What’s In a Name? The Meaning of Doyle

Last Update 2012-08-02 09:56:58 | Posted On 2012-04-23 05:14:10 | Read 3951 times | 2 Comments

The Doyle Clan family name originates from the Gaelic Irish word “Dubhghaill” which means – Dark Stranger. With such a mysterious meaning to such a popular name, we felt compelled to investigate further and to perhaps unearth the reasons behind this ancient clan.

The most widely believed theory surrounding Dubhghaill is linked to the arrival of the Vikings or Norsemen to Ireland’s shores. While the initial appearance of the Vikings in Irish history is one of violence and plunder, the Viking people eventually settled in Ireland and married into the local population. The name Dubhghaill is believed to have its origins in a Norseman of the same name whose descendants then took on the name as an identifier of their heritage.

Another level to the meaning of the name is the fact that while the Viking/Norsemen were from Scandinavia, the Norwegian’s were traditionally of fair hair (in keeping with the stereotypical image of the Viking!) whereas the Danes were darker. However, this theory on the “dark” reference is that the Danes were said to have worn a chain-mail armour which could have distinguished them from the Norwegian groups.

And one final element to tie in the Viking heritage of the Doyle Clan is the fact that one of the clan mottos is “He conquers with fortitude” which could well be a nod to the initial raids launched by the Viking groups on Ireland.

The initial hostility which marked our ancestors arrival to Ireland passed over time as the Viking peoples integrated with the local population and local customs – and down through the centuries, we Doyles continued to contribute significantly to Irish history and we do so right up to the present day both in Ireland and across the four corners of the globe.


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