, and the Tithe Applotment Books compiled between 1823 and 1837.

“This addition to the Clare Library website puts a wealth of information on surnames in County Clare at the disposal of anyone with an interest in family history, statistical research, or simply with a curiosity about their own name or locality”, explained Noel Crowley, County Librarian.

The 1901 Census of Ireland is the earliest surviving complete census and includes information on first names and surnames, religion, litteracy level, age, sex, occupation, marital status and county of birth. The Census shows that there were 3,073 occurrences of McMahon and 2,736 occurrences of McNamara in 1901. Amongst the less frequent names, appearing only once in the Census, were Carlos, Mulpster, Nutterfield, Schmalyreid, and Von Troll.

“Log on now and check out the popularity of your own name, examine the trends in the movement of names within the county, note the unusual names, observe newcomers to the county and see the disappearance of certain names over the years”, concluded Mr. Crowley.

By Joe Griffin