Moore, ó Mórdha A Gaelic surname meaning descendant of Mórdha, meaning ‘majestic’. The leading sept of the seven septs of Laois. Their chief fortress was to be found at Dunamase near Portlaoise. In 1609, after being defeated by the English, the remants of the sept were transplanted to Kerry, where they settled in the neighbourhood of Tarbert. However many returned later to their native territory. Also an English surname. It may have been a local surname given to a man who lived near a moor or a nickname for physical characteristics from the Old French meaning ‘swarthy’. In 1890 Moore was the twentieth most numerous name in Ireland, the estimated number of bearers was 17,700, and the surname was to be found in every county in Ireland. It was principally to be found in Antrim, Dublin, Derry, Cork, Kildare and Tyrone. In the United States Moore is the 9th most numerous surname with an estimated 858,000 bearers. In England and Wales in 1996 it was the 33rd most numerous surname. In Scotland in 1995 it was the 87th most numerous surname.
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