Moore is today one of the most common surnames in Ireland, among the top
twenty. It may be of English, Irish, Welsh or Scottish origin. In England
the name may derive either from someone who lived near a moor or from a
nickname for someone of dark complexion, from 'moor', meaning Negro. This
is frequently also the ultimate origin of the name in Scotland and Wales,
where it is often rendered 'Muir', although in places it is thought to come
from mor, 'big'. the Irish origin of Moore is O Mordha, also anglicised
O'More, from mordha, meaning 'stately' or 'noble'. The principal family of
definite native Irish origin were of Co Laois, where they were the leading
sept of the famous 'Seven Septs of Laois', whose resistance to the English
led to the forced resettlement of the most prominent individuals in Co
Kerry. At this point, it is virtually impossible to say in any single case
which of the various origins of the surname is the most accurate.
From Irish Pedigrees, by O'Hart;
Your MOORE pedigree lies in "The Line of Ir". Ir was the fifth son of
Milesius. He never set foot on Ireland, but was shipwrecked in a storm while
trying to find a place to land. 1700 B.C.
Lioseach Lannmor, brother of Irial Glunmhar, who is No. 69 on the
GUINNESS pedigree, was the ancestor of O'Maoilmordha; ("mordha" Ir., proud.
Maoil = "a heap". Maol = "tonsured or a devotee of a saint"), anglicised
O'MULMORE, O'MORRA, O'MOORE, MOORE, MOHER, and MORDIE. Lords of
Leix. (Queen's co.) Motto; Conlan-a-bu.
Elsewhere in this book is stated:
The descendants of Lugaid Laighis on the introduction of surnames took the
name O'Mordha or O'Morra, anglicised O'Moore and for many centuries
held their rank as princes of Leix.
The O'MOORE #1 pedigree goes down to the year 1887. It was carried on by a
daughter who married an O'Farrell in the 1700,s.
Colonel Roger O'Moore, No.116 on the pedigree, d.1646, was the famous RORY
O'MOORE of song and poetry. He was the designer of the Irish Insurrection of
1641. For three years England only held DUBLIN and DROGHEDA and for eight
years the land was possessed and authority exercised by the Confederation
created by O'Moore.
Part of an Ulster ballad of the period:
"On the green hills of Ulster the white cross waves high,
And the beacon of war throws it's flames to the sky;
Now the taunt and the threat let the coward endure,
Our hope is in God and in Rory O'Moore!"
There is also an O'MOORE #2 of Rahinduffe, Queen's county pedigree.
In the areas of Cork and Kerry the O'Moores were Earls of Charleville and
Mountcashel, Earls and Marquisses of Drogheda and Barons of Millifont in
county Louth and resided at Monasterevan in Kildare. They were Barons of
Tullamore in King's county.
Gallery of Irish Coats of Arms
Information about Ireland [Irish Genealogy and Coats of Arms]