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Ewing


Ewing is quite a numerous surname in Ireland; in 1866 there were 27 births registered for it. Including a few for the synonyms Ewings and Ewin, while in 1890 the number was 24, in both cases almost entirely in Ulster.  In that province it has since the seventeenth century been especially associated with the counties of Donegal, Derry, Tyrone and Antrim.  Many Ewing wills are recorded for the dioceses comprising these northern areas.  The "census" of 1659 is one of the earliest Irish documents to include the name - in it Alexander Ewing appears as one of the leading inhabitants of Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.  A few years later it appears frequently in the Hearth Money Rolls for that county.  It is probable that Dublin Ewings, such as the notable printing and publishing family of the mid-eighteenth century, came to the capital from the north.

The origin of the name is interesting.  According to Reaney it goes back to the Greek eugenes (well-born), cognate with the Gaelic Irish eoghan.  Mac GiollaDomhnaigh, too, states that Ewing, also found as MacEwing, is a form of the well known Scottish name MacEwen, gaelice Mac Eoghain, i.e. our Irish MacKeown.

 

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.


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