Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century Irish Names and Naming Practices

by Heather Rose Jones
(Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn,

© 1999 by Heather Rose Jones; all rights reserved.


One of the greatest frustrations in helping clients who want historically authentic Irish names is a lack of easily available models for how whole names were put together, and particularly for how personal names in Ireland interacted with the multi- lingual environment. What I hope to do in this collection of articles is to examine the personal names appearing in documents of varying date, background, and linguistic context. These articles are not meant to be prescriptive in the sense of suggesting that any practices not found herein are unhistoric -- the scope of the data is far too small to make any such claim. Rather they are meant to provide some solid, real-world examples of how some names were recorded in various contexts, giving the name researcher a place to work from -- a "feel" for what may and may not be reasonable in terms of historic plausibility. While I have included glossaries of all the name elements appearing in the documents (including reference to normalized modern forms for convenience, when they can be identified) the main focus of these articles will be on whole-name construction, linguistic forms and context, and some particular observations on women's names and their special considerations.

The Red Book of Ormond (14th Century Ireland)

The Red Book of Ormond is a 14th century manuscript (with some portions supplied from a 15th century transcript) of legal records pertaining to the Ormond family in Ireland. It was written in Latin by an English speaker.

The Fitzwilliam Accounts (16th Century Ireland)

The accounts, covering the years 1560-65, documents the lives of the Anglo-Irish Fitzwilliam family. The records were written in partly in Latin and partly in English

Layout, editting, and publishing Arval Benicoeur.