Origin and Meaning of the Last Name Boyle

Ireland, Sheep on a country road in Connemara

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A variant of O'BOYLE, from the Irish Ó BAOGHILL. Of uncertain derivation, but the Boyle last name is considered by most to be connected to the Irish geall, meaning "pledge" or "vain pledge," or thought to mean "having profitable pledges."

The O'Boyles were chieftains in Donegal, ruling west Ulster with the O'Donnells and the O'Doughertys. Boyles can also be found in Kildare and Offaly.

BOYLE is one of 50 common Irish surnames of modern Ireland, as well as the 84th most popular last name in Scotland.

Surname Origin: Irish, Scottish

Alternate Surname Spellings: BOYLES, O BOYLE, O BAOIGHILL, O BAOILL

Clan Boyle:

Clan Boyle in Scotland originated with Anglo-Norman knights bearing the de Beauville or, more commonly, de Boyville name from Beauville, near Caen. They are believed to have arrived in Scotland after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. There is a record of a David de Boivil witnessing a charter as early as 1164. Originally, the name was confined to the south-west of Scotland where it was pronounced "bowl." The surname spelling also changed over time, with the shortened variant Boyll appearing in 1367 and Boyle in 1482.

The land surrounding Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire has been the home of Clan Boyle since the 13th century and is currently occupied by the 10th Earl of Glasgow, Patrick Robin Archibald Boyle. The Boyle clan motto is Dominus provedebit which means "God will provide."

A branch of the Boyles from Kelburn became established in Ireland and eventually became the Earls of Cork. Richard Boyle (1566–1643), the 1st Earl of Cork, was Lord Treasurer of the Kingdom of Ireland.

Famous People with the BOYLE Last Name:

  • Robert Boyle - Irish born scientist, and 7th son of Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork
  • T.C. Boyle - American writer and novelist
  • Willard S. Boyle – Canadian physicist
  • Susan Boyle - Scottish born singer made famous by Britain's Got Talent

Genealogy Resources for the BOYLE Last Name:

Family Boyle Surname DNA Project
This free project uses results from Y-DNA testing to map individuals with the Boyle surname into different branches of the Boyle family tree. Joining the project entitles you to a discount on DNA testing.

Boyle Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Boyle last name to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Boyle surname query.

DistantCousin.com - BOYLE Genealogy & Family History
Explore links to databases and genealogical resources for the Boyle last name.

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Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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Powell, Kimberly. "Origin and Meaning of the Last Name Boyle." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/boyle-last-name-origin-and-meaning-1422464. Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 29). Origin and Meaning of the Last Name Boyle. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/boyle-last-name-origin-and-meaning-1422464 Powell, Kimberly. "Origin and Meaning of the Last Name Boyle." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/boyle-last-name-origin-and-meaning-1422464 (accessed May 29, 2023).