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I have come across the first name of Amlavus whilst researching in Kilgarvan, co. Kerry.  Amlavus Desmond was a bpt witness in 1836.  I cannot locate anywhere what the anglicised name would be.  Can anyone throw some light on this for me please.

Many thanks Chris



Thursday 30th Nov 2023, 04:41AM

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  • Chris,

    The attached does not answer your question, but it may help:

    Google THE PRESENT STATE OF IRELAND Part 111 where at page 54 you will see a reference to Amlavus who apparently was a Norwegian invader into Ireland. End of the page.



    Thursday 30th Nov 2023, 09:56AM
  • Chris,

    Like McCoy find an answer. From what I read Amlavus is considered to be the founder of Dublin.

    I found the name Amlavus in this publication on page 237. It is faded but next to the word Latin and what I read they suggest other forms of the name.

    Critical dissertations on the origin, antiquities, language, government, manners, and religion, of the antient Caledonians, their posterity the Picts, and the British and Irish Scots. : Macpherson, John, 1710-1765 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    Regards- Mary


    Thursday 30th Nov 2023, 02:34PM
  • As mentioned in the document at that link, the Irish name Amhlaoibh/Amhlabh comes from the Old Norse name Ólavr/Ólafr (which later became Olaf/Olav/Onlaf/Anlaf) and was popular in areas where Norsemen settled in Ireland.  In later centuries, it was anglicized in various ways, including as Auliffe, Olave, and in some places as Humphrey.  In Irish, the surname McAuliffe is Mac Amhlaoibh, meaning "son of Olav" (there are a number of Irish surnames with such Norse roots).

    Priests often recorded Irish given names in a Latinized or pseudo-Latinized form in baptismal records, or picked a Classical or Biblical name which they thought was a good fit, often without the (often illiterate) parents even having a say in the matter.  Some names "stuck" in certain families, such as Cornelius for the Irish name Conor.  Others didn't, such as the name Dionysius for the Irish name Donncha (later often anglicized as Denis).  Most of Kerry was still Irish speaking in the 1830's, and my guess is that the family called him Amhlaoibh, but the local priest decided to "Latinize" the name as Amlavus, as that article indicates was done in some places.  In Irish, the name Amhlaoibh can be pronounced roughly as "OW-luh", "OW-lee", "OW-leev", or "OW-leef" (depending on the local dialect), with the letter combination "amh" becoming the diphthong "ow".  In the time when the Norse first settled in Ireland, "m" may still have been pronounced as a consonant, and thus Amlavus would have made sense as a pseudo-Latinized form of the name (the "-us" ending would have been used, because it was common in actual Latin names).



    Friday 1st Dec 2023, 12:55AM
  • Hi McCoy, Mary & Kevin

    Thank you all for providing some very useful & very interesting information on the origins of the name Amlavus.  In my case, I suspect Amlavus Desmond was also known as Humphrey Desmond.  A Humphrey Desmond & later an Amlavus Desmond appeared as bpt sponsors for 2 connected families (most likely from the Sullivan aka Cooper line) of Kilbonow, Kilgarvan between 1834 & 1836.  Considering the commonalities between the 2 families, I think it is likely that Humphrey & Amlavus were the same person.

    Once again, my sincere thanks. Chris



    Saturday 2nd Dec 2023, 03:16AM

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