Historical Irish Corpus
1600 - 1926

Irish Christian Names.

Irish Christian Names.
Féach bailitheoir,
Laoide, Seosamh (Lloyd, Joseph H.)
O Ceallaigh, Seumas
Composition Date
Connradh na Gaedhilge

Search Texts

1600 1926

L. 198

Ádhamh (O.), the latter syllable quite nasal.

Abaigeal. The Scriptural name Abigail. Not un-
common in Derry. In Omeath shortened to

Aibhreac. Mr P. Cassidy, of Moneyneeny, recollects
hearing of an Aibhreac Mac Coinmhidhe, of Aibheis
Chinn a'Mhadaidh (Evishkinavaddy). At page 532
of Hill's Plantation Papers (H.P.P. seq.) the
name "Averkagh Mac Namee" occurs. He be-
longed to Sliocht Airt, the famous branch of the
O'Neills situated on the R. Derg, Tír Eoghain.
This may be the same name as Aibhreac, though
the individuals could not possibly be indentical.

Eaclain seems to have been monopolised by the
O'Kanes in Derry even to the last generation,
though perhaps not a single one of the younger
generation bears the name. "Echlin O'Kane"
may still be seen on a signboard as one passes into
Garvagh from Coleraine. Fifty years ago it was
quite common. A Paddy "Echlin" O'Kane still
lives in Glenullin.
Nelly O'Hanlon knew an Eaclain O Muireagáin
(Morgan) in Baile-an-chláir (Jonesboro'), Co. Louth.
A most interesting reference is that in the Ulster
Journal of Archaeology, Vol. I., (New Series), in an
article on the Harpers' Meeting in Belfast, 1792. One
of the competitors was an O'Kane from Dundalk, and
his Christian name was "Aichlinn." He was evi-
dently of the Derry family originally; Bunting, I
believe, mentions him in his third volume. The name
is not found in F. M.

Aibhne was a common name among the O'Kanes and
their dependent clans, the Muintir Bhlaosgaigh
(MacCloskey) and Muintir Bhrollacháin or O'Brol-
laghans. (I have found this the more correct Angli-
cisation in Derry, but the old name is generally
changed to Bradley in Derry and Donegal. Some
of the family who went to Scotland became

Aibhne was of constant occurrence in the O'Brolla-
ghan family. Cf. Aibhne O Brollacháin, of Glenullin -
a glen near Garvagh almost entirely inhabited to this
day by the O'Kanes and their dependents, the
O'Mullins; now corruptly called Glenuller, and con-
nected wrongly with Iolar. The proper spelling, I
think, is Gleann Uidhlin. Uidhlin was a prophet and
seer, and that the etymology "iolar" is unsound is
shown by the fact that there is an "Ullin's Well" on
the top of Beann Bhradach near Dungiven, and Ullin's
Grave in the middle of a field in the townland of
Lisnascreagh (Lios-na-Scréachóg) in the glen itself.

The march of the inhabitants of the glen, the
Muintir Mhaoláin, is preserved by O'Donovan: -

Siubhalfaidh mise an rathad mór
Siubhalfaidh mise an rathad mór
Siubhalfaidh mise an rathad mór
Gan taincidh do mo namhaid.

Taincidh = Scotch Gaelic Taing, thanks.

Ailis, Eilis, changed in English to "Aylce" and Alice.
I am somehow inclined to believe that this is a
native name. Alaidh and Ailidh ar common con-
tractions. Hugh O'Neill had a daughter Alice,
probably Ailis, but I have not found the Irish

L. 199

Áirdín, a strange name. Matthew O'Murray once
met in Áirdín Mhac Ruaidhrí, who was going to
Dungiven to lift the celebrated "Banagher Sand"
from the tomb of St. Muireadhach O'Heney. The
sand, if thrown against an opponent in a law-suit,
secured judgment in favour of the thrower. It
had to be lifted by the representative family of
the O'Heneys, now extinct, I think. Mac Ruaidhrí
is now being infamously changed to Rodgers. I
have witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a
man with the vulgar name Rodgers, burying his
father, a man named MacCrory; the coffin-lid
told the tale. The family evidently had more
respect for itself in days past, for it erected the
sculptured monument in the old church in Ballina-
screen. The MacCrories were herenaghs of the

Aislinn (O.), (D.), properly aisling, a dream; a most
charming name. Nelly O'Hanlon had an aunt of
the name; it occurred also in the O'Kane and Mac-
Court families of Omeath. Heard in Derry too,
but changed to Elsha (Ailse) and Alice. In the
Omeath cases the name was afterwards made

Annabla, in Omeath re-Anglicised Mabel. It=
Annabella evidently, as suggested by Editor,
Feb., '99.

Ambhrus (D.), Ambrose.

Adhamhnán, generally, I believe, supposed to be un-
known now in Donegal; but I have heard from a
native of that county the pronunciation
being run into one syllable almost, and
distinctly nasal. I do not think it was known as
a Christian name.

Aodh. In Derry there is no guttural at the end. The
name is quite dead as far as everday speaking in
English is concerned, but is, of course, know to
every Irish speaker. Hugh is not very common in
English, but Hughey is found everywhere. For this
there is an equivalent, Aodhaigh, in Derry.

Art (D.) and (O.). A hollow in Cloan Mountain over
Ballinascreen got its name of Lag Airt Uí Cheallaigh
only in the middle of the century. Artaigh is a
common diminutive, but a little too reminiscent of
the English "Arthur." Artaigh O Dubhthaigh, of
Goles, Co. Tyrone. (Dooey or Duffy.) Art Mac
Airt, of Dungiven, is still living.

Ataigh. This name is a puzzle. Rev. J.C. MacErlean,
S.J., has suggested to me that it is a form of
Eochaidh. It is certainly translated or equated
with Arthur, even in the un-Irish district of N.
Antrim. But sho so guileless as to try to base
an argument on the vagaries of our translations.
Vide under Eochaidh. Examples - Ataigh Mac Péice,
of Maghera (dead some time); Ataigh Mac Ruaidhrí,
of Baile-na-Scríne; and Henry "Atty" O'Henry,
of Stramore, same parish, who has just died;
(i.e., his father was Ataigh O hInneirghe.) Perhaps
it is Art after all, but the dropping of r is most

Annraoi, in (O.) and (D.) pronounced invariably
"Yarry". Iaraigh is the nearest approach to
spelling. Notice the following - a man called by
his father's and grandfather's name for purposes
of distinction, Henry Harry Yarry (MacWilliams).
Henry was a very common name among the
O'Neills. We find a Henry MacShane O'Neill
called after Sir Henry Sidney, but the name ex-
isted among them at a much earlier date.

Blinne (O.); made Blanche in Omeath. There are
quite a number with the English name in Omeath.
See GAELIC JOURNAL, May, 1901, where S.L. equates
the name with that of St. Moninne (page 87). For a
change of m to b cf. GAELIC JOURNAL No. 104, page
321, where it is shown that Muircheartach is made
Briartach in the West.

Bluinseas. Another for of Blanche in Omeath,
which, I think, is not genuine Irish, but merely
Blinne made Blanche, and then turning on
itself again and assuming a vulgar Irish form.
The change may have been made on the analogy
of Proinnseas.

Brian. Still found in the form "Brine" amongst the
Kellys in Ballinascreen. Elsewhere it is made
Bernard, and, of course, "Barney."

Brighid (D.), (O.) The form Brighidín is known in

Cairbre is now dead in Derry, though, from G.J. 105,
it existed until lately in Antrim.

Caitlín has short forms - Cait, Caití.

Cathal (Kaal) (D.), once very common in Ulster, as all
over Ireland, is now dead in Derry. A Cathal
White lived some time ago in Sperrin, Co. Tyrone.

Coll, known in Omeath, was a kind of indispensable
forename amond the MacDonnells of Antrim.
Cf. Coll Ciotach, &c. It is so spelled by the F. M.,
but in English was sometimes written Colla. This
may have been the pronunciation in some cases.
Thus, Sorley Boy had a son Colla. This pronun-
ciation may at times have caused the name to be
confounded with Cú-Uladh. The pronunciation
KoL was given me by Mr. Patrick Cassidy of
Moneyneeney, who remembers a beggarman
called "Rover Coll." He told me that the name
was quite distinct from the following: -

Cú Uladh, a name pronounced KuL-oo in Derry. I was
at first inclined to equate it with Coll and Condla
(O.I.) in G.J., 105, but could not reconcile them,
as Coll would inevitably be pronounced in Derry
with an "o".

In Hill's P.P. occurs the same name Cullowe, Cullo, &c.,
which nearly represents the Derry pronunciation.
Thus Cullo McCann (p. 562), Rory MacCullowe
Maguire (p.490), and quite a number of times, in the
Calendar of State Papers, Carew MS., e.g., p.158, vol.
iii., the name of the celebrated "Ever MacCollo
MacMahon" in different forms (cf. Fynes, Morrison,
pp. 24-5, Ever MacCooley. He is written of in F.M.
as Eimhear Mac Conuladh, tighearna Fearnmhaighe.)
The frequency of the name "Cullo" in the State
Papers, and its equation on one occasion with Cú
Uladh, makes is pretty certain that Cú Uladh is meant.
It is found most frequently in connection with the
Maguires of Fermanagh and district.
There is little room for doubt that the KuL'-oo of
Ballinascreen is Cú Uladh. The name was in one
family only, and was handed down from father to son
until this generation, and I have heard that the last
of the name was very proud of it. The family is called
Kearney, and it is a significant fact that a tradition is
preserved that they came from Fermanagh long ago.
On the plea that it was not a saint's name, however, the
Cú-Uladh that should be to-day had his name changed
at baptism to James, and is still "James Kearney."
We are having our "Middle Ages" far behind the rest
of Europe. What a poor chance of Heaven, too, our
father had with their native names.

L. 200

It would seem that some confusion existed between
the names Coll and Cú Uladh. Coll, in later times at
least, seems to have been popularised form Scotland,
where it was very common, cf. among the MacDon-
nells, and "Coll of Colansay," &c. For Cú Uladh, used
indisputably, is a Christian name vide F.M. 1490 A.D.
Cú Uladh O Néill. Cú Uladh has possible given the
name MacCulloch, found in Glenelly (Tyrone),
though it is difficult to see how the genitive could
have been forgotten. The proper genitive form gives
Mac Con Uladh = McNally in same district.

Calbhach, recollected by Mr. O'Cassidy under the form
Cabhlach, but not properly confirmed; probably it
is the old name.

Cathair. This does not seem to have been a common
name in Ballinascreen, as the one bearer of it
was a Donegal man of the name of O'Donnell.
It is most interesting to see how the two divisions
of the race of Niall Naoighiallach had each an
attachment to a different set of names, cf.
Dubhaltach infra. For a similar case see "Aich-
linn O'Kane" of Dundalk. It may be mentioned
that all the Derry families under discussion,
except the o'Kanes, &c., were directly under the
jurisdiction of O'Neill, as Tír Eoghain was not
the Tyone of to-day, but extended as far perhaps
as Maghera, and certainly to the chain of moun-
tains that run across the county of the north of
Baile na Croise (The "Cross" now Drapers-
town). An attempt will soon be made to settle
the boundaries.

Cadhan; Keu-an, or Kö-an, with closed sound of eu in
French. This is how I have spelt the name.
Mr MacNamee has suggested Coimhghein, but it
is not in keeping with the peculiarities of the
pronuncation of the district to imagine a slender
m quite silent. Only one man is remembered
with this name as a forename - a Cadhain
o Logáin, Cuan Lagan.

From this name comes Gleann Chon Chadhain, in
English Glankonkeine, and many other spellings.
It was the redoubted fastness of O Neill. The
derivation of the name is found in a local version or
the folk-lore convention - the worm that grows and
increases until it becomes a dragon. The piast was
in this case killed by Cadhan and his wonderful hound.
(Later inquiries give rise to the suspicion that
"Cadhan" O Logáin may have been a nickname. I
have not the means of settling the point at hand.)

Conall. Formerly used among the muintir
Chléircín, of Ballinascreen. The surname
becae at first "Clerkin", was then suddenly
changed to "Clery," and is now struggling
towards a fancied apotheosis in the form

Conn (D.), (O.), quite common in the last generation
among the O'Neills of Derry and Tyrone. Now
made Constantine - slán a comhartha! Found
amongst the O'Quinns of Tyrone, and in Omeath
too. A Conn O'Quinn is still living at Davagh

Conchubhar. Mr. Hannon gives the pronunciation Kon'-
fer in his district. The Derry pronuncation is
Cra-whar (Cra nasal slightly), or where the n is
retained the initial c is dropped; and we have
NoCH-ar. "Connor" is used in English (Connor
O'Clerkin). "Konfer" is not known in Derry.
For the change of ch to F Mr. MacNamee parallels
chuaid, fuaidh. Phonetically, the change is pro-
duced by closing the lips to give a full sound to
c, which brings it near the f in Irish, in which
the use of the teeth is dispensed with. The
change has analogies in other languages. The
Abbé Rousselot notices that the same mutation
is found in the Alps. Cf., also O Murchadha =
A Wur'Fi in Omeath. In the State Papers the
name is generally Anglicised "Knogher."
"Conchore O'Dugan" (Donegal) is found once.

Cormac, pron. in Derry Carmac. In Omeath =
Charles. In Derry, happily, the name is not
Anglicised. It is still a favourite amongst the
O'Kanes and O'Mullans, and possesses some

Criostal; Tyrone and Derry, and Ang. Christopher
and Christy. It is evidently an exotic name, and
could hardly be from Críost; but is it probably
from Lat. crystallum. The Tyrone surname
MacCrystal come from it. A "Christopher
Fleming" is mentioned in Hill as serving on the
Armagh Jury to the Commissioners of 1609.
He was a "native."

Cúmhaighe, "The hound of the plain." As far as Derry
is concerned the use of this name was the
jealously guarded prerogative of the O'Kanes and
their clans, especially the MacCloskeys, who to
this day are confined to their old territory on
both sides of the River Roe in the narrow Benady
Glen (Gleann na Beann-fhada), outside Dungiven.
The Anglicised form is appalling - Quinton! The
name cooey is now unknown, but Quinton is still
common. In the old church of Dungiven is seen
the sculptured effigy of Cumhaighe na nGall
O Catháin, so called for his many victories over the
foreigner; he died A.D. 1385.
In Omeath, also, Cumhaighe is remembered from one
Cumhaighe Mha' Aonghusa - Cooey Magennis.
Here Cumhaighe has with comparative intelligence been
translated "Hughie."

The following names are very common in Tyrone
and Derry: - MacNamee, Conway, MacConway,
MacConnemy &c. O'Donovan classes them all
underthe form Mac Conmidhe. I should be strongly
inclined to differentiate. Where a name is so common
as Cooey it is likely to give rise to a surname. The
MacNamees of South Derry were formerly lords of
that portion of the parish of Ballinascreen known as
the Sixtowns, and were in all probability an offshoot
of the Omagh branch, who were the chief ollavs of
O'Neill. Vide F.M., passim. The name is found from
Meath up, and is written Mac Conmidhe. The other
families are probably Mac Conmhaighe from Cumhaighe.
Mac Conmidhe is pronounced on last syllable, and
the other on the second last.

Damhlaic, very common in Derry for Dominic. A
usual name among the O'Hagans. Damh- is pro-
nounced very nasal. The form Damhnaic is not
so common. The name Dirrumick O'Hagan is
mentioned in the State Papers. Was this an
Anglicisation of Damhlaic?

Donnchadh. In Derry Anglicised Dinis and Donaghy.
Found in latter form in Maghera. It was so
common amongst the O'Mullans that it has left
quite a number of the name Denis all over the
country. "Captain" Denis O'Moilan was a well-
known character in Plantation times.

Diarmuid. Now dead in Derry. Sometimes repre-
sented in English by Darby, and, perhaps worse
still, by "Jarmy". This hideous Jarmy is sill
common among the O'Kanes and O'Mullans. The

L. 201

bearers are generally ashamed of it, but they have
not the the good sense to go back to the original; in
fact, they think that "Jarmy" itself is the

Domhnall. Now almost unused in Derry. Daniel
everywhere substituted, but Donal was common a
few years ago. A Johnny "Donal" Kelly still
resides in Stramore, Draperstown.

Dubhaltach. There was a Dubhaltach O Gallchobhair in
Ballinascreen, but probably both Christian name
and surname came from Donegal. Cf. under
Cathair, above. From P.T. MagFionnlaoigh I
have got the form "Dolty" as common in Eng-
lish in Donegal. It may not be amiss to give the
surname, which is Anglicised Dudley in Omeath -
i.e. Mac Donghaile, Madowell.

Donn. A man's name, which I have heard from
someone in Derry, but I have lost my authority
and cannot confirm it. It is a very old name,
occurring in the early annals. For its use in later
times in Ulster; cf. Donn O Catháin, Lord of Fir-
na-Craoibhe (on the Bann, at Coleraine), 1315,
A.F.M. There is also some confirmation of it in
the names of these who got grants in Fermanagh.
One of the natives was "Thomas Mac James
Mac Dun Maguire."

Éibhir. Ivor is the Anglicised form in Omeath. In
Derry an Éibhir Mhac Bhlaosgaigh is remembered.
Name generally confined to Oirtheara.

Eilse (D.) A woman's name - probably Ailis.

Eoin / Eoghan - It is time that the old spoken
distinction between the two names
were clearly defined. Mr. Ward regarded them
as one, bu the Editor very properly drew a
distinction in his notes. Eoin seems lost in
Omeath, and Nelly O'Hanlon was unacquainted
with it. In Derry the better speakers preserve
the distinction clearly in pronunciation. When
the names began to be Anglicised in Ballina-
screen, two generations back, Eoghan was made
Owen; the next comers brought it as far as
John. It is pronounced "aun." Eoin, Angli-
cised Oyne and John, is pronounced on. There
were often an Eoin and an Eoghan in the same
family simultaneously, in the last generation.
Seghán is distinct from both, and came in with
the English; Eoin came in with Latin; Eoghan
was a native name. In Omeath, Eoghan =
Eugene, Owen, Oyne and Oynie, and sometimes
John, too, and as diminutive Eoghainín. The
liquid n that principally distinguishes Eoin from
Eoghan is common in Derry after ai, eoi, oi, ui
final. So MacErlean = Mac Giolla Eáin.

Eochar. A man's name heard from Matthew
O'Murray. It is also, I believe, remembered in
Omeath, but I cannot vouch for its existence in
either place. The name Aicher I have found in
the genealogical table of Uí Maine, but probably
it is not the same.

Eochaidh. The only trace I can now find of this fine
old Ulster name, so common amongst the
O'Hanlons and others, is the name Oghie
(gh not guttural), heard formerly by Pádruig
O Caisidigh, of Moneyneeney. If this represents
the name, we would expect a guttural gh. The
name in State documents of the Plantation times
was certainly written "Oghie" - vide Hill,
passim; sometimes also "Oho" and "Oghe".

Again could it have passed into Eochar above?
Hardly. The theory under ataigh will scarcely bear
the test either. Is there any precedent for the change
of ch to t, which of course would have no connection
with the lapsing of ch before t, so common in Omeath
and district? In any case such a change would not
be universal, and unfortunately for the theory ataigh
is universal from Inishowen to Cuailgne, and found
even in Dunloy.

On the whole Oghie seems the modern
representation of Eochaidh, though it itself has died

The genitive of the name was Eochadha, which is
beautifully preserved in the Omeath name O hEochadha
and Anglicised "Hoy." In north of Antrim it was
made O'Haughey. The name is pronounced in
Omeath (Seumas) A ha–hoo, with the second h very

(Since writing the above, I find that O'Donovan in his
preface to the "Topographical Poems" equates Atty
with Eochaidh, so the question may be considered
settled practically. How did the change come,

Eudhmonn = Iamonn or Íodhmonn both in Omeath
and Derry, and Ned = Neití.

Eibhlín is not classed as a native name by the Editor
in No. 104. It appears old enough, however.
An Aibhilin Ni Chathain died 1508 A.D. (F.M.). Is
this Eibhlín or a separate name?

Feidhlimidh. In Omeath and Derry, as in Oirghialla,
the impure form Feidhlim is unknown. In Derry,
Felix and Philip generally, though there is a
Phelim O'Kane in Moneyneeney. This beautiful
name was once very common amon the O'Neills.
It is preserved in the form Felix among the
Ballinascreen families of the name, some of
whom at least are descended from Brian Carrthach.

I may here preserve a tradition about Brian Car-
ragh's land written down by O'Donovan, and furnished
to me by Rev. J.C. MacErlean, S.J. It extended
from Mullach Siudharáin, in the West of Glenconkeine,
to Scíre Braighid. I have found a mountain in the
south of the Sixtowns of Ballinascreen called Mullagh
Shoorin. This is probably the one alluded to. In the
map of the escheated counties his land runs from about
this point to the present Ballymena. Scíre Braighid
was evidently somewhere on the River Braid. Bryan's
residence was at Duntibryan (Dún Tighe Briain), Bal-

Fearghal. Though it does not occur in Mr. Hannon's
list the name is known in Omeath. In Derry it
was a favourite name among the MacNamees and
O'Clerkins. One family is known, from the
mother and grandmother, as the "Breed
Arrels" (Brighid Fhearghail).

Giolla Dubh, pron. Gioll' Dubh. The name has been
preserved by tradition. Mr. John Kelly
of Strach, Ballinascreen, heard of a Gioll'Dubh
O Ceallaigh, who lived 200 years back in Crieve,
of the same parish. He married the daughter of
a Protestant minister, and thus rendered his name

The name seems to have been very common
over Derry. So in "Hill," we have Gillduffe Oge
O'Mullane, Gillduffe McHerenagh McCloskie, &c.
of all the "Gillas" this seems to have been the most
common, and is probably what Mr. MacGinley should
have written, No. 105, for Giolla Buidhe.

Glaisne, pron. Glush?na, one of our thoroughly

L. 202

native names, which died only with the last
generation. Nelly O'Hanlon had a relation of
the name who was at his wits' end for an
English name, and changed it into James! A
Glaisne "Mhac Ruaidhrí" was living in Glenwhill,
near Ballinascreen, less than 30 years ago. He
was a brother to Áirdín Mhac Ruaidhrí, mentioned
above. Still another interesting name in the
family was Cú Uladh.

In the State Papers a Hugh McGlasney, of the
precinct of Castle Rahan, Fermanagh - probably an
O'Reilly - is mentioned (Aodh mac Ghlaisne Ui
Raighallaigh), also a man of straw for the English
in East Ulster, a Glasney McAgholy Magenis. In
the latter case, at least, Glasney is a Christian name.

Glaisne Mac Chonchubhair was one of the celebrated
nine sons of Connor McNessa, and became king of

Gráinne, common among the O'Duffys, MacNamees,
O'Gormelys, and O'Kellys until this genera-
tion. To this day, in Sperrin and Goles, Grace
is the translation of this fine name amongst the
O'Duffys and O'Gormelys.

The mention of the last name suggests relation of
the fact that the Gormelys formerly chiefs of the
Cineul Moén. have become Grimes and Graham in
many parts of Tyrone.

In Omeath, Gráinne is "Grace" as in Derry.

Gruagach. A Gruagach O Conghalaig is recollected in
Omeath. Gruagach, a sprite or goblin or a fairy
maiden, means a "hero" in Omeath. Gruagach,
my informant told me emphatically, was used
as a Christian name in Connelly's case.

Giolla Cholm. This name is not found, but I think
it represents the English "Malcolm" of the
Glens of Antrim.

Gruamach. This name is also originally from the
papers. There is a faint recollection of a Gruamach
O Néill in Omeath. The form in Hill is
"Groome" O'Haggan. "Kilgroome" occurs
once in the State Papers, i.e., Giollagruamach.

Gruamán comes from the same root. Gruaim, a frown;
gruamach, a frowner. Name now dead in Derry,
but Gruamán Mac Cionnaith (MacKenna), of
Maghera, and Grooman Broawn, of Ballinascreen,
are examples. The latter is dead only a few

Giolleasbuig. Some doubt is shown in 105 about
identifying this name with Archibald. It is not
heard in Derry, but Hill equates them both, and
he may be relied on.

Gofhraidh. Though the fh is clumsy it is better retained,
as showing the original form of the word. The
name in its present form comes from "Godfrey,"
a Danish name. The Four Masters write as
above, but do not aspirate the F. The name
occurs in the "Annals" a number of times in
connection with the O'Kanes, vide, e.g., (1433 A.D.).
We should probably have the name to-day in
Maghera parish had not the last Gofhraidh Mac
Cionnaith (Gorry MacKenna), when dying, some
twenty years back, left a curse on any of his race
that would revive the name. The Nemesis of
public opinion is pursuing him to this day, for the
family is known contemptuously as the "Gor-
ries," and a fine name has become a weapon of

The name McGorry, found in Tyrone and Derry,
evidently comes from Gofhraidh, or Ghodhraidh.

Gordan, though it cannot be claimed as an Irish
name, is yet entitled to some respect in the
Ballinascreen district, where it represents a tra-
dition from the time the name was introduced
into the chief's family from Scotland. It is still
borne by one of the children among the O'Neills
of the "Bing".

Ighneachán. An I. O Brollacháin in Derry. Dead.

Labhrás in Derry = Lav'-rass; in (O.) Lörass.
Common amongst one stock of the Muintir
Cheallaigh in Cloch-fionn, Ballinascreen. Not yet
dead, but generally replaced by Larry.

Laoiseach, Louis. This name was common in the
MacNamee and Walsh families of Maghera and
district. Supposed to have been introduced by an
ancestor who fought in the wars in France.

Lochlann a name very common formerly amongst the
MacNamees and MacKennas. O'Donovans in a note
to the F.M. mentions a certain Loughlin McNamee
of Draperstown who was then representative of
the Omagh branch of historians. Some say it is a
shortened form of Maoilsheachlainn, but the final
n of Loclann is thick and the first l is broad
invariably. Maoilsheachlainn, as will be seen
later, is pronounced in the same place (…).
Laghlin, Laghlyn occur frequently in the State
Papers; a "Melaghlin og Mc Corr" is once
mentioned. The name Loclann occurs far too
early to permit us thinking that it is an abbre-
viated form; e.g., I have met Loclann Lúbánach
Mac Gioll' Eáin in Scottish History (Louchlan
Lubanach McClean, fl. 1360), and Lochlann
MacGiolla Finner at home, fl. cir. 1450. It seems
pretty evident that the confusion is on all fours
with that of Eoghan and Éoin.

A "Loy O'Clery" is mentioned in the State Papers
once. He may have been Lochlann in view of Mr.
Hannon's note on the name.

Máille (D.), (O.) A native name probably. Usually
translated by Molly; common, both in Derry and
Omeath. A half, or perhaps wholly, Anglicised
form is to be met in an Omeath song of some
antiquity, and entitled Mollaidh Bhan Sléib'
Fhaodhláin. It is found in Scotland, too, vide
in the Cóisir Chiuil, the name of the beautiful air
"Mo Mhailli Bheag Og."

Mághnus. Still known in Omeath, and, I am glad to
say, even amongst the younger people in Derry,
especially the O'Kanes, MacNicholls, and
MacCloskeys. The O'Kane families deserve
great praise for the tenacity with which they
have stuck to their clan names.

I think I can at least equal the Editor's note,
No. 119, on the translation of Maghnus by Moses. An
attempt was made in Derry, in the middle of the
century, to render it by Manasses. Evidently this, at
least, was too much for the people, so a reaction set in
in favour of the original form.

Máilsi; probably a native name. Also changed to
Molly and Marjory, like Máille. Found
amongst the Murrays of Moneyneeney, who are
said to be of Scotch descent. It is known in
Omeath, and is made "Molly."

Matha, Mait, Maitín - Ballinascreen = Matthew.

Maití. A woman's name, even in parts of Derry,
where Irish is not spoken. Made Matty.

Mairghréad. Did this name come to Ulster from

L. 203

Munster? for both in Derry and Omeath it is
accented on the last syllable, or rather is made
Mreud. It is both Margaret and Peggy in

Maolmhuire. Not easily found either in Derry or
Omeath, though it must have existed , for in
Derry the name Miles is common still, but the
only Irish they have for it is Meidhligh, evidently
a re-translation of the English. In Pynnar's
Survey the name occurs constantly under the
forms Mulmorie, Mulmore, etc., especially in
connection with the O'Reillys. In Omeath, how-
ever, the name
Maor (Mör) is known as an equivalent for Miles, and
is apparently distinct from Maolmhuire. Nelly
O'Hanlon knew a Maor Mhac Dhomhnaill. Remem-
bered by some in Derry, but not in connection
with any surname.

Maoilsheachlainn. … From a very good speaker
in Omeath I got Lochaigh as a form of this name,
which adds further to the confusion between it
and Lochlann, considering Mr. Hannon's note on
Lochlann. It may only be the worse confounding
of the error, however, and probably does not
affect the argument in favour of their separate
origins. I may add further here, of Lochlann,
that though it is of frequesnt occurrence in the
oldest pedigrees, I have been unable to find it at
any date prior to the Danish incursions. Could
it have come from Lochlannach?

This name among the MacNamees of Ballina-
screen, and perhaps other families of the dis-
trict has been rendered in English Miles, Milo
and Loughlin.

Meadhbh. Used until of late in Omeath. In Derry it
is gone now, but only since a short time. It has
left numerous Madges behind. There lives still
in Glencullen, Co. Derry, an old woman known as
Maydgey Vayvey, to spell it phonetically. In
Derry the pronunciation is Mae'-ow, pronounced
almost in one syllable.

Micheal. Diminutive (D.) and (O.) = Michealtaigh.

Muircheartach. Common up till recently amongst the
Bradleys and O'Brollaghans of Labby, Ballina-
screen. Now made Murty. I think Murchadh is
never used. Muircheartach = Mreartach col-

Muinic. A woman's name. One instance only. She
was the wife of Grooman MacKenna mentioned
above. Let us hope the name is not Monica. The
MacKennas awere of the Errigal Trough family,
and settled in Maghera as late as the 17th century.
They have now spread out over the adjoining

Móirne. Is not this an old and native name? In
Omeath it was made Maud and Maria. I think
it was Miss O'Hanlon who gave it to me. No one
bearing the name is remembered.

Néill. Niall in the genitive form, still common in
Broughderg, Tyrone. A Néill MagEairc died
some years ago in Glengamna, Ballinascreen
(Neill McGurk), and a Néill 'Ac Leoid
(McGlade) a few months ago. THere is still a
Neill Mullan in Derrynoyd, Ballinascreen.

Naos (nöss). Found in Omeath up till some time
past; was common in Derry amongst the
Muintir Chléircín twenty or thirty years ago.
Exists in Clonmay, Inishowen - e.g., Naos
O Dochartaigh.

The name seems to ahve been very common in
Ulster. In the Plantation Papers we fine "Neece
Quyn," Neece O'Corr, Nice O'Quinn, &c. The in-
genious attempt to equate it with Naoise has some-
thing to commend it, but, I think it is only the
popular form of Aonghus. The name Neece is every-
where supplemented by "Angus" by Hill, and he is
exceedingly well informed. If proof were wanting, it
may be found in the fact that Angus, one of the sons
of Somhairle Buidhe Mac Domhnall (Sorley Boy), who
was called Ultagh to distinguish him from his cousin
Angus MacDonnell of Islay, is spolen of in con-
temporary documents, sometimes as Ultagh Mac
Saverley (Ultach Mac Somhairle), and sometimes as
Neece Ultagh.

Onóra, a woman's name - Honóra.
Accent shifted in Ulster to first syllable, thus-
Ónora; and as it thus took a semi-Irish dress it
became vulgar in the eyes of the people, who
made it respectable again by changing it to
Hannah (D.)! The name is probably from the
Latin, honor, honóris; Low Lat., honoré. By
dropping the first syllable we get our beautiful
name Nora.

In Omeath Onóra is made Honor and Nora.

Pádruig. In Derry the d is often aspirated thus -

It is not generally known that the name is highly
esteemed for fashionable reasons in Scotland. Has it
ever been remarked that its popularity in Ireland is
of comparatively recent growth. We hear little of it
until Plantation times in Ulster, but at the epoch
mentioned it seems exceedingly common in some dis-
tricts, especially in Oirtheara and Oirghialla. Patrick
Sarsfield was the first bearing the name to distinguish
himself in Irish history.

Besides Padhra, the forms Paidi and Páidín are
common as diminutives in Ulster. In Omeath Paití
is found.

(Here again, I find that the introduction to the
Topographical Poems, O'Donovan has made practi-
cally the same remark on the recent growth of the
popularity of the name.)

Parthlón. No one can impeach Parthlón as an
innovation. I give the Derry form of the name.
The th, contrary to custom, is very strongly pro-
nounced, so as to be almost Parchlon. It is just
a generation dead. Heard in Ballinascreen still
in the name of a family who are called in
English the "Berkeleys," from their father,
Parthlón O Ceallaigh. A man of the Clerkins
was famout for his interminable repetition of a
favourite oath, Dar Parthlón. The name is
Anglicised Berkley or Barclay in Derry, and
Barkley in Omeath, where the original form is
still remembered.

From this we have the name MacPartlan or

Proinnseas, for Francis. (D.), (O.).

Preanndaigh was commonly used in Omeath for
Frank, evidently a diminutive.

Raghnall. the name was confined to Scotch families.
The one bearer remembered in Derry was a
MacDonnell of Dungiven. See G.J., No. 119,
where the name is metioned as being confined to
the MacDonnells of the Crossmaglen district.

Ros, so common as a man's name in South Ulster,
is, I fear, unknown in Derry. I believe it is

L. 204

found in Inishowen (Clonmany) or has existed

Raodhmann (Rö-maN). This spelling is preferable to
Réamann as an index of the pronunciation both
in Omeath and Tyrone. It is the name Raymond
introduced by Raymond le Gros under Henry II.
Most common among the O'Hanlons, e.g., the
celebrated outlaw Redmond O'Hanlon - Redmond
being the usual translation. It was not very
common in Derry, but there were until lately a
Redmond Moran and a Redmond Mellan.

Ruaidhrí. This beautiful old name, common amongst
the Kellys, McKennas, &c., is still to be found in
Ballinascreen (Cf. Rory MacNeill of Derrynoid);
sometimes made Roddy, oftener Roger, and
formerly Richard as well. Cf. The Manus
O'Kane so often mentioned in the State Papers
of the Plantation - Manus McCooey Ballagh
Mac Risteard O'Kane. His grandfather's name in
Gaelic was Ruaidhrí.

Róise, a woman's name, Rose; in Derry, Róise
(raw'sha); in Omeath Róis (rawsh). Common
among the O'Kanes and o'Murrays. That it is
not of recent growth is shown by the fact that
according to A.F.M. a Rose O'Kane died 1530

Ruibhleán. A fine name, now totally disused. In
Derry it is remembered as a Christian name, but
no surnames can be recalled in connection with
it. The last example I can find was the Revelin
MacCull (i.e., Ruibhleán Mac Chuill) mentioned in
H.P.P. as a noted "Tory" who took charge of
Mr. Elcock, an agent for one of the London
companies, and held him for ransom in 1615.
Hill speculates as to whether he was the son of a
Coll Mac Domhnaill or a Coll Ó Catháin. In
F.M., 1532, a Ruibhilin Mac Domhnaill is men-

There was a name in Derry, O Ruibhleán, which is
distinctly remembered. Matthew O'Murray says it
is another form for O Doimhléin, and that he had heard
it for such from people from "over the hill," i.e., in
the direction of the old territory of Muintir Doimhléin,
which lay on both sides of the Ballinderry river,
between Derry and Tyrone, by the Lough short.
There is evidently some confusion.

In no. 169 of the JOURNAL occurs the story of
Fathach Mó a'Reibhleáin. The writer and narrator
are evidently unacquainted with the word, which
they connect with the word reibhleach, tattered. It
should evidently be Fathach Mór Ó Ruibhilin, the O of
the name being pronounced a in conformity with
Ulster usage. Cf. Gaduidhe Dubh O Dubháin. In Omeath,
too, Roibhilin is known and equated with Rowland.

Saibhneán, as a man's name remembered in Omeath.
No surname recalled in connection with it. A
doubtful form, were it not that Matthew O'Murray
distinctly recollects having heard of one of that
name, though he never saw him.

Saibhne, known formerly in Omeath, where it was
Anglicised Simon. Perhaps it is a Gaelicisation
of Simon, but it has a distinctly Irish form. The
one bearer remembered was Saibhne Mac Aodhagáin
(Simon Duggan).

Sorcha (O.), (D.), now lost in Sarah and Dally, but
heard from time to time.

Sadhbh, in Omeath = Sarah. In Derry pronounced
Söw', with a slight v sound at the end. Here is
the grand distinction between the Anglicisation of
Sorcha and Sadhbh in Derry - Sorcha is Sarah, but
Sadhbh is Sophia. Sophia is often met with amongst
the younger people. In view of the note in
Maghnus, no. 104, this contemptible form may
have come from Sophia, Electress of Hanover and
mother of George I. of England, of whom the
poor people may have heard.

Síle, now made Selia in Derry. Sheela Rowans (Síle
Ní Chaornáin) died in Crieve only last year. Síle
is sometimes made "Jennie".

Siosaighle, Ceçlia (pron. Siss'-ale). As the name has
no pretence to being Irish it is unnecessary to
amend the spelling in conformity with the pro-
nunciation, even if it were possible.

Sibeál, which is probably not a native name, but is
old enough to be Irish enough, probably comes
from Isabella. It disappeared in the last genera-
tion, though it was very common all over South
Derry, especially among the McCloskeys of the
Benady. It is now Bella, Anabel, Arabella, &c.,
&c.! In Omeath it is re-translated Lizzie,
Elizabeth, &c. It has a diminutive form: -
Siobaigh, which has almost broken connection with
Sibeál, and which is common enough yet among
the middle-aged in Derry.

Seurlas (pron. Siarlas), a distinct form for Charles,
found in Derry. For eu going into a it is perhaps
unnecessary to compare Donegal sgeul = sgial,
&c., &c. And even in Clare, gleus = glias.
Seumas on the same principle = Siamus. Diminu-
tives in Derry = Siomataigh, Síomaigh.

Seaghán. Pronounced in Derry and Omeath with
much the same sound as è of Fr. père - i.e., a
lengthening of e - so ea always in leath Chuinn
outside Donegal. This explains a form that
to Munstermen seems affected and insipid - the
Anglicisation of Shane the Proud on the name of
Seaghán an Díomuis.

The form Seón occurs in Omeath, and Seóinín and
Seantaigh as well.

MacShane is a name found in Derry. I know a
family at present in which the father had been
making himself ridiculous during the past few years,
by an inglorious effort to have his name changed to
Johnston. That he is the laughing-stock of his
neighbours does not affect him. The younger
members of the family, however, show much good
sense by refusing to purchase fancied respectability
at the price.

Solamh. A very old form of Solomon, and a most
appropriate name among the MacNamees of
Omagh. The English name Solomon still lives.
Cf. Solomon Morris of Tyrone.

Siubhán, taken from Johanna. Cf. Siubhan Ní Dhomh-
naill = Johanna O'Donnell. Now Susan (D.)

Sine, Sineaid In Derry = Jane. Not Sinead.

Somhairle was, I believe, formerly to be found in
Derry. It is now only remembered in the sur-
name MacSomhairle, which is pronounced
Mac Sor'-le. The tradition is that Somhairle
was "Charley" and, in the Glens of Antrim,
where it is still recollected and pronounced
Sawr'le, it is always equated with "Charley."
Something of this is due to the confusion of
Toirdhealbhach (pron. Tarla), and Somhairle in
their aspirated forms. Which of them was first
translated Charles is not known.
Somhairle is a Norse name like Raghnall, Sioghraidh,
Gofraidh, &c., and comes from the name Somerled,

L. 205

the founder of the house of MacDonald of the Isles.
The name was merely an appellation drawn from his
trade - i.e. Sumarlidhi, the Summer Farer - and was
not used as an ordinary name in Scandinavian
countries. He is once mentioned in one of the
Sagas as Somerlidi Hauldr (Hauldr, a free land-

Sár, Iomáin Leunadha and Bhadhbhúin, G.J., No. 116.
Sár Mhac Cuarta. Some say Sár is a Christian
name, and some say not.

Tadhg pronounced Tög. In Derry, at any rate, it is Angli-
cised Thady, from the form that it took in Latin -
Thaddeus. It was very common amongst the
O'Brollaghans of Maghera, a very learned family,
and the MacAlisters of 'Screen. The name
MacTeague is common in South Derry, and is so
pronounced by the people, but when a man of the
family has graced the local concert with his
presence the report sent up to the Belfast
and Derry papers warns the world that Mr.
"Montague" was of the party. The disgusting
process is going on still at a rate that is all but

Tomaltach remembered in Derry; now disused.

Toirdhealbhach (pronounced Tar'-Lah in Derry). Charles
is quite a new Anglicisation taken from Donegal.
The Anglicisation "Terence" not met, though
Tárnaigh is found in Omeath.

Treasa, pronounced tressa, is the name Teresa.

Tuathal still living in Glenelly (Cf. Tuathal mór
Mac Conmaighe), and Tullybrick, around Ballina-

Traoine. From the form Catríona or Catraoine,
accented on the second syllable; well known up
to this generation both in Derry and Omeath.
The third wife of Hugh O'Neill was Catraoine.
The name probably came form the Continent to
the Highlands of Scotland, and thence to Ulster.
See the use R.L. Stevenson has made of this
name in his novel "Catriona."

The longer form was seldom employed. Traoine
was more usual, and was translated "Katie." See
G.J., No. 110, page 22, for an interesting note by
Mac Tíre.

Uaithne, translated óney and Oynie. Heard in Ballina-
screen. A very old name.

Úna, We see the beginning of the translation Winifred
in the writing of the name "Wony (Una) Mac
Thomas McKernan," p.339, Hill's Plantation

Seumas O Ceallaigh

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