Patterson is now found throughout Ireland, though it is common only in Ulster, being particularly frequent in Co Down. Originally it is a Lowland Scottish name, meaning, simply, 'Patrick's son', and was also used as an anglicisation of the Highland Gaelic surname, Mac (Gille) Phadraig, meaning 'son of the follower of Patrick'. In addition, there is a surname, Mac Phaidin, from Paidin, a diminutive of Patrick, which arose separately in both Ulster and Scotland, and which has been anglicised as Patterson, as well as the more usual (Mc)Fadden and (Mc)Padden.
The founder of the Belfast Natural History Society was Robert Patterson (1802-1872).

Power is originally a Norman name, which may derive from the Old French povre, meaning 'poor', or from pohier, meaning a native of the town of Pois in Picardy in France, so called from the Old French pois, meaning 'fish', a name given it because of its rivers. The surname is also found in Ireland as 'Le Poer', and in the Irish version 'de Paor'. The first Norman settlers of the name were in Co Waterford, where members of the family retained large estates up to the nineteenth century, and the surname is still most numerous by far in that county, although it has also spread into the adjoining counties of Kilkenny, Cork, Tipperary and Wexford. The family which founded Power's distillery, famous for its whiskey, were from Wexford, with their seat at Edermine, near Enniscorthy.


Quigley is the principal English version of the Irish O Coigligh, from coigleach, meaning 'unkempt'. The main origin of the family was in Co Mayo, where they were part of the powerful Ui Fiachrach tribal grouping. From there they were dispersed at an early date, principally to the adjacent territories now part of counties Sligo, Donegal and Derry, where the name is principally found today. There appears also to have been a separate O Coigligh family which arose in Co Wexford, where the name has been anglicised for the most part as 'Cogley', although Quigley is also frequent.


Rodgers is one of the most common surnames in Britain and Ireland. Its English origin is simple: it means ‘son of Roger’, a very common personal name made up of two Germanic elements: hrod, ‘renown’ and geri, ‘spear’. It is also common in Scotland, where it is frequently spelt Rodgers. Many, if not most of those bearing the name in Ireland are of English and Scottish descent. However, the Gaelic Irish surname MacRuaidhri, from the personal name Ruaidhri, meaning ‘red king’, was also anglicised as Rogers. Two Mac Ruaidhri families are notable in early times, one based in Co Tyrone, a branch of whom migrated north to Co Derry, the other in Co Fermanagh, possibly an offshoot of the Maguires. In these areas the surname was also anglicised MacRory and MacCrory. In addition, because Ruaidhri was such a common personal name, many individuals in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were identified by the fathers names. A son of Ruaidhri O Briain might, for example, be known as Mac Ruaidhri O Briain. In a significant number of cases the Mac Ruaidhri was then passed on to the next generation, instead of O Briain, becoming an hereditary surname in its own right, and was then anglicised ‘Rogers’.

Rooney is the anglicised version of O Ruanaidh, from Ruanadh, a personal name meaning ‘champion’. The principal family of the name originated in Co Down, where their territory was centred on the parish of Ballyroney, which includes their name. They have produced many poets, the most recent of whom is Padraig Rooney, winner of the Kavanagh Prize for Poetry in 1986. Two other families, both from Co Fermanagh, have also anglicised their surnames as Rooney, the O Maolruanaidh (‘Mulrooney’) and the Mac Maolruanaidh (‘Macarooney’), both prominent in the early history of the county.

Ryan is today one of the commonest surnames in Ireland. Unlike many other common surnames, however, it has one major origin, in the family of O Maoilriaghain, meaning ‘descendant of a devotee of St Riaghan’. The anglicisation ‘Mulryan’ began to fade as early as the seventeenth century, and is today virtually unknown, apart from a few pockets in counties Galway and Leitrim, possibly derived from a different family. The surname first appears in the fourteenth century in the barony of Owney, on the borders of counties Limerick and Tipperary, where the O Maoilriaghain displaced the O’Heffernans. Even today the surname is highly concentrated in this area. In Carlow and adjoining areas Ryan may also derive from O Riaghain, sometimes confused with Regan. Patrick J Ryan (1883-1964) emigrated to the U.S., won a gold medal for hammer throwing for that country in the 1920 Olympics, and then returned to farming in Pallasgreen in Limerick