Ireland surname rather than Ireland country

+4 votes

One of the major difficulties I have with most genealogy sites, including WikiTree, is that they usually assume that everyone searching for “Ireland” is looking for their Irish roots – rather than trying to connect with people carrying the Ireland surname.  This is no doubt equally true for people with surnames Irish, or England, or many others.

According to website, there are more than 17,000 living Americans with surname Ireland.  There are many thousands more living in Canada, the UK, and elsewhere around the world.  WikiTree currently reports there are 3,106 individuals with Ireland surname in the tree.

Similarly, there are about 36,000 Americans with surname England.

Is there any way for us to easily collaborate with researchers of our surname, rather than researchers of the country?

UPDATE 1: thanks for the initial answers, but perhaps my question wasn't clear.  In WikiTree, it's very simple for me to search for discussions about the Lewis or Davis or Jones surnames.  It is completely impossible to find questions or discussions about the Ireland (or England) surname - because any search turns up tens of thousands of questions about the country rather than the surname.

UPDATE 2: Darren Kellett in a comment stated the problems of trying to parse existing items from one tag into two.  I agree that that's not practical.  However, I'd be content with a solution going forward.  Perhaps the Techs could rename the existing tag to Ireland_country, and then add a new tag Ireland_surname - without attempting to change the old content.  Similarly French could be changed to French_topic and a new tag could be French_surname.  We could also have Irish changed to Irish_topic and then add Irish_surname; and rename England to England_country and add England_surname (or something similar).


Kevin Ireland


in WikiTree Tech by Kevin Ireland G2G6 Mach 2 (27.5k points)
edited by Kevin Ireland
You could look at a one name study.

3 Answers

+1 vote
You could try going to this page:
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
While that link is helpful in viewing individuals named Ireland, it doesn't enable more general discussions about the surname, or about related Ireland-surname lines of descent.

For example, we currently have three known Y-DNA tested R1a Ireland-surname lines in the world.  All three tested men match, and we all have known ancestors who lived within 25 miles of Belfast in the mid-1700s.  Although we can't prove the exact connection between each of the three lines, this is very helpful for Ireland-surname researchers of the area to know.   

I can leave that type of information with an Ireland-surname tag for people to find, but it would be completely buried within the current 1,000+ Ireland tagged discussions.
There is an Ireland Name Study which is in need of a coordinator.  You could then add freespace pages to cover different related topics.  Here is the One Name Studies Project page:

Please note the requirements to act as Coordinator (I don't think you are quite there yet).
Thanks, Ros.  I'm an administrator for three surname projects on FTDNA (not Ireland surname, which has an active administrator.)

I agree that I don't yet meet the WikiTree requirements; I'll work on that.
+1 vote
Hi Kevin, for the Ireland Project, we use Irish Roots tag, exclusively.  I do agree with Ros, though.  Once you find others researching the surname, perhaps setting up an email group for active researchers?  Discord or Facebook group? would help.
by Amy Gilpin G2G6 Pilot (218k points)
+2 votes

The problem is how do you differentiate between the country and the surname in an easy to follow method. Do you require people to use the tag Ireland (Country) in G2G or the tag Ireland (Surname)?  Then someone would have to work out every possible current tag with multiple usages and ensure the separated tags are created. And it isn't just Country/Surname that would have to be looked at. One of the surnames in my family is French. So Nationality and Language tags would also have to be looked at. 

As an example as of writing this answer 24 of the questions tagged with French on are to do with Language/Nationality and 6 to do with someone with the Surname French. Hence why I don't follow that tag when it is an important part of my family. 

It is a problem that effects those with surnames that also mean something else and a solution would not be easy to work out as any solution like the tag Ireland (Country) or the tag Ireland (Surname) would have to have someone monitor the old Ireland tag and retag G2G posts to the relevant tags otherwise people would just use the old tags and relevant conversations wouldn't be easy to find. 

by Darren Kellett G2G6 Pilot (465k points)

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