I wonder if anyone knows of a book or a web site where I may research typical nicknames used in Ireland (such as Ann being a shortened version of Anastasia or Hannah)? Or a book that gives the Irish form of names?
I'd appreciate your suggestion.
Caroline59Monday 28th Aug 2017, 04:45PM
Message Board Replies
This link gives you the Irish form of many common names. It doesn't particualrly cover nicknames, or diminutive names.
Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘
I've been collecting nicknames and name variants from various places as I do my genealogical reserach. Here's what I have so far:
Alistair = Alexander
Bartle, Bartly, Bat, Batty = Bartholomew.
Castor = Christopher
Con, Corny = Conor [Corny is from Latin form: Cornelius]
Daniel = David (due to poor penmanship and misreading or miscopying)
David = Daniel (due to poor penmanship and misreading or miscopying)
Darby = Dermot
Edward = Edmond, Eamon (due to phonetic similarity)
Gerald = Garrett, Gerard, Gerailt, Gearoid
Jacob = James (because of Latin form Jacobus)
Kit = Christopher
Lack and Lacky = Laughlin
Neily = Cornelius
Patrick = Bartholomew (through confusion of respective diminutives Pat and Bat)
Roddy, Rory = Roderick
Sandy = Alexander
Owen = Eugene (both being used as translations of the Irish Eoghain)
Peter = Patrick (in Ulster)
Theobold = Tobias (because of shared diminutive = Toby)
Toby = Theobold
Danl, Dan = Daniel
Jas, Js = James
Jer, Dem = Dermot, Jeremiah [from Demetrius]
Jno, Jn = Jonathan, John
Jos = Joseph
Lau = Lawrence [from Laurentius]
Matt = Matthew
Mich, Michl, Mick = Michael
Nics, Nich = Nicholas
Patt = Patrick
Thos = Thomas
Wm = William
Alice = Ellen (due to the diminutive Eily for the Irish names Eilis and Eileen)
Abigail = Deborah (due to the similarity of their respective diminutives)
Abbie and Debbie = Gubbie (the diminutive of the Irish Gobnet or Gobinet)
Ant, Anty, Ally = Anastasia, Anastatia, Anstace
Beesy = Bridget
Bess, Bessie, Betsy = Elizabeth
Biddy, Biddie, Brid, Bride = Bridget
Bridget = Bedelia, Delia, Bessy
Centy = Hyacinth
Eliza, Liza, Lizzie = Elizabeth
Fanny = Frances
Giles = Cecily, Cecilia, Celia, Julia (as renderings of the Irish Sheelagh)
Grizell = Grace (In Ulster)
Gubbie = Gobinet, Deborah, Debbie
Hannah, Hanna = Honora, Johanna, Anna
Honor, Honny, Onny, Noey, Norah = Honora, Honoria
Jane, Jean, Joan = Joan, Jean (all rendered Johanna in Latin)
Jude, Judith, Judy = Julia (due to similarity of their diminutives Judy and Julie)
Jude, Judy, Juggy = Judith
Maggie, Maggyy = Margaret
Molly, Mally, May = Mary
Nancy, Nance, Nanny = Anne, Hannah
Nappy = Nuala, Fionnuala
Nell, Nelly = Ellen, Eleanor, Helen [from Latin Helena, Eleanora]
Noey, Norah, Onny = Honora, Honoria
Peg, Peggy = Margaret
Polly = Mary, Martha
Sally = Sarah, Sorcha
Susan = Johanna (a rendering of the Irish Siobhán)
Latin Forms of Names. Baptisms and marriages were recorded in either Latin or English, never in Irish. Generally, where English was more common English was used and Latin was used in Irish speaking parishes. There is however, no consistency. The Latin version of the first name was given while the surname and place name were still written in English.
Carolus = Charles
Cornelius = Latin form used for the Irish name Conor (Conchobar), which has also been anglicized as Cornelius, Conor, and sometimes Neil or Neily.
Demetrius = Latinized form of the Irish name Diarmaid, which has been anglicized as Dermot, Jeremiah, Jerome, Jerry, and even Darby.
Dionysius = Latinized form of the Irish name Donncha, which has been anglicized as Denis
Donatius = Daniel
Eneas = Latinized form of the Irish name Aonghus, which has been anglicized as Angus
Eugenius = Latinized form of the Irish name Eoghan, which has been anglicized as Owen
Gulielmus = William, Liam
Hugones = Latinized form of the Irish name Aodh, which has been anglicized as Hugh
Nigellus = Neil, Niall
Ioannes = Latinized form of the Irish names Seán and Eoghan, which have been anglicized as John and Owen
Jacobus = Latinized form of the Irish names Seamus, which has been anglicized as Jacob or James
Johanes, Joannes = Latinized form of the Irish names Seán and Eoghan, which have been anglicized as John and Owen
Kyrianus = Kieran
Patricius / Patritius = Patrick
Randolphus = Randall, Randolph: Ralph
Timotheus, Thaddeus = Tadgh, Thady, Timothy
Anna = Ann(e)
Brigida / Brigita = Bridget
Honoria = Hannah, Nora, Norry
Ioanna = Latinized form of the Irish name Siobhán, which has been anglicized as Johanna, Hannah, Joan, and Jane
Johana = Latinized form of the Irish name Siobhán, which has been anglicized as Johanna, Hannah, Joan, and Jane
Juliana = Julia
Margarita = Margaret, Peg (Peig is actually the Irish name for Margaret)
Maria = Latinized form of the Irish name Máire, which has been anglicized as Mary or Marie
Sorry about the multiple-line spacing. Not sure how that happened and I can't seem to revise it.
Lacky = Malachy
Judith in Irish = Siobhan
Penny = Penelope
Gerard, Parish Liaison Lackagh
Many thanks for the information! This is just what I have been looking for.
Here's a unique index to the most perplexing nicknames and aliases for Irish boys names of "old Irish" Gaelic origin:
Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎
Has anyone run across the name Welch (Walsh, Welsh) as a given name? His children were born in County Leitrim and I'm thinking this was a nickname, perhaps he came from Wales??? Thanks for your time.
Had a great time searching for " Charles " given as his father's name by my great grandfather, Denis and recorded on his marriage certificate in London in 1871. Couldn't find a Charles having a son Denis anywhere in the parishes that they were meant to come from in south west Cork. Then found a possibility for the correct date in Muintervara, a Charles who, on the baptismal entries for his older children was listed as CAIN ! then on his marriage as KEANE, and when he died his name was given as Keane. I think that it would properly have been CIAN. So this man went from Keane at his marriage to Cain for his first children, then after the family moved parishes from Schull East and then Schull West to end up near Durrus in the parish of Muintervara. Perhaps the parish priest there was keen on Aglicising names??
regarding "IrelandXO Insight - Old Irish first names and aliases"
Would you people be able to answer a question about the term "alias" as it was used 200 years ago, please?
I have a wedding document which gives the name of the bride as "Elizabeth McKelvy alias McKeen" (written in 1835)
What did the priest mean by that notation?
Thank you for helping me
Hello Richard, I have always been told that the term " alias " should be read as referring to the woman's maiden name, i.e. her father's name. This is how my great grandmother was named at her marriage in Wexford Town. She was a widow when she married, and the entry read: " Mary Furlong alias Rossiter " so she had married a man named Furlong but her own name was Rossiter.
Therefore your Elizabeth would have been Elizabeth McKeen who had married a McKelvy, who unfortunately died.
Hope this helps,
To add to your index of English variants of traditional Irish boys' names, for Muircheartach, I have come across Mortagh, Murtagh, and Morty in records from Killinaboy Parish, Clare, in addition to those you've listed. I've also seen it Latinized as Morteus.
Hi, thank you for the above nicknames and other naming traditions. Kevin45fsl that is a great list you have put together.
I have a ggg-grandfather with a name that doesn't fit traditional naming patterns or at least I don't think so. Dowling Wall, b about 1778, possibly Old Leighlin; d. sometime in 1838 and buried in Rathelin, County Carlow. It appears he married, raised a family and lived in Co.Carlow. Church records show his children where baptized in the parish of Dunleckney, or Old Leighlin, C. Carlow.
I would love to hear from anyone who can shed some light or have thoughts on the origin of his given name. Between the 1800's to current days there were many Wall families living in C. Carlow as well as many Dowling families. Could Dowling Wall's mother been a Dowling ? I haven't found any evidence to support it though. His name has been spelled "Dooling" as well. Looking foorward to hearing your thoughts.
Dowling was an Anglicisation of the ancient Irish personal name Dúnlang.
Having said that, any Gaelic first name beginning with D could have been disguised as Dowling in English. He may have been Dualta or even Donncha for example. I wouldn't rule out Dennis as an alias. Take a look at all the D names in our index.
Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎
Thanks for the additional aliases for Murtagh... Much appreciated!
Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎
Thank you so very much for your response to my question regarding Dowling Wall and the origin of his first name. I believe this new information will be helpful with my continued search for Dowling's family which I now more than ever believe is County Carlow is his birthplace.
Again thank you! You may have helped me break down a 10 year brick wall.
Is Albeus (Latin) for Ailbe instead of Albertus? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailbe_of_Emly and https://www.libraryireland.com/names/men/ailbhe-alby.php
I don't have an answer but a similar question. Which Irish form of Joseph was used for personal names? I have two great-grandfathers named John Joseph. I am wondering if one form is reserved for Saint Joseph like one form NM of Mary is reserved for Saint Mary
Also, what about Jane? I have a great-grandmother named Mary Jane. Would that be Siobhan or Sinead? Her birth certificate reads Maria Johanna.
So I have my great X3 grandmother in Magherafelt, County Derry. It's not an Irish name but it's still confusing. She is baptized there in 1834 as Martha Black. But through her life we see not only Martha, but Matty, and oft times, Mathilda. The latter, for me, seems closer to Matty than Martha. So, my question is: could she have been all three, or was there confusion between Martha ansd Mathilda, and is she either just Martha or just Mathilda, with Matty serving as the diminutive?
The Irish name Maitilde dates back to when the Normans came to Ireland (based on the Norman-French name Mathilde), and anglicized forms are/were Mathilda, Matilda, Matty (as a diminutive), and even Maud, harking back to the time of the Empress Maud (Mathilde), the mother of King Henry II of England. According to Woulfe's Irish Names for Children, however, the name never became all that popular in Ireland. There was an ancient Irish given name for women Mór (meaning "great"), which led to Móire (Moira), but became subsumed in many cases into the more common name Máire (Mary). However, sometimes it ended up being anglicized as Martha (or the Irish form, Marta). People sometimes altered the anglicized form of their name as time went on, perhaps because they had not personally chosen the original anglicization themselves. For example, a baby girl might be given the Irish name Sorcha by her parents, but the priest insisted on writing it down as Sarah when she was baptized (the Irish name is totally unrelated to the Bibllical name Sarah). The family may never have actually calleed her Sarah, and then later in life she may have chosen to use Sally instead, because it was more popular or she just liked it better. Something like that may have happened in the case you mentioned.
The name "Elly"- can you tell me if it's male or female AND what the name is abbreviated from! So many thanks!!!!
What about t Geo for George- I find this multiple times? Sandy
Geo isn’t a nickname. It’s an abbreviation, commonly used in official documents. Other examples are Wm for William, Andw for Andrew, Jno for John.
Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘
While searching information on old Irish names I have come across the following - the name as Gaeilge, the pronunciation and then the meaning -
Seamaisíona - Shay-ma-shee-na – supplanter, may God protect
Bébhaill - Bay-vill – like the wind
Cadhla - Kay-la, Kolla, Ky-la – beautiful or graceful
Forlaith - Fer-la, Orlaith – golden queen
Ibernia - Eye-burn-ee-a – from Ireland
Iseult - Ee-sult – Irish mythological princess
Iesult - Izz-ult – ruler of the ice
Kentigerna - Kin-ti-gur-na – kind ruler
Labhaoise - La-vee-sha, La-wee-sha, Lee-sha – warrior maiden
Réitlín/Réiltín - Rayt-leen/Rail-teen – little star
Searc - Shark – love and affection
Tuathla/Túath/Tuala/Tuathflaith - Too-a-la – princess of the people
Tuilelaith - Too-li-laya/Til-a-la/Tallulah – princess of abundance
Síohmha - Síthmaith - Sith = peace, Maith = good – good peace
Mealla - Mella, Meh-la – sweetness or lightning
Róinseach - Rone-shack – rón = Seal
Céibhfhionn - Kay-vee-un, Kay-vin, Kay-von – fair locks
Eriu - Eh-ru – Irish goddess, Erin
Lúile - Loo-la – child with thick hair
Don Cuan - Don-Coo-Un – little brown wolf (donn = brown, chin = little wolf)
Áed (Aodh) - Ay, Ayd – fire
Saebhreaathach - Seev-Ra-Huck – noble judge (soar = noble, breathe = judge), Justin
Conchobar - Cun-i-ver, Con-co-var,Con-co-bar, Cru-hoor , Conor – Lover of canines
Oengus, Angus - En-guss – one strength (son = excellent, gus = strength)
Rochadh - Ruc-ah -– battle (plus variants)
Ámhra - Aw-Vra – very wonderful, noble distinguished person
Gruagh - Groo-Ah – giant
Levin - Sle-Vin – mountain or mountain climber
Mathghamhain – Mack-a-Von, Ma-Hon - bear
Setanta - Se-Tan-Ta – son of Sualtam
Ardkill (Cillian) - Ard-Kill – from the high church
Ockey, Ochaid, Eochaid - Ock-ee, Oak-aa, Ow-kidge – horseman
Críostóir - Cree-stow-er – Christ-bearer
Ailbi, Ailbhe - Ayl-bee, Ayl-beh – white hawk, intelligent, noble
Nuada - Noo-a-da – protector or to acquire
Labhrás - La-oh-ross – from Laurentium
MaoilSeachlainn - Mwale-hock-lin, Mwale-shock-lin, Mee-hack-lin – servant of St. Seachnaill
Burne - burn, byrne – from the brook
I trust this will be of interest to anyone searching this type of information.
Thanks to IrelandXO for this site and this thread. My question is slightly off-topic but still related and I wonder if anyone has any suggestions:
My gg grandfather, John O'Brien and his wife Ann, emigrated to upstate New York just prior to the great famine, giving birth to Patrick Henry O'Brien in 1844. The most promising US Census entry that could be him and his family in 1850 is headed by a "James" O'Brien. A paid researcher insists that this is almost certainly the same person.
Apart from the simple possibility of the census taker writing down the wrong name, I wondered if there was a more traditional pattern behind it- say, "John James" or "James John." But in every other record, including baptismal certificates for his children, he is listed as John. The strongest candidate for his early years in Ireland were in Fethard, Tipperary, where his father was also apparently called John, which would eliminate the "John James" possibility as a means of identifying his father.
This may just be random, but I wondered if anyone had any insight into how the two names might have been used interchangeably. Thank you.
Hello, does anyone know what Teag means? On a 1876 list of landowners in Co Derry I have William Moore - Teag.
On 1858 Griffiths I have Edward Moore - Ned. Does Ned distinguish him from other Edwards or indicate his father was Edward or another explanation? This is in Co Derry in Carrowreagh or Carrowclare.
Is there an Irish name for Lydia?
re: "John O'Brien and his wife Ann..." and Census record for 1850 headed by a "James" O'Brien
Can suggest that depending on the style and clarity of the handwriting for "Joannis" , a transcriber could read "nn" as "m", and make a written record of the head of household as James.
First rule: Irrespective of the name provided on paper or spoken, the cleric/clerk/recorder/official will write down as he/she hears or reads.
Cross-check: Assume this paid researcher is correct, and James is your man & family in that Census. Is there any other family line descended from this James that is clearly unrelated to you?
In short, *assume true, until proved to the contrary.
* Mathematics: form of proof is known as reductio ad absurdum
NB. If consulting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_contradiction, take note of their 'Alert'. If needing other references, consult mathematical logic texts.
Can anyone tell me the meaning of the name belinda ? I came across it in the parish records for gallen and Reynagh, also the name aminan or animan (hard to decipher) thanks
Many thanks for your suggestion Elwyn, XO Volunteer!
These lists are very helpful. My grandmother's name is Anne Campion on her marriage record (1893) and her father's name appears to be listed on the marriage cert as Kiernan (or could it be Harnon?) Campion. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find a birth record for Anne with Kiernan as her father. I did find an Anastasia with Kyran as the father. Could that be my Anne, with variations in spelling/anglicizations? I'm attaching a copy of the marriage record, as well as the record (image unavailable) of the baptism record. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
I was wondering if someone named Patrick would ever be referred to as James? I was told my great grandfather was James Clune who married Mary Ryan and had seven children from County Clare but in researching I found a Mary Ryan who had 7 children but it said her husband was Patrick Clune.