Membership of an Irish Clan is something that an individual possesses as a right of his/her heritage.
All members of a clan carry the same surname and claim descent from the same common ancestor. Clan membership however is not purely based on bloodlines as people often joined clans through marriage, adoption and fostering, and for political and territorial reasons.
Consequently, membership of an Irish Clan is frequently linked to an individual’s identify and is strongly associated with a shared common heritage and culture.
It is important to keep in mind that not all those who share the same surname belong to the same Clan as often more than one clan will have the same or similar sounding name. For example, not all O’Neills are descended from the same Niall as this was a common name in Gaelic Ireland.
A clue to which Clan you belong to might be found in the region of Ireland from which your ancestors came, as Irish Clans were territorial and often remained on the same lands for centuries.
If you wish to register with your Irish Clan please consult the Register of Clans and contact your Clan directly.