Surnames derived from locations are uncommon in Ireland, numbering about twenty in all, however, Slane is one such name, deriving from a place thus called in Co. Meath situated on the river Boyne where the 1690 Battle between William of Orange and James 11 took place. We are told that St. Patrick lit the first Easter Fire on the Hill of Slane overlooking the Boyne (Holy Saturday night 432 A.D.) This fire was seen by the High King Laoire and his druids as they looked north from Tara. The castle of Lord Henry Mount Charles stands in Slane. One of the first settlers into America was a Grace Slane aged 20, who embarked from Belfast on June 11th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip of Slane (Bishop of Cork 1321) which was dated Deceased 1326 during the reign of King Edward 11 of England 1307-1327 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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