THE NAME MORAN

The name Moran is used by several septs not necessarily related. There are many Moran families in Ireland. None of them were originally called Moran. They each go back to different names, more than 33 different variations in all. The name Moran can be traced backwards to include: MacMurrone, MacMouran, MacMoran, MacMorin, MacMorran, McMorran, M'Morran, Morahan, Morayne, Moeran, Murran, Morren, Murren, Murrin, Mochan, Morin, Moarn, Moghrain, Moraign, Moraine, Morane, Mourn, Muran, Mughron, Morrin, Muiren, O'Moran, O'Morahan, O'Moghrain, O'Moirin, O'Mughron, O'Mughroin, O'Muireain, O'Murchadhains, MacMorine, O'Morone, Morran, and Moran. More than half the Morans in Ireland live in Connacht. More than half of the Morans in Connacht live in the area of Ui Fiachrach. The Morans of Ui Fiachrach Muaide are ours and are the focus of this study.

The name "MORAN" has been translated most as meaning "descendant of the great one" indicating, most probably, an important and powerful warrior chieftain from an ancient time. The word `mor' is usually translated as meaning "great", but it has also been translated as meaning "big" and "multitude." There is concensus on the meaning of `an' in Moran. It means "of the", it would appear the initial translation is more to the meaning than any other.

In the Census of 1659, there are 139 families of Moran, Morran, Morin or Morren in the Counties of Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Leitrim and Roscommon (the other names are included because people weren't particular how they spelled their name back then, and the fact that many were changed to Moran as discussed in the first paragraph above. This has caused problems for some families today in researching their families). There was no information of the Moran families in the other counties particularly Mayo and Sligo.

Using tax and tithe records we are able to determine there were a total of 499 Moran households in County Mayo in 1856. They were located in nine baronies of Mayo: Burrishoole - 98, Carra -74, Costello- 71, Kilmaine- 63, Tirawley- 54, Murrisk- 54 Clanmorris- 33, Gallen- 32, Erris- 20.

The furthest I have been able to trace back and support, with known evidence, is my Great, Great Grandfather, on my father's side, Michael Moran. He was a farmer, as were just about all the Moran's in our family before and a good many after him. He married Maria Lynskey. The family name, Lynskey, is an unusual Irish name. It sounds Polish, but it is Irish. According to Edward MacLysaght, an expert in Irish names, and a former Vice President of the Irish Genealogical Society, it is a form of LYNCH that is peculiar to County Mayo and County Galway located in West Ireland.

We know from family tradition, and fact, that our Moran's, since at least the nineteenth century, lived in the townland of Carrowkeel. There are many Carrowkeels in Ireland and several in County Mayo. The townland is the smallest civil district in Ireland. It is also an ecclesiastical subdivision of a Union and of the Parish. The next geographical unit above the Union, Parish and Diocese is the Barony. Carrowkeel is in the Barony of Tirawley. In fact, there are three Carrowkeels in Barony Tirawley. Tirawley is located in West Ireland in County Mayo.

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