County Galway

County Galway, in Gaelic Contae na Gaillimhe, is found in the west of Ireland south of Mayo and north of Clare and belongs to the province of Connacht. Aside from Galway City you will find County Galway to be a rugged country side, home of the Na Beanna Beola mountain range, Na Sléibhte Mhám and the low mountains of Sliabh Echtghe Galway has one of the largest Gaelic speaking populations in Ireland.

dunguaire-castleThere are 2 major genealogy research centers in County Galway. The Galway Family History Society (West) found in Galway City and the East Galway Family History Society located in Woodford. The most common surnames for County Galway are Kelly, Burke, Connelly, Joyce, McDonagh, Walsh, Fahy, Manion, Flaherty, Murphy, Connolly, Keane, King, Forde, Connor, Lyons, Mullin, Egan, Kenny, and Toole.

When planning your journey to Galway it is highly advised you plan to attend one or even more of the fun filled celebrations held each year in Galway. Try the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival held in September. Connemara Bog Week at the end of May is a weeklong celebration of everything Irish with music, art, hiking and cycling the Galway nation side.

No trip to Ireland would be full without a check out to a castle or old abbey. Galway offers lots of selections for her visitors. Clifden Castle, in Clifden (of course) is a revival design castle developed in the 18th century.

As you can see if you prepare a journey to County Galway you will not lack for things to do. Genealogy study, celebrations, historical sites, rugged country side and outdoor recreation, Galway provides everything. Research and plan well beforehand and you will reconnect to your Irish roots and have a trip of to be born in mind and valued for a life time. Erin go bragh.

This short article was brought to you by William Martin, genealogist at Irish Coat of Arms and Spanish Coat of Arms.

Reilly Coat of Arms

O'Reilly Coat of Arms

O’Reilly Coat of Arms

The name O’Reilly and its variations Reilly and Riley come from the Gaelic O Raghallaigh, which meant gregarious. They were from the Kingdom of Beffny which was part of Counties Cavan and Longford where they were long the leading family. The O’Reilly’s were very strong supporters of the church. Cathal O Raghallaigh Prince of Beffny founded the Lough Oughter Monestary in 1237. There were many O’Rilley Abbotts and several Bishops between the 11th and 16th century.

Provided by Wm M. Martin, webmaster at Irish Coat of Irms for Spanish names visit

Carroll Irish Coat of Arms

Carroll Irish Coat of Arms

Carroll Irish Coat of Arms

The O’Carrols are one of the oldest families of Ireland. They can trace their ancestry back to the third century King of Munster, Oilioll Olum. The name comes from the Gaelic Cearbhal, meaning “warlike champion”. Cearbhal was one of King Brian Boru’s leading swordsman.

Until the 12th century there had been six different O’Carroll septs led by O’Carroll Ely  of Tipperary  and Offaly and O’Carroll Oriel of Monaghan and Louth. After the Norman invasion much on their land was annexed by the Butlers.

After the war of succession many of  O’Carroll’s became “wild geese” and fled Ireland to Catholic countries in order to escape religious persecution.

This short article was drafted by Wm M. Martin, genealogist at Name Game Shop We’re your provider for coat of arms t-shirts, cups, tote bags and more. See hundreds of Irish coat of arms.