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HUGHES Family History
Hughes is a patronymic surname that derives from the personal name 'Hugh'. The addition of 'es' and 's' to the name therefore means 'the son of Hugh'.
The popularity of the given name Hugh probably came about when the Normans introduced Hugh (which has Germanic roots) to the British Isles after 1066.
It eventually became particularly popular in Wales, firstly as a personal name, later followed – between the 16th and 19th centuries – as a surname when such patronymic names became fixed and settled in the country.
By the time of the 1881 census, the relative frequency of the surname in Wales was highest on Anglesey (37.2 times the British average), followed by Caernarfonshire, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Merioneth, Montgomeryshire, Cardiganshire, Radnorshire, Carmarthenshire and the English county of Shropshire.
The Hughes surname in Ireland
Ó hAodha - this name, which may have its origins in the word 'fire' (according to Woulfe in Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall), relates to perhaps a dozen unrelated septs (family divisions), and families thoughout Ireland. The southern anglicised form is Hayes; in the north it is anglicised uniformly as Hughes. There is probably more certainty that it derives from the first name Aodh, which was always anglicised as Hugh in Ireland. The MacAodha family of Cos Cavan and Galway may also have influenced the name's formation.
As far as the Irish Hughes families are concerned, the name is that of a sept of Ó hAodha, formerly Lords of Uí Fiachrach in Ardstraw, Co Tyrone; also of a sept of Tirconnell, chiefs of Eas Ruadh; also of a family, chiefs of Fearnmaighe in Co Monaghan. There are two families whose origin is in Meath: that of Lords of Odhbha, near modern Navan, and that of chiefs of East Teffia (Tir Teathbha). The men of Teffia feature in the inter-tribal strife of the 10th and 11th centuries recorded in the Irish Annals.
The Uí Fiachrach connection is significant, for there were two such families of Ó hAodha in Ballintobber, Co Mayo and Dromard in Co Sligo.
In Sir William Petty's 'Census' of 1659, an examination of the above counties reveals the following listed as 'Principal Irish Names':
Co Fermanagh – Parishes of Bohue Rossory, Clenish and Killasher, McHugh 19 families.
Co Monaghan – O Hugh 22 families.
By the time of Griffith's 'Valuation' of households between 1847 and 1860, the top counties for Hughes' numbers were: Armagh 538, Tyrone 349, Monaghan 292, Mayo 255 and Down 136.
The Registrar's Report on Births in 1890, feature the province of Ulster with 180 births, double that of its closest rival, Leinster, with 92.
Hughes is in the Irish top 40 surnames, and is 15th in Ulster.
John Joseph Hughes [died 1864] an Irish immigrant worker, was the first Catholic Archbishop of New York.
Phiip Hughes [born Dublin] is a 31 year old Irish soccer player, a forward.
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Julie M Hughes
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