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Ó Dubhghaill - anglicised Doyle, and earlier Dowell, and meaning ''descendant of the black foreigner''. Woulfe in 'Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall' (1923) says it was a common name in the maritime counties of Leinster and Munster, and of Danish provenance.
Ó Dubhgaile - also anglicised Doyle, earlier Dowilly, meaning ''descendant of Dubhghal (black valour)'' according to Woulfe, which he says is a rare Co Roscommon name. ( I haven't found this name in the '1659 Census' for Roscommon, but found instances of McDowell, which has a similar etymology to Ó Dubhghaill)
The consensus is that Doyle arose from a description of the viking invaders, who settled in the east especially, before the Cambro-Norman incursions.
In Sir William Petty's '1659 Census', Doyle is mentioned as a Principal Irish Name in the following counties: In county Carlow, Catherlagh Barony, (O) Doyle, 7 families; Rathvilly Barony, Doyle, 7 families; Forth Barony, Doyle ,16 families; Idrone Barony, Doyle, 40 families.
In County Dublin, Rathdowne Barony 29 Doyle families; Neithercross Barony, Doyle, 8 families; Cowlock Barony, 30 families of Doyle.
In Co Wexford, the following: Wexford town there were 6 Doyle entries; New Ross and Enniscorthy, 8; in Forth Barony 16 O Doyles; Bergie Barony, 8 Doyles; in Shelmaleer 33 Doyle families!
In Co Kildare, Doyle crops up in the 1659 Census as a Prin.Ir. Name in Naas Barony etc.
(Co Wicklow is missing from the '1659 Census'.)
In Griffith's 'Primary Valuation' of households taken in the mid 19th century, we find most Doyle households in: Cos Wexford (1169) Wicklow (556) Dublin (483) and Carlow (393)
In these records we can see a clear pattern of settlement that bears out the history above.
In the Registrar General's Report on Births in Ireland in 1890 Doyle features most in counties Dublin, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow and Kerry, and came 12th in the births table.
There is a military connection with this surname. From the 17th century on Doyles feature, particularly in the armies of Europe and, later, Britain, where at one time there were six Doyles from Kilkenny all with the rank of major general.
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