Everything you need to know about the Irish surname Walsh

Irish derivation: Ó Breathnach

Name meaning: "Breton," "Welshman," or "Foreigner"

Counties associated with the surname Walsh: Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary.

Coat of arms motto: Transfixed, but not dead.

Interesting Facts about the surname Walsh:

- It's the fourth most common surname in Ireland

- The French government distinguished an Irish immigrant Walsh family in the 1700s for their efforts in the French army.

- The name was used in particular to denote the Welshmen who arrived in Ireland in the wake of Strongbow’s Anglo-Norman invasion of 1170.

- Common variants include Walshe, Welsh, Brannagh, and Breathnach

Famous Walshes/Branaghs:

Kenneth Branagh (1960-) Northern Irish actor

- John Walsh (1945-) host of America's Most Wanted'

Kate Walsh (1967-) American actress

- Kimberly Walsh (1981-)British singer

- Maria Elena Walsh (1930-2011) Argentine singer and writer

- Marty Walsh (1967-) Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts

- Norman Walsh (1932-2010) Rhodesian/Zimbabwean air marshal

Walsh family history name

Walsh is a common Irish surname, meaning "Briton" or "foreigner", literally "Welshman" or "Wales". The name Walsh was taken to Ireland by soldiers from Britain, namely Cambro-Norman/Welsh, Cornish and Cumbrian soldiers during and after the Norman invasion of Ireland.

It is most common in County Mayo and County Kilkenny. It is the fourth most common surname in Ireland and the 265th most common in the United States. There are variants including "Walshe", “Welch”, "Welsh", "Brannagh", and the Irish "Breathnach".

There are several Walsh families in Ireland who have recognized coats of arms. These are the Walshs of Ballykilcaven, in County Laois, whose motto is "Firm" and their crest is a griffin's head. The Walshs of Castlehale, in County Kilkenny, have a crest with a swan pierced by an arrow, and their motto is "Pierced but not dead". The Walshs of Carrickmines Castle, County Dublin, have a crest with a demi-lion rampant and their motto is "Do not irritate the lions". 

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