Irish Surname - Boyle or O'Boyle
The name Boyle is a variant of O'Boyle, derived from the Gaelic 'O'Baoighill', meaning the male descendant of the rash one! Because there is some uncertainty about the exact derivation of the name, it is also believed to have connections with the Irish word geall, meaning "pledge" combined with "baoi" meaning "treacherous".
Irish clan names were traditionally taken from a nickname of the original chieftain of the clan, and were often prefixed by an O', or Mac. In the Middle Ages the O'Boyles were powerful and respected chieftains in County Donegal, who shared control of west Ulster with the O'Donnells and the O'Dohertys. They were also known for their ruddy complexion!
Although generally regarded as an Irish surname of great antiquity, there is a possibility that it could be English of French origins brought to Ireland during the Norman invasion in the 12th century, The French origins of the name in England could derive from the Norman-French as'Boileau' meaning 'water wood' or 'Boille', a nickname of endearment for a small, rounded person, or possibly from 'de Boyville', meaning "from Boyville", a village in Normandy, France.
Famous People with the Boyle Surname
Some of the best-known Boyles connected with Ireland were of English origin.
The first Earl of Cork, Richard Boyle, came from England to Ireland in 1588 and went on to acquire the extensive property of the executed Sir Walter Raleigh in County Waterford. This formed the nucleus of the vast estates he was to bequeath to his extensive family on his death in 1643. The best known of his sons were Roger Boyle (1621-1679) Earl of Orrery, and Robert Boyle (1627-1691), chemist and experimental physicist.Other Boyles of note:
- Susan Boyle, a Scottish singer who rose to fame after appearing on the television show "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009.
- T C Boyle - an American novelist and short story writer who has written many critically acclaimed works, including "The Tortilla Curtain" and "The Women".
- Peter Boyle - an American actor who appeared in many films and TV shows, including "Young Frankenstein" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."
- Brian Boyle - an American professional ice hockey player who has played for several NHL teams, including the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers.
- Frank Boyle - a Scottish political cartoonist and caricaturist who is known for his satirical drawings in newspapers and magazines.
- Eileen Boyle - an Irish politician who served as a member of the Irish Senate from 2011 to 2020.
- Rory Boyle - a Scottish composer who has written many orchestral and chamber works, including "Music for Rothko Chapel" and "Visions of Peace."
Boyle Family Coat of Arms
The Boyle family coat of arms depicts a gold shield charged with green oak tree eradicated.
Alternate Surname Spellings
Boyles, O'Boyle, O'Baoighill, O'Baoill
The strongest association of the name is still in County Donegal, where (O)Boyle is the third most numerous name in the country. The Boyles can also be found in Kildare and Offaly.
DNA And Your Irish Roots
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