Recorded as O' Ronan, Ronan, and Ronayne, this is an Irish surname. Although now quite rare it is of great antiquity. The clan were for many years 'erenaghs'. That was a status word which indicated minor nobility, erenaghs being hereditary land owners who were responsible for the adminstration and operation of church lands and property in any given area. In this case the O' Ronans were erenaghs of Clondalkin in County Dublin, and it is believed that they held that post until about the 14th century. This is quite probable as the earliest known recording of the name is that of Thomas O' Ronan, who was the abbot of Ballintubber in 1416, and he clearly had a lot to do with church property. It is said that originally there were many septs or branches of the clan, and that it was found in small groups as far apart as the counties of Cork, Galway, and Waterford. It is in the last place that the name had any prominence, being the principle name in the baronies of Coshmore and Coshbride. This is according to Pettys 'Cenus of Ireland' in 1659. The name seems to have generally lost its prefix of O' by the 17th century, an example being that of John Ronan who was an officer in the army of King James 11nd of Ireland, that was defeated at the battle of the Boyne in 1690.
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