Irish surnames beginning with mac
In many cases local association has been perpetuated in place names. Indeed it is a characteristic of Irish place names, particularly those beginning with Bally, Dun, Clon etc. Ballymahon, Lettermacaward, Drumconor, Toomevara are a few examples to illustrate this point. It is dangerous to jump to conclusions and easy to make mistakes in this field: thus Kilodonnel in Co.
Irish Surname Index
Donegal is the church of O'Toner, not of O'Donnell as would appear at first sight. Of course the association, especially in the case of the Kil words, is often ecclesiastical rather than genealogical, for many are formed from the names of pre-surname saints and hermits, and so have no interest for the student of surnames.
Those place names beginning with Bally and other Irish words were almost all formed before the seventeenth century and too often when a family was thus distinguished it has ceased to exist or has almost died out in the immediate neighbourhood of the particular townland so designated, but in many cases they are still numerous there. Nearly an such are Gaelic or Hiberno-Norman family names.
There are, however, some exceptions such as Ballybunion and Ballyraddock which are formed from the English surnames Bunyan and Maddock. After the debacle, as we must regard the battle of Kinsale, place names with the prefix Castle and Mount or the suffix Town and Bridge like Castlepollard and Crookstown, and occasionally a combination of both like Castletownconyers, began to be used. For the most part these names honoured planter families, with whom must be classed renegade Gaels who forsook their own people and religion and backed the winning side though where they represent translations from older Irish place names, as in the case of O'Brien's Bridge and Castledermot, this of course does not apply.
This aspect of our subject can be dismissed without further examination: it can be studied by anyone interested in it by a perusal of a map or gazeteer, or better still the Index of Townlands, Parishes etc. Of more interest to us here is the converse, i. In England they constitute one of the most numerous classes in Ireland they are comparatively rare: so much so indeed that all of them that I know can be enumerated here. Dease and Deasy , Desmond, Lynagh, Meade, and Minnagh, formed from extensive territories, may also perhaps be included.
Not all place names found as surnames can be accepted in this category. The most numerous of these in Ireland today is Galway or Galwey. It does, it is true, derive from a place, but the place is Galloway in Scotland. Deasy, mentioned above, might be placed in the class which we may call descriptive.
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It indicates "a native of the Decies ', as Lynagh means "a Leinster man", Moynagh. Quite a number of descriptive surnames, which at some period must have superseded a normal family surname, are formed from adjectives such as Bane white , Begg small , Crone brown , Creagh branchy Duff black , Gall foreign , Glass green , Lawder strong , Reagh brindled.
Phair or Fair is also one of these, but it has been subjected to translation, being the Irish adjective fionn. Akin to adjectives are names in the genitive case, of which a few are found among genuine Irish surnames, e. Glenny sometimes Glenn for a' ghleanna and Maghery for an mhachaire.
Here also the process has in some cases been carried a stage further, an chnuic becoming Hill and an mhuillinn Mills but when met today Hill and Mills are more likely to be of English origin. Everyone knows the old rhyme which ends with the lines "And if he lacks both O and Mac no Irishman is he". Like most general statements this is not wholly true for, disregarding the undoubted claims of the Burkes, Fitzgeralds etc.
Indeed two of the best known and essentially Irish names, Kavanagh and Kinsella, have neither O nor Mac, for they are the descriptive type.
Both of these, however, sometimes have an O tacked on to them erroneously. There are some curious instances of this error. A' Preith meaning "of the cattle spoil" is well known in County Down for generations under the anglicised form of O'Prey. Gorham was formerly credited with an O in Co. In this connection, I should refer to those Mac names which through long usage in the spoken language have become O's.
The best known of these are O'Growney and O'Gorman. We have already noticed instances of the subdivision of the great septs and the consequent formation in the middle ages of new surnames like MacConsidine.
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This arose for various reasons, not the least of which was the desirability of readily distinguishing between a number of people of the same name. For a similar reason a system of nomenclature exists today, particularly in the western counties, whereby the father's christian name is added to a man's legal name. This is not merely a colloquial convenience, for these designations are used in ordinary business transactions such as completing an order form or supplying milk to a creamery, and they appear very frequently in the official voters' lists. A similar practice, very much in vogue in Limerick in the seventeenth century, has misled some writers unfamiliar with Irish conditions.
McCarty - not listed in Black - probably a patronymic meaning 'son of Arthur' Irish? Stuart - see No 12 above Forbes - territorial, from the lands in Aberdeenshire Guthrie - territorial, from the barony in Angus Sinclair - territorial, from St Clare in Normandy Dunbar - territorial, from the place name McElroy - patronymic, meaning 'son of the red-haired lad' Gaelic The spelling Lesley is almost unknown in Scotland except as a girl's given name. Ritchie - patronymic, meaning 'little Richard' which means 'rule hard' Germanic McKinley - patronymic, meaning 'son of Finlay' which means 'fair hero' Gaelic McCord - patronymic, meaning 'son of Cuart' Gaelic Carmichael - territorial, from the barony in Lanarkshire McGraw - not listed in Black - probably an Irish variant of No 90 Trotter - occupational, meaning a messenger Old French McRae - see no 90 above McKenna - patronymic meaning 'son of Cionaodh' Gaelic Drummond - territorial, from the barony in Perthshire, or Drymen in Stirlingshire McNair - patronymic meaning 1 'son of brown John' or 2 'son of the heir' or 3 'son of the smith' or 4 'son of the stranger' Gaelic Laird - occupational, meaning landowner English Abernathy - usually Abernethy in Scotland - territorial, from the place in Perthshire Napier - occupational, meaning the person who looked after the linen French Weir - territorial, from various places named Vere in France Christie - occupational, meaning a Christian McCracken - patronymic, possibly related to No 79 Crenshaw - not listed in Black Duff - descriptive, meaning 'dark' Gaelic Bowie - descriptive, possibly meaning 'yellow' Gaelic Snodgrass - territorial, from lands in Ayrshire Moffett - Usually Moffat in Scotland - territorial, from the town McCrary - not listed in Black - perhaps a variant of No McDuffie - patronymic, meaning 'son of the black man of peace' Gaelic Chisholm - territorial, from the barony in Roxburghshire.
Clan and Family Name Organizations. Clan and Family Name Organization websites. Smith 2. Brown 3. Wilson 4. Anderson 5. Thompson 6. Clark 7. Walker 8.
Young 9. Scott Mitchell Campbell Stewart Bell Bailey Cooper Watson Ross Henderson Patterson Alexander Hamilton Graham Wallace McDonald Marshall Murray Crawford Boyd Kennedy Burns Gordon Shaw Robertson Ferguson Rose Duncan Cunningham Armstrong Both, perhaps Scottish has a somewhat higher incidence. Originally Posted by Sikeliot. I don't think that's true. A lot of Irish surnames do start in Mc. But you are partially right in "O'" surnames never being Scottish. Originally Posted by Akuba. It is not a Scottish prefix but a Gaelic one.
It's Gaelic, and it means "Son of" for example Makes you wonder how they said "Son of a bitch". He lives up to this name i believe.
Most Common Scottish Surnames and Surname Organizations
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