On the other hand O’ as in “O’Boyle” is usually Irish.  “O’” is the English transition from the Irish language Ui meaning “of the race” or “family. (It is sometimes thought and used to mean “Grandson of .)

                    Name and Clan Research Sources

Probably the most respected written source of information on surnames is Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning and History by George F. Black, published by the New York Public Library and Readex Books, reprinted in 1999.   A good book on clans and tartans associated with surnames is  Tartan for Me! - Suggested Tartans for Scottish, Scotch-Irish, Irish and North American Surnames with Lists of Clan, Family and District Tartans, by Philip D. Smith, Jr., published by Heritage Books, 65th East Main Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157-5026.  The most recent edition is the Ninth Edition published in 2011.

In our opinion the best all around on-line source of information is www.ElectricScotland.com  The site has a wealth of information on a variety of Scottish-related subjects.  The link below will take you to the “Scottish and Irish Clans and Families” page.  From there you can connect with many clan society web pages and obtain information on the clans, their chiefs, their tartans, and their historic locations in Scotland.

If you already know your clan affiliation then you can go to the clan list and from there to the clan’s web site.  If you do not know your clan then you can enter your surname in their search engine. 


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