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Family spelling variants includes Macaodha, Hughes, Ó Haodha, Haodha, Hughs, Hewes, Hews, Huws, Hows, Howse, Howes

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HUGHES Family History

Hughes is a patronymic surname that derives from the personal name 'Hugh'. The addition of 'es' and 's' to the name therefore means 'the son of Hugh'.

The popularity of the given name Hugh probably came about when the Normans introduced Hugh (which has Germanic roots) to the British Isles after 1066.

It eventually became particularly popular in Wales, firstly as a personal name, later followed – between the 16th and 19th centuries – as a surname when such patronymic names became fixed and settled in the country.

By the time of the 1881 census, the relative frequency of the surname in Wales was highest on Anglesey (37.2 times the British average), followed by Caernarfonshire, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Merioneth, Montgomeryshire, Cardiganshire, Radnorshire, Carmarthenshire and the English county of Shropshire.

The Hughes surname in Ireland

Ó hAodha - this name, which may have its origins in the word 'fire' (according to Woulfe in Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall), relates to perhaps a dozen unrelated septs (family divisions), and families thoughout Ireland. The southern anglicised form is Hayes; in the north it is anglicised uniformly as Hughes. There is probably more certainty that it derives from the first name Aodh, which was always anglicised as Hugh in Ireland. The MacAodha family of Cos Cavan and Galway may also have influenced the name's formation.

As far as the Irish Hughes families are concerned, the name is that of a sept of Ó hAodha, formerly Lords of Uí Fiachrach in Ardstraw, Co Tyrone; also of a sept of Tirconnell, chiefs of Eas Ruadh; also of a family, chiefs of Fearnmaighe in Co Monaghan. There are two families whose origin is in Meath: that of Lords of Odhbha, near modern Navan, and that of chiefs of East Teffia (Tir Teathbha). The men of Teffia feature in the inter-tribal strife of the 10th and 11th centuries recorded in the Irish Annals.

The Uí Fiachrach connection is significant, for there were two such families of Ó hAodha in Ballintobber, Co Mayo and Dromard in Co Sligo.

In Sir William Petty's 'Census' of 1659, an examination of the above counties reveals the following listed as 'Principal Irish Names':
Co Fermanagh – Parishes of Bohue Rossory, Clenish and Killasher, McHugh 19 families.
Co Monaghan – O Hugh 22 families.

By the time of Griffith's 'Valuation' of households between 1847 and 1860, the top counties for Hughes' numbers were: Armagh 538, Tyrone 349, Monaghan 292, Mayo 255 and Down 136.

The Registrar's Report on Births in 1890, feature the province of Ulster with 180 births, double that of its closest rival, Leinster, with 92.

Hughes is in the Irish top 40 surnames, and is 15th in Ulster.

John Joseph Hughes [died 1864] an Irish immigrant worker, was the first Catholic Archbishop of New York.
Phiip Hughes [born Dublin] is a 31 year old Irish soccer player, a forward.

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Adekunle Hughes

Hello everyone I Am Adekunle Hughes a black man from Nigeria ,that as been asking where are we originated from from my dad and grandfather , all they can say is that One Philip Hughes can you Nigeria as a missionary and decide to take a wife from Nigeria so he got a Nigeria woman pregnant and took her down to , I think Wales or Irish they said . So I think they got married and have 4 children so one of the children wish is black decided to come back to his mother land and he decide to leave here , that why we are here ...but I really need to know more because I love my family Name .

Julie M Hughes

I wish there was a way to reply to a specific comment on this post... The gentleman that mentioned his family was traced back to Upper Pig Pen in Yancy Co, NC... This is also the general area my dad and grandfather were in as well. I would love more info on your family history to see if there is relation...


My GRANDFATHER Richard Sims was from Hughes he had an old bond book of family history. My uncle Timothy Sims had Notebooks made for everyone but the history is amazing but it only goes back as far as 50 BCE Donegal. but it does state we are from Whales. Aunt Tony, she did a DNA and there traces of Jews decent. So I could also see where the snake comes from in the bible when that saved the life of many Israelites.


Please note the Hughes family surname project at Family Tree Dna. It is the only compiled and in progress compilation of hughes dna in the public realm that I know of. We are such a great family we should know as much as possible about our family lines. Mine goes back to Jeremiah Hughes Sr. b.1785 of Upper Pig Pen area of Yancey County, North Carolina, United States. My people are represented on the last lineage of the dna colorized public spreadsheet on this study.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Hughes name has a long history in Ireland and now DNA and some recorded history to the north-western area of the Emerald Island. The Hughes story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Hughes surname origin is from Clan Domnaill [DNA Tribe R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] and relations who remain in Ireland take the modern surname (O)’Donnelly, McDonald, Donohue, and O’Donoghue in Ireland.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Domnaill name is also found in Brittany, France. It is a very old name which appears in the 5th century Roman inscriptions as Dumnovellaunos in Brittany meaning “Deep Valour” equivalent to Irish Domhnaill. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Hughes story begins in pre-history Ireland but relatives will then move to Wales where the family can be traced back to their Welsh tribe Cydifor Fawr. A descendant and many of his kin will then move to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


i was told that my family crest was a snake wraped around a sword


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