Irish Last Names Beginning With E (With Meanings)

Are you interested in the origins and meanings of Irish surnames that begin with E?

Here are the meanings of names that had birth registrations in early 20th century Ireland and appear in the 2010 U.S. census.

We also explain the Norman and British influence on these names over centuries.

Who Were The Normans And What Is “Anglicization”?

In the next section on the origins and meanings of these names, I’m going to mention Norman influences and Anglicization.

The use of surnames in Ireland dates back to the tenth century. Children adopted the first name of their father and prefixed it with “Mac” or “O”, which means “son” and “descendent of”.

These names were in the Gaelic language.

Anglo-Normans and Norman names

Norman Knight

After William the Conqueror led the Norman Conquest of Britain, the Anglo-Normans spread to Ireland from 1169.

They introduced Norman names to the island that we now consider being very Irish. I’ve pointed out Norman origins in the next section.

The Anglicization Of Irish Names

In later centuries when Ireland was under British rule, the use of the Gaelic language was curbed.

This led to the Irish making their names look and sound more English i.e. Anglicization.

The simplest way was to drop the O and Mac in front of a name.

Another way was to pick the nearest sounding English name.

Some of the names on this list may not seem very “Irish” to you. But they are prevalent in Ireland because they were phonetically similar to a Gaelic name.

The third way was to pick an English name that has the same meaning as the Gaelic name. The two names may sound completely different.

Meanings Of Irish Surnames Starting With E

I can’t go through every single possible name, but I’ve picked some of the more common ones.

Some of these names have different origins depending on the region. The name may be of English origins when found in England.

Earley, Early

Some Irish families adopted Early or Earley as a translation of their Gaelic surname.

The Gaelic word moch translates to being early. It is found in Gaelic surnames like these:

  • O’Mocháin
  • O’Mochéirghe
  • O’Mochóir

But don’t think that the above three names were always changed to Early.

For example, O’Mocháin was often Anglicized as Moon or Mahon as similarly sounding names. In Munster, the name was often changed to Vaughan.

Earls

The English and Irish origins have similar meanings.

The Irish version comes from the Gaelic name Mac an Iarla. This means “son of the earl”.

Edgeworth

This name is of English origins but has been in Ireland since the late sixteenth century.

An English family of the name settled in County Longford in about 1583. The family built an estate in the county. The small town that grew up around it is called Edgeworthstown.

Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) grew up on the estate and became a celebrated writer and novelist. She took a dislike to Lord Byron when they met but struck up a friendship with Sir Walter Scott.

Edgeworth was also noteworthy for taking steps to provide better education for the tenants of the estate.

She took considerable steps during the Great Famine to raise funds and aid her tenants. It should also be noted that she still insisted that relief only be given to those who paid their rent.

But there’s no doubt that she had progressive views far beyond many of her male contemporaries in the Anglo-Irish world.

Maria Edgeworth

Egan, Eakin

Eakin is a variant of Egan, which is the more common name.

Egan is an Anglicization of the Gaelic name Ó’hAodhagáin. This means “the descendants of Aodhagán”.

I’ll also note here that the Gaelic name was also often Anglicized to O’Hagan.

Both names are shortened forms of the name Aodh. This name has several mythical origins. One is as a sun god. Another is as one of the children of Lir who were changed into swans.

Ennis

This name can be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Aonghuis, which means “son of Aonghus” (or Angus in Scotland).

The meaning comes from old Irish words for one (aon) and choice.

Enright

This name can be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Ionnrachtaigh, which means “son of Ionnrachtach”.

The meaning of Ionnrachtach comes from the words for an unlawful person or attacker.

The Gaelic name could also be Anglicized as Hanratty.

Erwin

When this name is a variant of Irvin, it can be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó’hEireamhóin. This means “descendants of Eireamhón”.

In “Irish Names and Surnames”, Woulfe points to a Bishop of Kildare of that name in the eleventh century.

bishop

Other Last Names In Ireland From 1923 To 1932

The surnames I’ve already gone through are Irish in origin or were brought into the country centuries ago.

But many other names had significant numbers in early twentieth-century Ireland. These are mostly of English or Scottish origins.

In this section, I arrange these surnames based on the number of births in the Republic of Ireland between 1923 and 1932.

Irish birth registrations from 1923 to 1932

I chose ten years starting in 1923 in order to restrict the birth locations to the Republic of Ireland. In other words, I wanted to exclude Northern Ireland.

This is only because when I took earlier dates, the number of English and Scottish names registered in districts like Belfast made the list too arduous for me to filter down to Irish origins.

One hundred or more births

Last NameBirths 1923-1932U.S. Census 2010Origins
Edwards176332,423English
Elliott271135,765English, Scottish
Ellis291188,968English
English44246,393English
Eustace1101,370English
Evans281355,593Welsh

Between thirty and ninety-nine birth registrations

Last NameBirths 1923-1932U.S. Census 2010Origins
Eager502,305English
Earle368,672English
Eaton5547,184English
Ebbs34696English
Eccles403,209English
Ellard471,657English
Emmett443,619English
Erskine315,258Scottish

Between twenty and twenty-nine birth registrations

Last NameBirths 1923-1932U.S. Census 2010Origins
Earl2216,027English
Eastwood205,247English
Edge2111,556English
Ely2113,130English
Emerson2930,702English
Ewing2633,314Scottish

Between ten and nineteen birth registrations

Last NameBirths 1923-1932U.S. Census 2010Origins
Eades134,870English
Eagleton111,046English
Eames152,720English
Edgar1111,895English
Edmonds1724,857English
Egerton19970English
Elder1429,796Scottish
Elders101,641English
Elliot138,518English, Scottish
Elmes14410English
Elwood165,000English, Scottish
Emery1025,839English
Esmonde13106English
Everard19665English
Everett1139,593English
Evers179,300English

Under ten birth registrations

Last NameBirths 1923-1932U.S. Census 2010Origins
Eadie71,272English, Scottish
Eagle28,325English
Earner3143German
Eaves17,902English
Edgehill2141English
Edmondson213,524English
Elworthy2155English
Ensor12,352English
Epstein212,952German
Estridge41,327English
Everitt93,615English
Eyles4209English

Index To Other Letters

Looking for lists related to other letters? Check these out:

ABCDE
FGHIJ
KLN
PQ
Index to Irish Last Names

Sources

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