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L*nn*n variants in GRO data



Coming across the Matheson surname database on Ancestry Ireland recently, I entered Lennan and other variants, only to find no entries. The only spelling varieties that produced numbers were Lennon and Lannon. Therefore one might consider that this data, taken from the birth registrations of 1890, is primarily of use for more general surname research rather than on specific variants of one surname. Delving into my notes, I extracted the data that might be useful. A summary is presented in the attached variants .pdf file.

Reservations are that the classification itself does not attempt to cover single "N" variants (e.g. Lenon, Lanon, Lenan, etc.). Neither does it cover "LY" or "LO" beginnings or, perhaps more importantly, "NE" endings. Looking through any individual register will turn up several such examples. Also treatment of "LI's" is far from optimal and although "Linnan" and "Linnon" variants appear in individual years, they do not appear in the table (even "Linnen" with several more entries is not included in the charts).

Classification by province could still be a bit hit or miss for border registration districts. Some others can be ambiguous (e.g. the Athlone district is both in Connaught and Leinster, but was included in the former). So mea culpa for any errors. Finally, given the number of Lennon entries (upwards of 80 per annum each in births, deaths and marriages) even where districts were included in my manuscript notes (as they were for a few years), I have not attempted to enter these, and registration districts for Lennon do not appear in the .pdf table.

l*nn*n births 1864
l*nn*n marriages 1871
l*nn*n marriages 1881
l*nn*n deaths 1871


Between 1870 and 1900 the share of Lennon in total L*nn*ns rose from between 68-72% (marriages-births) to 83%, continuing the assimilation process described elsewhere on these pages. Preliminary data for 2003, on the basis of phone listings, suggest Lennon is now 91% in 26 counties (and probably higher for the island as a whole - preliminary figures for Norhern Ireland would suggest upwards of 96% for the Lennon share), with only Lannon in single figures (7%), and the rest individually below 1%. In 2003, in absolute numbers, there were only 7 Lannins, 6 Lannens and 1 Lennan.
A higher proportion of Lennons, than other spellings, were located in Ulster. Concentrations in Antrim/Down/Armagh are boosted by significant numbers in the Monaghan/Cavan area.
Lennan was the only other variant with a significant presence in Ulster.
Lannan and Lannen were primarily Leinster and Munster, with large concentrations in the Kilkenny/Waterford region.
Lannin was deeper into Munster, with a high incidence in West Cork.
Lannon is the most numerous of the "LA" form, with a fairly balanced presence in three provinces. It was always the most significant in Connaught, by share of the variant, although not, of course, in absolute numbers (Lennon was predominant in absolute numbers in all four provinces).

l*nn*n variants

A comprehensive list of numbers by province, and generally by registration district, of L*nn*n variants, over various periods in the second half of the 19th century, is attached in .pdf format.

MOVEMENTS 1850-2003

The charts below illustrate movement to the east of the predominant variant (on the basis of Griffiths Valuation in the 1850s, and telephone numbers, North and South, in 2003).

small floodfill county Lennan distribution small floodfill county Lennon distribution

Click to enlarge and use back button to return to this page.

The colour scale has been adjusted to reflect the difference in observations (907 in 2003 and 746 in 1850). Although telephone and land ownership may not be optimal for comparison purposes, they are all that I have available. A movement east, in particular to Dublin, is suggested by the maps. A dot version of the 2003 telephone listings map is available here.

site map

ball to index Return to Lennan home page, return to "Lenn*n bits and pieces" main page, or go to manuscript subpage ball to page 2e

ball to data Or go to data for the index to Lenn*n entries. ball to data

red ball Alternatively, go to my pages for Irish railway data red ball

ball to railway auction pages Or even, go to my railwayana auction price pages ball to railway auction pages