Ireland Surname Genealogy

This surname can best be described as English, but of Irish
origins! It was an ethnic name in England and Scotland for an
immigrant from Ireland, the
root of the name being from the Old English word Iras meaning Irishman.

Ireland Resources on

Ireland Ancestry

first with the surname Ireland was possibly Sir John de Ireland,
said to have lived at the time of William the Conqueror. This
family held the manor of Hale in Childwall on Merseyside from 1279. There were later Ireland lines at Lydiate on
Merseyside and Beausey near Warrington. Sir Gilbert Ireland of Hale
brought the
giant John Middleton to court in 1617.
His grandson, also Sir Gilbert Ireland, married Margaret Ireland
Beausey but died in 1675 without issue, the last of the line at Hale.

The Ireland family at Lydiate was recusant
and had lost their estates two years earlier in 1673.
One line of these Irelands established
themselves at Crofton Hall
Wakefield in Yorkshire. William Ireland,
a Jesuit priest born there, was executed for his involvement in the
Popish plot
in 1679. It can be truly said that the
1670’s was a bad time for the Irelands.

The 19th century distribution of the
Ireland name
showed a concentration in Lancashire, perhaps
augmented by
Irish Irelands, and a smattering in the southwest.
Devon was one locale. John
Ireland from Ashburton in Devon

became the Dean of Westminster in the early 19th century and crowned
monarchs. There were Irelands as well by that time in Gloucestershire
and SW Herefordshire.

Scotland. The earlier
Irelands in Scotland seem to have come from the east coast, from Fife
and further up the coast in Angus. Thomas and Agnes Ireland were
recorded in Fife in 1677. Their son was a tenant at Tarvit
Mill. Another Fife line began with the marriage of James and
Elspeth Ireland at St. Andrews in 1655. Later Irelands – of probable
Irish origin – were in and around Glasgow.

America. There
were Irelands from England,
Ireland, and Scotland in America
Examples of
Irish Irelands were:

  • John Ireland, the son of Irish immigrants, who became Governor of
    Texas in 1883
  • and John Ireland from Kilkenny who was appointed Archbishop of
    St. Paul, Minnesota in 1888.

Two early Irelands from England, probably from Lancashire, were:

  • Samuel Ireland, who arrived with his family on the Increase in 1635 and settled in
    Wethersfield, Connecticut (he died there ten years later).
  • and Thomas Ireland, who came to Hempstead, Long Island in 1644
    and was a landlord of an inn there (Joseph Norton Ireland
    described this line in his 1880 book Some
    Account of the Ireland Family: 1644-1880).

Of Scottish roots was David Ireland, a colonel in the Union army during
the Civil War. He had
come to New York with his family in 1840 from Angus in eastern Scotland.

. Joseph and
Mary Ireland moved to Burlington, Ontario from the
village of Bowes in
north Yorkshire in 1819. The Oakridge Farm house that he built
there in 1835 stayed with his descendants until 1987 when it was
purchased by the city of Burlington and turned into a museum.

Ireland Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Ireland Names

William Ireland was an
English Jesuit priest caught up in the Popish plot who was executed in
1679. He was subsequently beatified by the Catholic church.
John Ireland was Dean of
Westminster from 1816 to 1842.
John Ireland was a 20th century
English composer. He came from a family of Scottish descent.

Select Irelands Today

  • 15,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 5,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 12,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



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