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names-Irish-msg - 4/21/97


Sources and comments on Irish names.


NOTE: See also the files: names-msg, names-FAQ, names-Norse-msg, persona-art, Ireland-msg, fd-Ireland-msg, Persona-Build-art, cl-Ireland-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Irish Names?

Date: 14 Feb 1997 11:44:25 -0500

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC


02351919431-1111 at t-online.de (Andreas Docter) writes:

> I'm sure this is a subject that's been covered a million times,

> but I'm searching for female Irish names.


You can start from my names web page, http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names.

If that doesn't help, you could try "Irish Names" by Donnchadh O'Corrain

and Fidelma Maguire (Lilliput Press, Dublin, 1990, also published as

"Gaelic Names" in 1981 by Academy Press).  


Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Irish Names?

Date: 18 Feb 1997 17:34:02 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley


Andreas Docter (02351919431-1111 at t-online.de) wrote:

: I'm sure this is a subject that's been covered a million times,

: but I'm searching for female Irish names. Does anyone have any

: ideas or know of any good places to look? I'm rather limited when

: it comes to access to resources as I'm living in Germany and

: speak very little German as of yet. :)


The best easily-available source of period Irish names (for both genders)

is O'Corrain & Maguire's "Irish Names" (The Lilliput Press; ISBN

0-946640-66-1). You need to keep your eyes peeled for names that appear to

have been used only in literature or by legendary figures, but there is a

good selection of historic women's names in the book.


Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn



From: gunde002 at mailhost1.csusm.edu (Kristina Gundersen)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Irish Names?

Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 19:56:08 -0800


In article <5dpo4e$nkf at news00.btx.dtag.de>, 02351919431-1111 at t-online.de

(Andreas Docter) wrote:


> I'm sure this is a subject that's been covered a million times,

> but I'm searching for female Irish names. Does anyone have any

> ideas or know of any good places to look? I'm rather limited when

> it comes to access to resources as I'm living in Germany and

> speak very little German as of yet. :)


> Shannon Pearcy


Shannon, I was looking for the same thing earlier this year, and here is

one of the lists I found on the web.  I have also included some book

titles. I hope this is helpful, sorry the post is so long, but I wasn't

sure if you had web acess.  :) Maeve Dubhghlas of Lanarkshire


Books for Celtic names for children




_Ainmean Chloinne_, Peadar Morgan. Available from Gaelic books council



Linda Rosenkranz & Pamela Redmond Satran _Beyond Shannon and Sea/n_ (St.

Martin's Press 1992)

Donncha O/ Corra/in & Fidelma Maguire _Irish Names_ (Lilliput 1990) Eoin

Neeson _The Book of Irish

Saints_ (Mercier 1967)

Muiris O/ Droighnea/in _An Sloinnteoir Gaeilge agus an tAinmnitheoir_

(Coisce/im 1991)


List #1 Source web site:



Traditional Irish Names


I provide this list for those wishing to populate the earth once again with

        the namesakes of the chieftains and beauties of old! Enjoy!













































































































List #2 source web site: http://www.emory.edu/EMORY_CLASS/Irish/MacDatho/PN.html




The references are to English translations where possible, but in many of

the sagas the text will be found printed

on the opposite page. References to the Tin B Calnge are to Dunn's

translation, The Ancient Irish Epic Tale,

'Tin B Calnge,' London, 1914. Reference is made to many of the stories

mentioned in this index in the list of

principal stories (prmscla) which are said to make up the repertoire of

a file. This list occurs on fo. 151a of the

Book of Leinster and is printed by O'Curry in Appendix LXXXIX (p. 584 ff )

of his Lectures on the MS

Materials of Ancient Irish History (Dublin, 1878) References to all the

heroes mentioned below will be found in

Thurneysen, Die irische Helden- und Knigsage (Halle, 1921).


Ailbe 'fair woman,' the name of Mac Dath's hound; common also in

place-names. For the finding of Ailbe and

its presentation to Mac Dath see the "Death of Celtchair mac Uthechair"

transl. by K. Meyer in Royal Ir. Acad.,

Todd Lecture Series, vol. XIV, p. 24 f.


Ailill etc.; gen. Ail[il]la; dat. Ailill. King of Connaught, husband of

Medb; a contemporary of Conchobar mac

Nessa of Ulster und Curi mac Dri of West Munster. His rath was at

Cruachan Ai in modern Co. Roscommon. It

was in his reign that the Tin B Calnge took place. English transl. by

J. Dunn (Nutt, London, 1914); L. W.

Faraday, Cattle-Raid of Cualnge (London, 1904).


Anlan, one of the Connaught heroes. It is stated that in the Book of

Druim Snechta, a lost MS believed to date

from the first half of the 8th century, after the death of Cormac

Conloinges at Da Choca's hostel Anln, sn of

Doiche, son of Maga, took his head to Athlone. See "Da Choca's Hostel,"

transl. Stokes, Revue Celtique, vol.

XXI, p. 391. Cf. however Thurneysen Die irische Helden- und Knigsage, p.

16 note.


th Luain, the modern equivalent is Athlone, on the borders of Co.

Roscommon and West Meath.


th macLugnai: i.e. "Ford of the son of Lghna" at Clonsast, King's County

(Hogan), on the N.E. branch of

the Gabhal-- an inference derived no doubt from its position in relation

to the other places on Ailbe's route. This

ford is also mentioned in a poem by Dubhthach Ua Lugair in praise of

Crimthann, a king of Leinster in the fifth

century. See O'Curry, "MS Materials," pp. 5, 486.


th Midbine is mentioned in the story of the Great Battle of Mag

Muirthemne. Cf. Thurneysen, Irische Helden-

und Knigsage, p. 556.


Belach Mugna, modern Bellaghmoon in the south of Co. Kildare.


Bile, i m-Biliu. The name occurs in the form a Feraib Bili in Rawl. B.

512. Meyer identifies with the barony of

Farbill, Co. West Meath.


Blai briugu, mentioned in the poem on the hostels of Ireland. Cf. p. 5

above. The adventures of Celtchair mac

Uthechair in his hostel and the subsequent death of Blai are related in

"The Death of Celtchar mac Uthechair," in

"The Death-Tales of Ulster Heroes," transl. Meyer, R.I.A. Todd Lecture

Series, vol. XIV, p. 25 ff. Reference is

probably made to some version of this tale in the "Tragical Death of Bla

Briugad" mentioned in the list of principal

stories (prmscla) in the Book of Leinster, fo. 151a (see O'Curry, MS

Materials of Ancient Irish History, p. 588

f.). Many of the other stories referred to in this appendix are mentioned

in the same list.


Brefne, Co. Leitrim and Co. Cavan cf. Mac Dareo.


Bricriu mac Carbaid, surnamed Nemthenga 'poison tongue.' He frequently

appears in the Irish Sagas as a

mischief maker, and inciter to combat. See especially Bricriu's Feast, ed.

with transl. by G. Henderson (Irish Text

Soc. 1899); Tin B Calnge (transl. Dunn), p. 169.


Cell Dara, modern Co. Kildare.


Celtchair mac Uth[echair], an Ulster hero. Cf the Tin B Calnge, p. 328.

He figures as the owner of a

magic spear in Da Derga's Hostel. The saga of his death is transl. by

Meyer in "The Death-Tales of Ulster

Heroes," R.I.A. Todd Lecture Series vol. XIV, p. 24 f., where he is said

to have died from the touch of the blood

of his dog Delch.


Cet mac Matach pass. a hero in the following of Ailill and Medb, though of

Munster family. The saga of his

death in single combat with Conall Cernach is translated by Meyer in "The

Death-Tales of Ulster Heroes," R.I.A.

Todd Lecture Series, vol. XIV p. 36 ff.


Conalaid. Unidentified, cf. note s.v. Can the Luachair here referred to be

Slieve Logher, a mountain range

dividing Limerick from Kerry and extending into Cork?


Conall Cernach, the greatest of the Ulster heroes of the older generation.

He is frequently spoken of as being

absent on long journeys and arriving home at the critical juncture as here

and also in "The Fate of the Children of

Uisneach" (cf. s.v. Conchobar). Cf. Tin B Calnge, p. 336 f. The saga of

his death is transl. by Meyer, loc.



Conchobar mac Nessa, King of Ulster, and son of Cathbad the Druid. His

seat was the Craob Ruad (the

modern farm of Creeveroe), the House of the Red Branch at Emain Macha. He

was ruling in Ulster when Ailill

and Medb led the Tin B Calnge against him. He had previously displaced

Fergus mac Roich from the

kingship. Cf s.v. Ailill, Medb. The story of his birth is translated by K.

Meyer in the Revue Celtique, vol. VI, p.

173 ff., and the R.I.A. Todd Lecture Series vol. XIV, p. 1 ff.

respectively. For his death see E. Hull, Cuchullin

Saga, p. 267 ff.; O'Curry, MS Materials etc. Appendix CXVI, p. 637 ff.,

cf. further Stokes, riu, vol. IV, p. 18



Conganchness mac Dedad. Uncle of Cri mac Dri. For an account of his

death see K. Meyer, "Death

Tales," p. 27. The Clanna Dedad was situated in the neighbourhood of

Slieve Luachra. Cri mac Dri was at

their head with his stronghold at Tara Luachra. They are a heroic clan

analogous to the Clanna Rudhraige of Ulster

under Conchobar mac Nessa.


Connacht (Connaught), one of the five chief provinces (fifths) of Ireland.

Cf. Lagin. The seat of the rulers,

Ailill and Medb, was at Cruachan Ai. Cf. Ailill. The form of the pl. gen.

is Connacht, dat. do Chonnacht[aib];

acc. Connachta.


Crimthann nia Nir. In the Annals he appears as son of Lugaid Riab n-Derg,

the friend of Cuchulainn. He is

said to have married a supernatural being called Nr. A romantic account

of him is given in the Annals of the Four

Masters (ed. O'Donovan, Dublin, 1856), vol. I, p. 93. The years of his

reign are given as 8 B.C. to A.D. 8. Cf.

also Keating, History (I.T.S., vol. II, p. 235). It is evident from the

gnomic character of his utterance in our

passage that he was regarded as a sage, at least in after times.


Cruachan, Rath Cruachain, now Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon, the royal seat

of Ailill and Medb. See Annals

of the Four Masters, s.a. 1223. It is commonly referred to in the sagas as

Cruachan Ai, a word of uncertain



Cruachnaib Conalad. Cf. note s.v.


Cruachniu mac Radluim. Cf. note s .v.


Cualu in gen. Cualand, the south of the modern Co. Dublin and north of Co.



Cri mac Dri, a king of the Clanna Dedad in West Munster, husband of

Blthnat of the Isle of Man. She was

in love with Cuchulainn and helped him to slay Cri and was herself slain

by Ferchertne, Cri's faithful poet, in

revenge for his master. His story is narrated in outline by Keating,

History (I.T.S.), vol. II, p. 223 f. Cf. also

"Eulogy of Cri " in riu, vol II, part I, p. 1 ff.; "The Tragic Death of

Cri," ib p. 18ff; "Brinna Ferchertne" in

Zeitschrift fr celtishe Philologie, vol. III, p. 41 ff. Cf. also "The

Intoxication of the Ultonians," transl. Hennessy

in Royal Ir. Acad., Todd Lecture Series, vol. I, part I.


Cscraid mend Macha, a son of Conchobar mac Nessa, fostered by Conall

Cernach; mentioned in

Conchobar's suite in Bricriu's Feast, ch. 12. Cf. also the "Siege of

Howth," Rev. Celt. vol. VIII, p. 61; Tin B

Calnge, p. 319.


Da Choca, a smith and the owner of the hostel in Sliab Malonn in East

Connaught in which Cormac Conlonges

and his suite were attacked by the men of Connaught as they journeyed from

Cruachan Ai to Emain Macha to

Cormac's coronation. Da Choca was also himself slain in the attack. See

the story of the "Hostel of Da Choca"

transl. Stokes, Revue Celtique, vol. XXI.


Da Derga, the owner of the bruden in Co. Dubiin in which Conaire Mr, the

son of Etarscl, was destroyed by

Ingcl, an outlawed prince from Britain, and a band of Irish outlaws. Cf.

the Annals of Tigernach (Revue

Celtique, XVI, p. 406), Keating, vol. II, p. 232. His saga is transl. by

Stokes, Revue Celtique XXII. See further

riu, vol. III, part I, p. 36 ff.


Drochet Cairpre 20, Drehid, near Carbery, Co. Kildare (Hogan).


Druim Da Maige, 'Hill of the two plains.' O'Donovan identifies this with

Drumcaw in the barony of

Coolestown, King's Co.; Hogan places near and s. of Co. Kildare. (See

Annals of the Four Masters, s.a. 1556 p.

1543, note m.)


Echbl mac Dedad. Cf. Tin B Calnge, p. 329, where Errg Echbl is among

the Ulster heroes described by

Fergus to Ailill. Cf also Bricriu's Feast, ch. XII.


Emain Macha. Cf. Conchobar, Ulad; a large rath, now known as Navan Fort,

about three miles north-west of

the modern Armagh. See the "Death of the Sons of Uisneach," transl.

Stokes, in Irische Texte, 2nd series (ed.

Windisch, Leipzig, 1887) and the 17th C. text published by the Society for

the Preservation of the Irish Language,

Dublin, 1914. See the description and plan of the rath by H. d'Arbois de

Jubainville in the Revue Celtique, vo1.

XVI, p. 1 ff.


Eogan mac Durthacht, one of the Ulster heroes. Cf. Tin B Calnge, p.

320. He it was who slew the sons of

Uisneach. See Oided mac nUisnig (Windisch, Ir. Texte 2 Ser.). See also

Bricriu's Feast, chs. 3, 4.


riu, 'Ireland'; gen. na hErend, Erend, h-Erenn, dat. i n-hErind.


Falmag Meyer and Thurneysen regard this as a poetic name for Ireland, i.e.

the plain of Fl (cf. Inis Fil, Falga,

and cf. Henderson's ed. of Bricriu's Feast, p. 142). Cf. however note s.v.


Fergus mac Lte, king in South Ulster shortly before the time of

Conchobar, according to most authorities. The

home of his family is traditionally assigned to Dun Rury, Dundrum Castle,

Co. Down, though he himself is

generally associated with Emain Macha. His saga is translated by O'Grady

in Silva Gadelica, vol. II, p. 262 ff.,

where his encounter with a sea-monster is related at length. He also plays

a part as contemporary king in the

"Martial Career of Conghal Cliringhneach," transl. Mac Sweeney, Irish

Texts Soc. His sword, known as the

Calad Colg, became an heirloom. Cf. Ferloga below.


Fergus, i.e. Fergus Mac Roich, King of Ulster, dethroned by Concbobar mac

Nessa. After the death of the sons

of Uisneach who were under his safe-conduct, he left Conchobar's court and

spent the rest of his life at the court

of Ailill and Medb at Cruachan. I am not clear on which side he is

represented as fighting here, and his sympathies

are always divided between Ulster and Connaught, though ostensibly on the

side of the latter. He plays an

important part in the Tin B Calnge.


Ferloga, Ailill's charioteer and armourbearer. His name occurs also

towards the close of the Tin B Calnge

(cf. Dunn's transl. p. 352 f.) where he is represented as having charge of

Calad Colg, Ailill's sword, which had

belonged to Fergus mac Lte.


Fernmag, Farney, in S. Monaghan. The name occurs in the Tin B Calnge,

p. 320, where 'the stout-handed

Fermag' (so MSS Stowe and H. 1,13) is located in the north. See also

Annals of Ulster, s.a. 1001.


Fid i-Gaible, Feegile in the parish of Clonsast, W. of Rathangan, King's

Co. (Hogan). O'Curry refers to the

fork of the two rivers which met near Clonsast.


Forgall Manach, the father of mer, Cuchulainn's wife. See the "Wooing of

Cuchullin" in E. Hull's Cuchullin

Saga. His rath was at Lusk in Co. Dublin. He is referred to in a poem on

the hostels of Ireland. Cf. p. 5 above.

See also "Bricriu's Feast," chs. 3, 4 etc.


Lagin (Leinster), 'the men of Leinster,' 'the province of Leinster,' one

of the five chief divisions (fifths) of

Ireland, the other four being Ulster, Connaught, Munster, and Meath, where

the rd-r or high-king ruled at Tara,

at least in later times. Mac Dath's court is thought to have been in the

south of the present Co. Carlow. The form

is pl., gen. Laigen, dat. Laignib, acc. Lagniu, Laigniu.


Loegaire, probably Loegaire Buadach, one of the Ulster heroes. Cf. Tin B

Calnge, p. 321. In Bricriu's Feast

and the Courtship of mer he is associated closely with Cuchulainn and

Conall Cernach. The saga of his death is

translated by Meyer, "Death-Tales of Ulster Heroes," R.I.A. Todd Lecture

Series, p. 22 ff.


Loth mr mac Fergusa maic Lti. I do not know who this can be unless he is

the father of Cr mac D Lt

who was slain by Cuchulainn in the Tin B Calnge. See Windisch's ed. p. 288.


Luachair Dedad. Cf. note s.v. The Clan Dedad belonged to Munster. For

Luachra cf. s.v. Conalaid, and s.v.

Conganchness mac Dedad.


Lugaid mac Conri, i.e. Lugaid, son of Cri mac Dri, a king in Munster.


Mac Dareo, the keeper of the bruden in which the Aithech Thuatha or

'servile tribes' of Ireland massacred the

three kings of the free tribes while they were feasting. The servile

tribes had as their chief Cairbre, Cat-head, who

is identified in this version with Mac Dareo himself, and who ruled

Ireland after the massacre. The hostel was said

to be situated in Brefne in Co. Leitrim, Connaught. Cf. a translation of

the story by E. MacNeill, in the New

Ireland Review, vol. XXVI, p. 99 f.; Keating, History of Ireland, vol. II,

p. 238f.


Mac Dath (? 'son of two mutes'), identified with Mesroeda in ch. 3, v. 9.

His brother was Mesgegra, King of

Leinster (see the "Siege of Howth" transl. Stokes, Revue Celtique, vol.

VIII, p. 53). Cf. the passage from the

Rennes Dindsenchas referred to on p. 5 above. The court of Mac Dath was

thought by O'Curry to have been

situated in the southern extremity of the present Co. Carlow. He possessed

one of the chief hostels of Ireland.


Mastiu, now Mullach Maisten or Mullaghmast, Co. Kildare.


Medb (Maeve). Queen of Connacht, wife of Ailill and the most prominent

woman in the Irish Sagas. She led

the Tin B Calnge against Ulster. Many stories relate to various

episodes in her life. We may mention among

others Bricriu's Feast (ed. and transl. Henderson, I.T.S.) "Battle of

Rosnaree" (ed. and transl. K. Meyer, R.I.A.

Todd Lecture Series, vol. IV); Tin B Fraich (transl. Leahy); Mesca Ulad

(ed. and transl. Hennessy, R.I.A.

Todd Lecture Series, vol. I). An account of her death is given in Aided

Medba Crachan (transl. K. Meyer, Celtic

Magazine, March 1887, p. 212).


Mend mac Salcholcn, one of the Ulster heroes identified by Fergus to

Ailill and Medb in the Tin, p. 330.


Mide (Meath), the smallest of the five chief divisions (fifths) (cf.

Lagin), situated between Uladh and Lagin,

with its chief rth at Tara, ruled over by the rd-r. Meath came into

existence later than the other four provinces. It

does not exist as a territorial unit in the Tin B Calnge which only

recognises four kingdoms. The foundation of

Meath is ascribed to Tuathal Techtmar in Irish history.


Munremor mac Gergind, one of the heroes of the Ulster army, who is

described by Mac Roth to Ailill and

Medb in the Tin B Calnge, p. 321.


Oengus mac Lma Gbaid. An Ulster hero who plays a part in the Tin B

Calnge and other sagas.


Rith Imgain, modern Rathangan, Co. Kildare.


Ririn, Ririn, Reerin or Reelion, a hill in Co. Kildare.


Senlaech Arad. Cf. note s.v.


Temair Lochra, i.e. Tara-Luachra probably in Sliabh-Luachra, somewhere in

S.W. Ireland in the

neighbourhood of Co. Kerry. Cf. Hennessy's introduction to Mesca Ulad, p.

V (R.I.A. Todd Lecture Series, vol.

I, part I).


Ulaid (Ulster), one of the five chief divisions (fifths) of Ireland. Cf.

Laigin, Conchobar. The Ulster stories of

the Heroic Age relate only to a small portion (the south-eastern) of the

Ulster of today. On the other hand the

Ulster with which they deal stretches further south along the east coast.

The form is pl.; gen. Ulad, dat. Ultaib,

acc. na hUltu, voc. a Ulto.



From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Irish Names?

Date: 18 Feb 1997 17:20:50 -0500

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC


Greetings from Arval!  Temair Lochra suggested:




> _Ainmean Chloinne_, Peadar Morgan. Available from Gaelic books council


Not a great book for Society purposes.  It does not distinguish which names

are medieval and which are modern.  Remember that not all Gaelic names are

medieval. Note as well that this is a collection of _Scots Gaelic_ names,

not Irish names.  The two languages have much in common, but they are not



> Linda Rosenkranz & Pamela Redmond Satran _Beyond Shannon and Sea/n_ (St.

> Martin's Press 1992)

> Neeson _The Book of Irish

> Saints_ (Mercier 1967)

> Muiris O/ Droighnea/in _An Sloinnteoir Gaeilge agus an tAinmnitheoir_

> (Coisce/im 1991)


These books I don't know.  If you want to use them, check first if they

give _dates_ for the usage of names, if they distinguish modern imports

from medieval names, etc.


> Donncha O/ Corra/in & Fidelma Maguire _Irish Names_ (Lilliput 1990) Eoin


Excellent book, the best available.




> http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bj333/HomePage.boys.html


This list should not be used for Society purposes: Although some of the

names are correct, medieval names, many of them are not medieval and it

provides no guide to which names are medieval and which are not.  Other

names on this list are the names of divine or non-human characters in

literature, which were not used by real people.


> List #2 source web site: http://www.emory.edu/EMORY_CLASS/Irish/MacDatho/PN.html


This is a much better list, since it gives the source for every name on the

list. Used with care, this is not a bad source for Society names.  Be

careful to avoid the names of divine or super-human characters; those were

generally not used by real people.  And make sure you check the explanation

before taking one of these names: Many of them are names of places, things,

or animals rather than names of people.  


If you can get a copy of O'Corrain and Maguire (cited above), it is very

much better & lists lots more names.


Another excellent source is Mistress Tangwystyl's article on 12th century

Irish names, which can be found from my names web site



Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



From: aeosraptor at aol.com (Aeosraptor)

Newsgroups: alt.heraldry.sca

Subject: Irish names help

Date: 16 Mar 1997 00:48:13 GMT


Good Gentle


         goto www.sca.org and look under Heraldry.  You will find a list

of names and books.  for the Irish.  The list and reference should be

useable for authenticating your name.


                               Bjorn Egillson

                               M.K.A.  Mike Bryant

                               Aeosraptor at aol.com



From: scott at math.csuohio.edu (BrianScott)

Newsgroups: alt.heraldry.sca

Subject: Re: Researching Name for Personna

Date: 15 Mar 1997 19:12:45 GMT


Brian <flatley1 at aol.com> asked:


I humbly ask for the names of a few books that I can use to research (and

use for registering) an Irish name. I've seen mention of an Oxford

Dictionary, but I didn't copy the name (silly me). What are some others

that I could use? Thanks.


The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, by Withycombe,

wouldn't help much in developing an Irish name in any case.  You'll

need to make a couple of decisions fairly early: do you want an early

Irish name, a mediaeval Irish name, or a late-period Irish name?  And

do you want it actually to be written in Irish, or do you want the sort

of version that might have appeared in an English or Latin record?


Most Irish names in period consist of a given name and a patronymic.  

In addition to (or instead of) the patronymic there may be a simple

physically descriptive byname, an Irish equivalent of terms like 'red' or

'fair'. There seem to be few examples of names with elements

corresponding to the familiar 'de <place-name>' of mediaeval

English records.


The best source for Irish given names is _Irish Names_, by Donnchadh

O/ Corra/in & Fidelma Maguire, ISBN O 946640 66 1.  (The slash

indicates an acute accent over the previous vowel.)  It's arranged in

dictionary fashion according to the early Irish spellings of the names;

later spellings are also given.  (Those to the right of the colon are

modern, though the first of them will in general be compatible with

late-period spelling conventions.)  By picking two of these, one for

you and one for your 'father', you can almost form a good Irish name.  

The only problem is that after 'mac' the father's name has to be put

into the genitive case, so that for example Duba/n the son of A/ed is

Duba/n mac A/eda (or in modern spelling Dubha/n mac Aodha or

even Dubha/n mac Aoidh).  Similarly, Domnall the son of Brian is

Domnall mac Briain (now Domhnall mac Briain).  In general it takes

some familiarity with Irish grammar to make this small adjustment.


A good source for Irish surnames of the type common today (and

in the later part of our period) is Patrick Woulfe, _Irish Names and

Surnames_, ISBN 0-8063-0381-6.  The spellings are modern (and

in general quite suitable for late-period use), and the italicized

English versions were actually found in documents from the late

16th and early 17th c., so they show how the names were rendered

in English.


Avoid the readily available _Book of Irish Names_ by Coghlan et al.;

it's virtually useless for SCA purposes and is not considered acceptable

as documentation.


If you have further questions, feel free to get in touch with me at

the address given below.


Talan Gwynek


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org