Apr 13, 2011
Ireland: A Heritage of Kings
To further confuse things, look at the status of the individual. In each kingdom there were freemen and women (commoners) and slaves. When surnames came into use (not until the 11th century) everyone took the surname of their chieftan, whether blood-related or not. So, having a kingly name like O'Neill does not necessarily mean you are the descendant of a king.
But then again, with so small a population, and so many kings out there.....
Well, you know what the Irish say: Never let what really happened get in the way of a good story! ;-)