Old Irish Naming Conventions

SideysGhost

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I've never come across this before. Its a practice that appears to have died out in Ireland. Is it another part of our history that has been forgotten?
A variation on the theme is still fairly common in northern regions, especially among the Protestant community but also with the fenians.

Another local tradition is the Donegal thing of inherited family nicknames, the origins of which might be lost in time. So you'll get people referred to as Paddy the Goose or Mickey Brick. It's the only way to tell distinct families apart when most of the county is named Doherty or McLaughlin
 
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ON THE ONE ROAD

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Would you fuk off half them were called Mary
yeah seven was a small family. impossible for half of them to be called mary. bethy's and nellies and agies and kitties. or there variants were also common. I don't dispute that mary would have been the more popular but it gets over exaggerated.
 

Accidental sock

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I knew a guy from Leitrim.

His wife, sister and cousin were all named Deirdre.

She was a lovely woman.
 

darkhorse

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yeah seven was a small family. impossible for half of them to be called mary. bethy's and nellies and agies and kitties. or there variants were also common. I don't dispute that mary would have been the more popular but it gets over exaggerated.
But there was never 2 Marys in any family was there?
And you thought you were the only one...
 

bagel

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.....Another local tradition is the Donegal thing of inherited family nicknames, the origins of which might be lost in time. So you'll get people referred to as Paddy the Goose or Mickey Brick. It's the only way to tell distinct families apart when most of the county is named Doherty or McLaughlin
Same in Limerick and Tipp with regard to Ryans.
In the one townland you could have Ryan-Joyces, Ryan-Walshes, Ryan-Stand Idle, Ryan-Lampers, etc etc etc. I forget most of them.
 

Plebian

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Same in Limerick and Tipp with regard to Ryans.
In the one townland you could have Ryan-Joyces, Ryan-Walshes, Ryan-Stand Idle, Ryan-Lampers, etc etc etc. I forget most of them.

There's a Limerick Leader article on the Ryan nicknames in the PDF link below.

Bones, Ladder, Whispers, Ram- bledy, Stand Idle and Ryan Stand. Still. And the list is growing. Over 370 nicknames were col- looted by Dr Liam Ryan, retired.
https://www.google.ie/url?sa=t&sour...ggZMAA&usg=AFQjCNGv2XWYQs8Yn8apzAo4iSZwICxzjQ

Imagine the scene where someone in the Dole Office is asking Mr Ryan-Stand Idle what kind of work experience he has.
 

Plebian

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I used to know a family of travellers where they were named Red John, Black John and White John. It worked really well for identifying them and who could forget a name like Seán_Bán_Breathnach.
 

locke

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I've never come across this before. Its a practice that appears to have died out in Ireland. Is it another part of our history that has been forgotten?

A Note on Old Irish Naming Conventions
The following will set out the naming conventions that were frequently used in the 1800s when granting first names to children. Please bear in mind that these conventions were not adhered to rigorously, but they can be a very useful guide.

For sons:
The first son was named after the father's father.
The second son was named after the mother's father.
The third son was named after the father.
The fourth son was named after the father's eldest brother.
The fifth son was named after the mother's eldest brother.

For daughters:
The first daughter was named after the mother's mother.
The second daughter was named after the father's mother.
The third daughter was named after the mother.
The fourth daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister.
The fifth daughter was named after the father's eldest sister.
Due to lack of imagination in our families, for my wife and I, this would allow 2 boys names (Michael/Mike & Chris/Christie)

We're not too much better on the girls, with 3 possible names.
 

duine n

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Jams O'Donnell!!


I've never come across this before. Its a practice that appears to have died out in Ireland. Is it another part of our history that has been forgotten?

A Note on Old Irish Naming Conventions
The following will set out the naming conventions that were frequently used in the 1800s when granting first names to children. Please bear in mind that these conventions were not adhered to rigorously, but they can be a very useful guide.

For sons:
The first son was named after the father's father.
The second son was named after the mother's father.
The third son was named after the father.
The fourth son was named after the father's eldest brother.
The fifth son was named after the mother's eldest brother.

For daughters:
The first daughter was named after the mother's mother.
The second daughter was named after the father's mother.
The third daughter was named after the mother.
The fourth daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister.
The fifth daughter was named after the father's eldest sister.
 

Mick Mac

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Have encountered this a number of times with people still living and carrying on a practice over the generations.
Me for my dad's dad; and my son for my dad.

Mick
 

ergo2

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Mary was a common Christian name for boys, usually the second name, or taken at Confirmation. Custom much earlier than the Marian Year ( 1954 ).

Grandparents' names often given to grandchildren. As outlined eldest son named after paternal grandfather etc. Can see it in family histories.

Usually saints' names up to about a generation ago. Now anything goes - inspiration from TV soaps etc

Thirty years ago we had a Circuit Judge in Galway and Mayo - Sir John Grattan-Esmonde Bart. He was a baronet, thus could add "Bart." to his name.

When dealing with Connemara cases, where "Bartly" often occurs as a Christian name, he occasionally met litigants or witnesses named e.g. Seán Dó Beart. He found that interesting.

He was a most convivial man, interested in the many differences between farming and other practices in Mayo / Galway and his native Wexford. He loved to visit properties being litigated with the legal teams and engineers, seeking to resolve issues on the spot
 
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Dasayev

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Some names have been used with particular surnames for a long time.

For example, a name like Rory goes with O'Connor, and Desmond is used with Fitzgerald.


Some names would be associated with certain places. Finbar, for instance, is a good Cork name.


Historically people born on saints' days would be called after the saint but with Maol or Giolla added. So you'd be called Maol Mhuire or Giolla Phádraig. This is why so many Irish surnames have Mul or Kill or Gill in them.


And surnames themselves came into being in Ireland over a thousand years ago as power was concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.
 

just_society3

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I've never come across this before. Its a practice that appears to have died out in Ireland. Is it another part of our history that has been forgotten?

A Note on Old Irish Naming Conventions
The following will set out the naming conventions that were frequently used in the 1800s when granting first names to children. Please bear in mind that these conventions were not adhered to rigorously, but they can be a very useful guide.

For sons:
The first son was named after the father's father.
The second son was named after the mother's father.
The third son was named after the father.
The fourth son was named after the father's eldest brother.
The fifth son was named after the mother's eldest brother.

For daughters:
The first daughter was named after the mother's mother.
The second daughter was named after the father's mother.
The third daughter was named after the mother.
The fourth daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister.
The fifth daughter was named after the father's eldest sister.
This tradition is alive and well.

My Brother's second name (he's the eldest) is the same as my Father's Father.
My own second name is my Mother's Father's.
My Daughter's second name is her Mother's Mother.
My son's first name is a variant of my Father's name, and indeed my own name. His second name is his his Mother's Father, which happens to be his Father's, Mother's Father's name.

If both Grandmother's names hadn't fallen out of fashion, we would have used them as first names I'd say.
 

SEAMAI

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I'm the eldest and was called after my two grandfathers. My father insisted on one of his sons be called after him, (a baroque sounding biblical name which pops up on both sides of the family), my mother only agreed to it for the second born if he could be known by his second and much more ordinary name. No one in my mother's family is known by their first name. They had an aunt who was a nun who brow beat my gran into giving all her children names associated with her religious order. Then there was the grand uncle who half the family knew as Christy and the other half as Larry, as a kid I actually thought that they were two different people.
 
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Enigma Variations

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A variation on the theme is still fairly common in northern regions, especially among the Protestant community but also with the fenians.

Another local tradition is the Donegal thing of inherited family nicknames, the origins of which might be lost in time. So you'll get people referred to as Paddy the Goose or Mickey Brick. It's the only way to tell distinct families apart when most of the county is named Doherty or McLaughlin
That's mainly Inishowen, Sidey, and it is always amuses me that the postmen depend on it for accurate deliveries. In south and west Donegal names like O'Donnell and Gallagher predominate. In rural areas they have nicknames too. It isn't confined to Donegal btw, and certainly in rural parts of Connacht you'd find the same thing.
 


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