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KIERAN Family History

Recorded in various forms this interesting and rare surname is of Irish Gaelic origins. It is derived from the ancient pre 10th century O'Ciarain or O'Ceirin, composed of the prefix "O", meaning male descendant of, and a personal name derived from the word "ciar", meaning black or dark brown, and a reference to hair or skin colour. The sept were originally in possession of the greater part of the present barony of Costello in County Mayo, but during the medieval period their importance diminished. An inquisition in 1609 describes them as erenaghs, or hereditary holders of church property at Killaghtee in the diocese of Raphoe, in County Sligo...

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