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RANAHAN Family History

Recorded in several forms including Ranahan, Renihan, Renahan, and Ronaghan, this is an early Irish surname. It is a developed form of the pre 14th century Gaelic name O' Reannachain. The prefix O' indicates male descendant of, plus the personal name Reannachain, from reannach, meaning sharp or keen, and the diminutive suffix -ain, meaning little or son of. This gives the translation of 'The male descendant of the son of Reannach'. The surname is first recorded in the 16th century as shown below, and appears as Ronaghan in Petty's famous register now known as 'The census of Ireland' in 1659 during the 'reign' of Richard Cromwell.

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