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Irish Surname - Needham

Needham has an interesting history as a surname. Originally 'Ó Niadh', an ancient Kerry name of a family seated in Tralee, it became increasingly comon in the west and took the form of Nee in Connemara during the anglicisation of the Irish language.

In Mayo Nee was adapted to the English sounding Needham. The name can be traced back to an English place-name which translated as a place that provided living for the poor.

That is not to say those with the name were by any means short of money. The earls of Kilmorey in Down were Needhams, descendants of Thomas De Nedeham of Derbyshire.

In areas such as Kerry and Limerick, where Ó Niadh originated from, the name has been anglicised as Neville.

Famous People

One of the first records of the name is Marchamonnt Needham, who was a journalist in the 1600s. Marchamont would gain admirers, detractors and widespread notoriety for writing news and propaganda for both sides during the Englsih Civil War.

Alternative Versions

Needam, Neden, Nedin, Nedon, Needon, Needing

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