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The Irish Rose

Boyle Name History

Boyle Name History


Boyle is an Irish and Scottish surname of Gaelic or Norman origin. In the northwest of Ireland it is one of the most common family names. The name was first recorded as O'Baoighill in County Donegal, but there are also Boyles who descend from the Norman family, de Boyville. Boyles who come from the Ulster province are believed to descend from King Maoldun Baoghal. Most anciently of County Donegal, the O Boyles were chiefs of the three Tuaths (meaning 'country, tribe' etc.) in northwest Donegal.

Spelling variations of Boyle include O'Boyle, O'Baoighill, Boile, Boghill, Baole, Beoghal, Boyall, Boal, and others.Ó Baoighill- anglicised Boyle, O Boyle. The root word is probably 'pledge' or 'baigell' meaning 'profitable pledges'.

The Boyle Coat of Arms

The Boyle coat of arms is a dramatic field of gold with one green oak tree with spreading roots. The tree in Irish heraldry is a symbol of strength and age. 

Learn more about the Boyles

The Framed Irish Family Name History, (#1760) has more information on the Boyle surname. There is a wide selection of Boyle coat of arms products at The Irish Rose. Please visit the Irish Coat of Arms page.

Visit Boyles of Slane's websiteFind Boyle's Pubs in Ireland

There is more than one Boyle's Pub in Ireland. If you're planning a trip make sure to visit your namesake public house.

Here are two fine establishments that bear the Boyle name:

If you can't visit in person, our personalized pub gifts are the next best thing!

Notable people named Boyle

  • Charles P. Boyle (1892–1968), American cinematographer
  • Chris Cornell (born 1964), musician, born Christopher Boyle
  • Danny Boyle (born 1956), British film director, cousin of John Wayne
  • Edward G. Boyle, (1899–1977), Canadian set decorator
  • Frankie Boyle (born 1972), Scottish comedian
  • George Frederick Boyle (1886–1948), Australian-American composer
  • Ina Boyle (1889–1967), Irish composer
  • James Boyle (broadcasting), BBC broadcaster
  • Jimmy Boyle (artist) (born 1944), Scottish sculptor and novelist, former gangster
  • Johnny Boyle, drummer for the Irish band, The Frames
  • Katie Boyle (born 1926), television presenter
  • Lara Flynn Boyle (born 1970), U.S. actress
  • Louise Boyle (1910–2005), U.S. photographer
  • Mark Boyle (1934–2005), Scottish artist
  • Peter Boyle (1935–2006), U.S. actor
  • Ray Boyle (born 1925), American actor
  • Robert F. Boyle (1909–2010), director and production designer
  • Ruth-Ann Boyle (born 1970), singer of the British group Olive
  • Shary Boyle (born 1972), Canadian artist
  • Susan Boyle (born 1961), Scottish singer and a contestant on the 3rd series of Britain's Got Talent
  • Troy Boyle (born 1966), U.S. comic book artist and writer


  • Courtenay Boyle (1770–1844), British naval officer and MP
  • Edward Courtney Boyle (1883–1967), English Royal Navy officer, First World War recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Jeremiah Boyle (1818–1871), Union Brigadier General during the American Civil War
  • Thomas Boyle (1775–1825), U.S. Navy officer

Politics, government, and law

  • Brendan F. Boyle (born 1977), politician
  • Charles Boyle, 2nd Viscount Blesington (died 1732), Irish politician
  • Charles A. Boyle (1907–1959), U.S. Representative from Illinois
  • Charles Cavendish Boyle (1849–1916), British colonial administrator
  • Charles Edmund Boyle (1836–1888), U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
  • David Boyle, 7th Earl of Glasgow (1833–1915), governor of New Zealand 1892–1897
  • David Boyle, Lord Boyle (1772–1853), Scottish judge and privy counsellor of the United Kingdom
  • Sir Edward Boyle, 1st Baronet (1848–1909), MP for Taunton 1906–1909, grandfather of Baron Boyle
  • Edward Boyle, Baron Boyle of Handsworth (1923–1981), British Conservative Party politician, MP 1950–1970
  • Edward C. Boyle, (died 1981), Allegheny County District Attorney for Pittsburgh from 1956 to 1964
  • Edward James Boyle, Sr. (1913–2002), U.S. federal judge
  • Emmet D. Boyle (1879–1926), former Governor of Nevada
  • Francis Boyle (born 1950), professor of international law
  • George Boyle, 6th Earl of Glasgow (1825–1890), Scottish politician
  • Harris Boyle (c. 1953–1975), Northern Irish loyalist and Ulster Volunteer Force member
  • Hugh Boyle Ewing (1826–1905), American diplomat, author and lawyer
  • James Boyle (academic) (born 1959), professor of law
  • James Boyle (Donegal politician) (1863–1936), Irish politician, Member of Parliament for West Donegal 1900–1902
  • James Boyle (Fianna Fáil politician) (fl.1930s), Fianna Fáil Member of the 1934–1936 Seanad Éireann
  • James Boyle Uniacke (1799–1858), Canadian politician
  • Jane J. Boyle (born 1954), District judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • John Boyle (congressman) (1774–1835), member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • John Boyle (UK politician) (c. 1870–1950), Unionist politician from Northern Ireland
  • John Robert Boyle (1870–1936), Albertan politician
  • Joshua Boyle, Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons
  • Kevin Boyle (lawyer) (1943–2010), Northern Ireland-born human rights activist, barrister and educator
  • Kevin J. Boyle (born 1980), member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • Mike Boyle (born 1944), mayor of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Murrough Boyle, 1st Viscount Blesington (1709–1769), governor of Limerick
  • Patricia Boyle (1937–2014), American judge
  • Sarah Patton Boyle (1906-1994), Virginian civil rights activist
  • Terrence Boyle (born 1945), U.S. judge
  • W. A. Boyle (1904–1985), president of the United Mine Workers of America union, 1963–1972
  • William M. Boyle (1903–1961), American Democratic political activist from Kansas


  • Greg Boyle (priest) (born 1954), Jesuit priest in East Los Angeles
  • Hugh Charles Boyle (1873–1950), American Roman Catholic bishop
  • John Boyle (bishop) (1563–1620), Bishop
  • Richard Boyle (bishop) (c.1574–1644), Archbishop of Tuam

Sciences, math, and medicine

  • Brian J. Boyle, astrophysicist
  • David Boyle (archaeologist) (1842–1911), Canadian educator and archaeologist
  • Henry Edmund Gaskin Boyle (1875–1941), anaesthesiologist
  • Phelim Boyle (born 1941), quantitative finance academic
  • Robert Boyle (1627–1691), Anglo-Irish natural philosopher
  • Robert William Boyle (1883–1955), Canadian physicist, co-inventor of sonar
  • Willard Boyle (1924–2011), Canadian physicist


  • Brian Boyle (born 1984), professional hockey player
  • Buzz Boyle (1908–1978), Major League Baseball player
  • Dan Boyle (ice hockey) (born 1976), professional ice hockey player
  • Daryl Boyle (born 1987), Canadian professional ice hockey player
  • David Boyle (rugby league) (born 1959), former Australian rugby league player
  • Eddie Boyle (1874–1941), Major League Baseball player
  • Hugh Boyle (golfer) (born 1936), Irish golfer
  • Jack Boyle (1866–1913), Major League Baseball player
  • Jim Boyle (born 1962), American football player
  • Jimmy Boyle (baseball) (1904–1958), American baseball player
  • Jimmy Boyle (footballer) (born 1972), former Scottish footballer
  • John Boyle (footballer born 1946), Scottish footballer
  • John Boyle (footballer born 1986), Scottish footballer
  • Lauren Boyle (born 1987), New Zealand swimmer
  • Morrie Boyle, Australian rugby league footballer
  • Patrick Boyle (footballer) (born 1987), Scottish footballer
  • Raelene Boyle (born 1951), Australian athlete
  • Richard Boyle (canoeist) (born 1961), New Zealand sprint canoeist
  • Richard Boyle (rower) (1888–1953), British rower and medallist at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • Ryan Boyle (born 1981), U.S. lacrosse player
  • Ryan Boyle (rugby league) (born 1987), rugby league player
  • Stephen Boyle (born 1953), Australian footballer
  • Steve Boyle (rugby union) (born 1953), English rugby union player
  • Steve Boyle (boxer) (born 1962), Scottish boxer
  • Terry Boyle (born 1958), Former footballer from Wales
  • Tommy Boyle (footballer born 1886) (1886–1940), football player who played for Barnsley, Burnley, and Wrexham
  • Tommy Boyle (footballer, born 1901) (1901–1972), football player who played for Sheffield United, Manchester United, and Northampton Town
  • Wesley Boyle (born 1979), Football midfielder


  • Andrew Boyle (1919–1991), journalist and biographer
  • Charles Boyle (poet) (born 1951), UK poet
  • David Boyle (author) (born 1958), economics author and journalist
  • John Boyle O'Reilly (1844–1890), Irish poet and novelist
  • Kay Boyle (1902–1992), U.S. writer and political activist
  • Kevin Boyle (historian) (born 1960), author and professor of history at Ohio State University
  • Nicholas Boyle (born 1946), British literature historian
  • Patrick Boyle (writer) (1905–1982), Irish writer
  • T. Coraghessan Boyle (born 1948), U.S. novelist and short story writer

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