Walsh / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Walsh was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Walsh is taken from the translation of the Gaelic word 'Breathnach', meaning 'Welsh'. Variants include Walshe, Brannagh, Brannick, Welsh, Walch, Welch, Walsman and Walshman. The Walshs descend from Philip the Welshman and his brother David who arrived into Ireland with the Anglo-Norman invasion in the year 1172. They established themselves as landed Gentry at Castlehowel, County Kilkenny, at Ballykileavan, County Leix, at Ballyrichmore, County Waterford and at Bray and Carrickmines near Dublin. The most important territory of the Walshs was in Wexford and in County Kilkenny where the Walsh mountains bear their name. This name was also adopted by a number of Gaelic septs, independently of each other, when they anglicized their native name after the sixteenth century.The Walsh family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Walsh descendants.