The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places
Author: Patrick Weston Joyce
Published: 1995 reprint of 1869-1913 originals
Softcover, 1,756 pp. in all
In a word, this is the landmark work on Irish place names and a boon to genealogists. In Volumes I and II Mr. Joyce set about classifying the circumstances that gave origin to Irish place names, to explain the phonetic laws under which these names were anglicized, and to illustrate those patterns by bringing in as many examples as possible. In this context the author discusses the Irish local name system, names of historical and legendary origin, names commemorating artificial structures (fortresses, churches, towns, roads, and so on), and names descriptive of physical features (mountains, islands, rivers, animals, and the like). Volume III incorporates the author's findings during the forty-year hiatus since Volume II and includes a dictionary of some 10,000 Irish place names, from Abartagh to Woteraghy, not included in the earlier books.