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Redheads - Only two percent of the population



Did you know?

People with red hair are often assumed to be of Irish descent.

Although not everyone with copper tresses can trace their lineage to the Emerald Isle, a deeper look at genealogy may, in fact, point out Irish origins somewhere along the way.

According to Eupedia, a website that investigates European ancestry and genetics, Ireland has the highest per capita percentage of redheads in the world. The rates hover anywhere from 10 to 30 percent.

In order to have red hair, a person must possess the MC1R gene, which is recessive and only occurs in about 2 percent of the world's population, says the National Institutes of Health. Both parents must pass on a copy of the gene in order for their offspring to be born with red hair. Red hair also tends to skip generations, so if you are a redhead, your children may not be born with red hair, but your grandchildren may.

The rarest combination is a person with red hair and blue eyes, which also are a recessive trait.

Other cultures that historically have red hair are Scandinavian nations, like Norway. It is believed that since ancient Vikings took Irish slaves to Norway centuries ago, their genetics intermingled.

Keep in mind that redheads should stay out of the sun. Research says the pigment that gives hair the red color can make redheads more susceptible to melanoma than even fair-skinned blonds. 

 

It has been said that everyone becomes Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

But Irish culture and pride extends beyond St. Patrick. Whether people actually can trace their lineage back to the Emerald Isle or not, Irish names are popular when naming newborns. 

Expectant parents who are inspired by the whimsy and magic of Irish namesakes can consider these  Irish boy and girl names as they await their new arrivals.

Boys

· Ryan: Derived from the IrisH surname Ó Ríain and meaning "descendant of the little king."

- Griffin: Meaning "strong in faith"

· Connor (Conor): A modern form of Conchobhar, meaning "dog lover."

· Aidan: A name said to mean "little fire."

· Sean: An Irish form of John, which means "gift from God."

· Kevin: Anglicization of the Irish name Caoimhín to mean "beautiful birth."

· Brandon: Possible derivative of Bréanainn; this name may mean "sword."

· Colin: This name may be an Irish short form of Nicholas.

· Patrick: A popular name based on Ireland's patron saint.

- Niall: "champion" or "passionate".  A variant of Neil, can be pronounced NILE.

Girls

· Brianna: A modern and feminine form of Brian, meaning "noble."

· Caitlin: An Irish version of Catherine.

- Cassidy; Meaning "clever" or "curly-headed"

· Molly: A derivative of Mary or Mallaidh, which means "star of the sea."

· Alana: A feminine form of Alan, which means "handsome."

· Cara (Kara): The Irish word for "friend."

· Fiona: An Irish name actually pronounced as Feena, which means "vine."

· Tara: Anglicization of the old Irish name Teamhair, which means "eminence" or "distinction." 

- Teagan (Teaghan): Meaning "little poet".

- Adara: Meaning "virgin" or "untrodden sand" or "beauty"

Unisex

· Riley: An Anglicization of the Irish surname O'Reilly.

· Logan: Often mistranslated fRom O'Loughan to mean "duck."

- Quinn: Meaning "wise; intelligence" 

- Shannon:  Meaning "old and wise". The Shannon is a river of Ireland.

- Reagan (Regan): Meaning "little king"

- Kennedy: Meaning "helmet-head" or "misshapen head" 

- Keegan (Kegan, Keaghan): "small and fiery"

(Source: Babble.com)

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