Recorded as Kiera, Keira (Italy), and Ciara (f), Ciaran (m) (Ireland), this is a personal name of medieval Gaelic origins. It generally means 'black' and may have described a Danish-Viking invader of Ireland in the 9th century, or it could have been two centuries later later and describe a Welshman, one of the army of Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, who invaded Ireland in 1169. These men were black haired. Either way the name has been popular in the countries under Gaelic influence for many centuries. Unusually for such an early personal name of popularity, it does not appear to have become a surname, or if it has then the recordings do not appear to have survived. Over the past century since the year 1900 there has been a much greater awareness that 'names' can and do travel across continents, and in so doing often adopt a new spelling. In addition in many former colonial countries, surnames have had to be created to take advantage of the new technologies particularly the telephone, and as part of the not always beneficial westernization process. To our knowledge this personal name is not (yet) one of them, but if not, this is probably a matter of time.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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