This most interesting surname is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname "O'Rioghbhardain", a numerous sept found exclusively in Munster. The Gaelic name itself is composed of the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and "Rioghbhardan", a byname composed of the Gaelic elements "riogh", royal and "bhard", a bard, poet. The surname is also found as Rearden and O'Riordan. The sept of O'Riordan originated in Co. Tipperary, and migrated to Co. Cork at such an early date they can be regarded as belonging to that county, where they are far more numerous than anywhere else. They gave their name to Ballyreardon in East Cork, which indicates that they were influential in this area, where they were followers of the lords of Muskerry...
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