Curragh


This name, which for the past two centuries has been found in south Down and the north Louth area, appears near there as early as 1428 when Thomas Curragh a farmer, of Kilpatrick, was mentioned in a case recorded in Archbishop Swayne's register.  In the next century we find it mentioned occasionally in or near Dublin, e.g. in 1561, Richard Curragh, farmer, of Raheny, and, in 1589, another Richard Curragh a member of the Merchant Tailor's Guild who was made a freeman of Dublin city.

I have not ascertained the correct derivation of the name;  it may be a toponymic from one of the many places in Ireland called Curragh; the rare Irish word curach, meaning champion or hero, has also been suggested as a possible alternative; or it may be an Irish form of MacCurrach, which is a sept of the Scottish clan MacPherson.

GLOSSARY

Clan From the Gaelic clann which means literally 'children'.
Mac- From the Gaelic mac, meaning 'son'
O' From the Gaelic , meaning 'grandson', 'grandchild' or 'descendant'; N is the femine form of , meaning 'daughter' or 'descendant'
Plantation (Ulster) The redistribution of escheated lands after the defeat of the Ulster Gaelic lords and the 'Flight of the Earls' in 1607.  Only counties Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan were actually 'planted', portions of land there being distributed to English and Scottish families on their lands and for the building of bawns.
Sept A family group of shared ancestry living in the same locality
Undertakers Powerful English or Scottish landowners who undertook the plantation of British settlers on the lands they were granted.
Gaelic This word in Ireland has no relation to Scotland.  As a noun it is used to denote the Irish language, as an adjective to denote native Irish as opposed to Norman or English origin.
Erenagh From the Irish Gaelic airchinneach, meaning 'hereditary steward of church lands'.  A family would hold the ecclesiastical office and the right to the church or monastery lands, the incumbent at any one time being the erenagh.