I developed an interest in Ireland when I was young.  One of the reason was that I found out I had some Irish background.  My grandma on my dad's side was a Reid, which is an Irish name.  The following is information on this surname and its history.

        "Reid, with its variants Reed and Read(e), is now one of the 100 most common surnames in Ireland. In form it is English, and can derive from a nickname for someone who is red-haired or ruddy (from the Old English read), from a name for someone who lived in a clearing in a wood (Old English ried), or from the various places in England called Read or similar. No doubt many bearing the name in Ireland are of English stock.

        "In addition, a number of Scots Gaelic surnames - MacRory, Ruaidh ("red"), and MacInroy - were frequently anglicised Reid, and many Reids in Ulster especially are descended from Scottish settlers. However, there were also two Gaelic families, the � Maoildeirg ("Mulderrig" - "red chieftain") of Mayo and Antrim, and the � Maoilbhrighde ("Mulreedy" - "devotee of St. Brigid") of Co. Roscommon whose surnames have often been anglicised Reid, by semi-translation and abbreviation respectively.

        "Nano Reid (1905-1981) was one of the best known Irish painters of her generation, celebrated for her skilful evocation of the landscape of her native Co. Louth."