|Names and Naming Practices in the Fitzwilliam Accounts: Analysis|
Articles > Names
Names and Naming Practices in the Fitzwilliam Accounts from 16th Century Ireland
Analysis of Usage
by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
|g||given name||b||descriptive byname|
|gs||(Domina) Elionora Buttler|
|7||unmarked (names in patronyms are all Gaelic)|
|3||ó (following names are all Gaelic)|
|2||mac (following names both Gaelic and English)|
|2||fitz (following names both English, these are most likely fixed surnames rather than true patronyms)|
|1||ap (following name is Welsh, this is almost certainly a fixed surname rather than a true patronym)|
It is worth noting that the entries that are recorded with Gaelic given names have either mac or ó patronyms -- the men with unmarked patronyms are all recorded with English given names, even though the father's names are all Gaelic. There are two possible interpretations: either the unmarked group come from families that have undergone more Anglicization (both stripping the patronymic markers from their surnames -- and most likely using fixed surnames -- as well as shifting to the use of English given names); or the two groups represent different levels of Anglicization in the recording process, with any Gaelic given names being replaced by English "equivalents" as well as having patronymic markers being stripped out. Note that several of the unmarked patronyms clearly derive from the genitive form of the root name, rather than the nominative (e.g., Kellie) so we don't seem to be seeing a shift to the use of true patronyms that are simply unmarked.
|Johanne Fynglas (possibly a byname instead)|
|gstdl||Patricio Hussie Barone de Galtrym|
|In the English-language records, about two-thirds of the individuals have patronymic-style bynames (including those using ap and fitz which are most likely fixed surnames). Compared with the Latin records, there is a drastic decrease in unmarked patronyms and a corresponding increse in mac and ó patronyms, with the former slightly outnumbering the latter. One category not found in the Latin records have a patronym without a given name. Based on context, these appear to be references to the chief of the clan bearing that name. One name in each of these categories is more complex -- either a complex clan-name indicating a particular branch of the family, or a multi- generation patronym (also including a clan-name).|
|gmg||Owen Mac Hughe|
|Con Mc Henry|
|Owen Mac Thighe|
|Richarde Mc Gwilliam|
|Leyso Mc. Moroughe|
|Nele Mac Leyshe|
|Bryan Mc Felym|
|gmgmgog||Brian Mc Henry Mc Shane Oneyle|
|Calloghe o Conner|
|Shane O Nele|
|gogmt||Art Onele Mc Baron|
|gzg||Barnabee Fytz Patrycke|
|mgb||Mac Randolphe Boye|
|mgog||Mc Art O More|
|ogb||O Sullevan Beer|
|The only major difference between the Latin and English records in this category is a strong decrease in the relative number of descriptive bynames. Of particular interest is the last, with an English (presumably hereditary) surname followed by an Gaelic (presumably personal) descriptive byname.|
|gsb||James Dowdale More|
Duplicate ReferencesGiven that the Latin and English records come from the same narrow timespan (only five years total), and that multiple mentions of the same individual are common within each group, it is surprising that there is only one possible individual who appears in both contexts: Latin Iacob[us] Dowdall and English James Dowdall.
Most duplicate references differ only in spelling variation, if they differ at all, e.g., Edward[us] Shane vs. Edward[us] Shene or Brian Mc Phelim vs. Bryan Mac Felyme. The Latin records are considerably more consistant in spelling, even for Gaelic name elements.
Since none of the Latin records has more than a single byname (unless one counts Baron de Galtrym), there is no scope there for variations based on addition or omission of elements. However three individuals in the English records appear to be recorded with variants of this type. In the case of James Dowdale (More) it is possible that the variants represent two different individuals (possibly even a father and son, given that Mór may sometimes be used in the sense of "senior"). In the case of Art Oneyle (Mac Baron), the omitted part identifies a particular branch of the O'Neills, and is not acting as a patronym. The case of Brian Mc Henry (Mc Shane Oneyle) is somewhat more typical, where the first mention of the individual gives a fuller (more formal?) version of the name -- presumably including two generations of patronym as well as the clan-name -- while a second mention within the same section of the text gives a shorter, two-element version. It is not certain whether John Neale and Shane O Nele are the same individual. At the very least, the two citations demonstrate how the same name elements can appear both in transcription and "translation" in the same document. (Alternately, if John Neale is a different individual, he may simply come from a more Anglicized background.)
A Note on Welsh Name Elements in the DataThree individuals in the record have identifiably Welsh-origin name elements: Walter[us] Aphoell John Apprice Meredethe Wylliams Very little can be said for certain, based on so little data. Note that none of these also include any Gaelic elements, and that the only one having a Welsh-origin given name also has a later form of patronym -- perhaps suggesting a more recent arrival in Ireland, although without knowing to what extent Welsh immigrants to Ireland maintained their native naming practices, this can be nothing more than speculation.
BibliographyHogan, Edmund. Onomasticon Goedelicum (An Index, with Identifications, to the Gaelic Names of Places and Tribes). Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1993.
Longfield, A.K. Fitzwilliam Accounts 1560-65 (Annesley Collection). Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1960.
MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1980.
Ó Corráin, Donnchadh & Maguire, Fidelma. Irish Names. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1990.
Reaney, P. H. & Wilson, R. M. A Dictionary of English Surnames. New York: Routledge, 1991.