Names and Naming Practices in the Red Book of Ormond (Ireland 14th Century)

Glossary of Elements in Bynames

by Heather Rose Jones
(Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn,

© 1999 by Heather Rose Jones; all rights reserved.

Glossary of Elements in Bynames

Given Names

In O-patronyms

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
(h)Erewen Oherewen 1; unidentified -- several hypothetical possibilities (e.g., *Arabhán) but none with any attestation.
(h)Urmolthy? Ohurmolthy 2; unidentified, perhaps ultimately some name with "maol".
Ailleagán? O Haclan 1; perhaps a metathesis of "ó hAilleagáin" (Woulfe p.553) otherwise unidentified.
Aolán? Ohulyn 1; identification uncertain. Woulfe p.557.
Banán O Banan 1; O'Brien lists this in the clan index.
Beigín O Bygyn 1; Woulfe p.436
Beirgin? O Berge 1; Woulfe p.436, but uncertain.
Brian? Obryn 1, O Brin 1; Woulfe p.442, other possibilities like "Braon"
Brógán O Brogan 1; Woulfe p.444 has "O Brogan".
Carthach Okarok 1; identification uncertain, alternately, possibly related to "ó Carragáin" (Woulfe p.452).
Cathán? O Couhan 1; possibly "ó Catháin" (Woulfe p.454), possibly "ó Ceocháin" Woulfe (p.461) from a misanalysis of "mac Eocháin".
Ceallach O Kaylly 1; Woulfe p.330, 457. Also: McKaylly,
Cearbhall O Karwill 1; Woulfe p.458, 330. Also: McKarwill, McKarwyll.
Coilín O Kellan 1; Woulfe p.333, 470. Not a perfect fit, but close. Also: McKelan.
Conall Oconil 1; Woulfe p.474
Corcrán OCorcran 1; Woulfe p.344, 480. Also: McCorkeran.
Corraidhín O Currine 1; Woulfe p.481.
Dochradh O Dogry 1; Woulfe p.498.
Donnán O Donan 4; Woulfe p.502.
Donnchadh O Donked 2; Woulfe p.505. Identification less certain for: O Donohid 1; Woulfe p.505. Also: Doneheved, Doncoun. See also: McGonauthy, McConauthey, Conauth[...].
Donnghal(ach) O Donely 1; two possible origins, Woulfe p.505.
Dubhagán O Duffgan 1; Woulfe p.508.
Dubhda O Doude 1; Woulfe p.510
Dubhlaoch O Duffly 1; Woulfe p.512.
Fionnac-? Offynnog 1; identification uncertain, but see various at Woulfe p.527f.
Fógartach Offogirth 1; Woulfe p.533, although this doesn't exactly match any of the forms.
Giollagán Ogillegan 1; Woulfe p.541.
Giolla-Fionnáin? O Gillinan 1; compare Woulfe p.374 (Mac Giolla Fhionnáin) or possibly from an unattested double diminutive "Gilínán"? See Woulfe p.540f.
Keinguell? O Keinguell 1; unidentified.
Laithegán? O Laythgan 1; O'Brien lists "Laithecán", another possibility is "Laidcenn".
Maolán Omolan 1, Enynimolan 1; Woulfe p.603.
Ógán O Hogan 1; Woulfe p.572.
Resith O Resith 1; unidentified.
Tadhgán O Tagan 1; Woulfe p.650.
Trian? O Trynyn 1; uncertain, but O'Brien lists "Trian" and "Trén".
Tuathal Otothel 7 (all 1303), O Tothill 1 (1305); Woulfe p.655.

In mac-patronyms

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Balbhach? McBalwy 2; Woulfe p.433 mentions "Balbhán", perhaps an unattested "Balbhach".
Brocc? McBroyg 2, McBroey 1 (probably identical, same year and given name as one of the "McBroyg"s); identification is uncertain.
Ceallach McKaylly 1; Woulfe p.330, 457. Also: O Kaylly.
Cearbhall McKarwill 1, McKarwyll 1; Woulfe p.458, 330. Also: O Karwill.
Cearnach McKerny 1; Woulfe p.330.
Cionaodha McKeni 1; Woulfe p.331.
Coilín McKelan 2; Woulfe p.333, 470. Not a perfect fit, but close. Also: O Kellan.
Corcrán McCorkeran 2; Woulfe p.344, 480. Also: OCorcran.
Corrán McChorran 1; Woulfe p.481 has "ó Corráin".
Donnchadh McGonauthy 1, McConauthey 1 (via "mac Dhonnchaid"); Woulfe p.352. Also: Conauth[...]. See also: Doneheved, O Donohid; fil. Doncoun , O Donked.
Duibhfionn McGeiffein 1; "mag Dhuibhfinn" Woulfe p.417.
Eoghan McKun 3; indentification uncertain. Woulfe p.359.
Ethnard? McEthenard 1; unidentified
Gealbhán? McGalman 1; Woulfe p.539 has "ó Gealbháin" with Anglicizations "O Galvane" et al., but not an ideal fit.
Giolla-Muire? McGilmoy 1, McGylmoy 1; Woulfe** or possibly a reduced form of "Giolla-Maoil".
Giolla-Duibh McGilduff 1; Woulfe p.372.
Griffyn McGriffyn 1; R&W p.206. Also: Griffyn.
Henry McHenry 2; Woulfe p.358.
Kengan? McKengan 1; unidentified.
Laoidheach McLeog 1; uncertain, but see Woulfe p.386.
Lorcán McLorkan 2; OC&M p.124. Also: Lorcan.
Lothyr? McLothyr 2; unidentified.
Lude? McLude 1; unidentified.
Maolachán? McMalauthin 1; uncertain, but see Woulfe p.602 for "ó Maolacháin".
Naspuk? McNaspuk 1; unidentified.
Odhar McWythyr 1; Woulfe p.427.
Oisín McCoissyn 1; Woulfe p.424 has "Mag Oisín" and associates it with Meath.
Robin McRobion 1; compare with Woulfe p.402 "mac Rob", R&W p.380 "Robin".
Seán McShane 2; Woulfe p.404.
Talwy? McTalwy 2; unidentified.
Treasach McTressy 4; Woulfe p.654.
Troightheach McTrahy 1; Woulfe p.654.

In Latin relational names

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Adam fil. Ade 1; diminutive of Adam, popular in Wales, R&W p.2.
Benedict fil. Benedicti (genitive) 1; R&W p.39.
David fil David 1; R&W p.128.
Donnchadh fil. Doncoun 1; OC&M p.76. Also: O Donked. See also: McGonauthy, McConauthey, Conauth[...]; Doneheved, O Donohid.
Einion fil. Eynon 1, fitzEynon 2; Welsh, R&W p.156.
Hugh fil. Hugonis (genitive) 1; R&W p.242.
Ithel fitz Ytholl 1; Welsh, R&W p.250.
Johannes fil. Johannis 3, filia Johannis 1 (genitive); R&W p.256. Also: uxor J.; if there is a default "name beginning with 'j'" it is almost certainly "Johannes".
Laurence filia Laurencii (genitive) 2; R&W p.272. Also: Lauerance.
Matthew fil. Mathei (genitive) 2; R&W p.302.
Maurice filia Mauricii 1; R&W p. 303.
Meilyr fil. Meileri (genitive) 4; Welsh, R&W p.294.
Miles fil. Milonis 6, uxor Milonis 1 (genitive); R&W p.309.
Nicholas vidua Nicholao (ablative) 1; R&W p.322.
Phillip uxor Phillippi (genitive) 1; R&W p.349.
Ralf filia Radulfi 2 (genitive); R&W p.371.
Rhys fil. Rys 1, fil. Rysy (genitive) 1; Welsh, R&W p.376. Also Rys (unmarked).
Robert fil. Roberti 1, her. Roberti 2 (genitive); R&W p.380.
Roger uxor Rogeri (genitive) 1; R&W p.381.
Stephan fil. Stephani (genitive) 1; R&W p.426.
Walter filia Walteri 1, uxor Walteri 1 (genitive); R&W p.474.
William fil. Willelmi (genitive) 2, vidua Willelmo (ablative) 1; R&W p.493.

In unmarked patronyms

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Bréanainn Brenan 1; OC&M p.34
Cadwgan Cadegan 1; Welsh R&W p.79
Caradog Cradok 1; Welsh, R&W p.114.
Cléireachán Clerethyn 1; probable identification, Woulfe p.236 has this without the diminutive suffix.
Críodán Cridan 1; OC&M p.62
Donnchadh Doneheved 2; Woulfe p.352. Also: O Donohid. See also: fil. Doncoun, O Donked; McGonauthy, McConauthey, Conauth[...]. If the last is interpreted correctly, it cannot be classed as "unmarked" as it must be a reanalysis of a "mac" form.
Fionnbharr ffynover 1; OC&M p.101
Gerard Gerard 1; R&W p.189.
Godfrey Godfrey 1; R&W p.194.
Griffyn Griffyn 1; R&W p.206. Also: McGriffyn.
Hywel Howell 1; Welsh, R&W p.241.
Laurence Lauerance 1; R&W p.272. Also: filia Laurencii.
Lorcán Lorcan 1; OC&M p.124. Also: McLorkan.
Maolruan Moltron 1; Woulfe p.612 notes "Meldron" as an Anglicization of "ó Maolruain" so this is not as improbable as it might seem.
Moénach? Mouenath 1; O'Brien lists this. I can find nothing closer.
Niall Neele 1; OC&M p.145.
Owain Ywein 1; Welsh, R&W p.333, but possibly instead Irish "Eoghan".
Patrick Patrik 1; R&W p.341.
Rambold de Rembold 1, Rembold 1; R&W p.370. Based on the name's origin, the "de" cannot be locative in sense. While it is found in France as a patronymic marker, this seems unlikely here. More likely, the "de" has acquired some other sense, perhaps having to do with the social status of the family.
Torcall Torcell 1; compare Woulfe p.411 "mac Thorcaill".
Tuaith(ach) Toyte 1; uncertain, but see Woulfe p.654.

Names Appearing in More Than One Type of Patronym and/or
as a Given Name

Name           Given    Mac     O      Latin  Unmarked    Total

Johannes        16                       5                  21
William         13                       3                  16
David            5                       1                   6
Philip           5                       1                   6
Walter           3                       2                   5
Laurence         2                       2       1           5
Radulf           2                       2                   4
Nicolas          2                       1                   3
Hugo             2                       1                   3
Stephan          1                       1                   2
Ade              1                       1                   2
Roger            1                       1                   2

Robert           9       1               2                  12
Henry            9       2                                  11

Griffyn          4       1                       1           6
Meilyr           1                       4                   5
Ithel            3                       1                   4

Donnchadh        2       3       3       1       2          11

Corcrán          1       2       1                           4
Cearbhall                2       1                           3
Coilín                   2       1                           3
Ceallach         1       1       1                           3

Malauthin        2       1                                   3
Giolla-Muire     1       2                                   3
Lorcán                   1                       1           2
Cionaodh         1       1                                   2

Tuathal          1               8                           9
Carthach         1               1                           2
Giolla-Fionnain  1               1                           2

Patrick          1                               1           2

Descriptive Bynames (and unidentified)

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Aucupe aucupe 1; unidentified.
Becc Beche 13 (all 1305), Beg 10 (1304, 1308); "small" DIL "becc".
Beccán Bekan 1; "small" diminutive of the preceding, DIL "becc".
Buide Boy 1; "yellow", DIL "buide".
Ciar? Ker 1; "dark", but not entirely certain.
Donn Don 1, Done 2; "brown, dun" DIL "donn"
Faol Foil 1; "wolf", also occasionally a given name (DIL "fael").
Fionn ffynne 1; "white", DIL "find".
Long Longo 1 (ablative); Latin "long".
Mór Moor 1; Irish "big", DIL "mór".
Óg Og 1, Oge 2; Irish "young, junior". DIL "óc".
Reannach? Renath 2; Irish "pointed" (or possibly "starry"), somewhat doubtful, but Woulfe (p.630) lists "ó Reannacháin".
Ruadh Rowe 1; Irish "red", DIL "ruad".
Rút Roth 3, Roythe 1 (possibly); Irish borrowing of Norse "hrutr" (red), Woulfe p.666. Alternately, a variant of "ruadh".

The meanings of the descriptive bynames mostly have to do with coloring (buide, ciar, donn, fionn, ruadh, rút) or size/age (becc, beccán, mór, óg), but there are a couple ouside these groups (faol, reannach). The overwhelmingly most popular descriptive byname is becc, accounting for over half the examples. The number might be cut in half if duplicate references to the same person were eliminated, however the name would still be the runaway favorite. The only descriptive byname found referring to a woman is óg.

Popularity Rankings

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Becc 23
Rút 4
Donn 3
Óg 3
Reannach? 2
aucupe 1
Beccán 1
Buide 1
Ciar? 1
Faol 1
Fionn 1
Long 1
Mór 1
Ruadh 1
Total 44

Occupational and Ethnic Bynames

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Capellanus capellani (genitive) 1; "priest, chaplain" R&W p.90.
Medicus medico (ablative) 1; Latin "doctor".
Molendinarius molendinarii (genitive) 2; Latin "miller".
Summonitor summonitore 1; Latin "summoner".
Tinctor Tinctoris 1; "painter".
Walensis Walensi (genitive) 1; Latin "Welsh".
Walsh Walsh 1; "Welsh" R&W p.474. While this originates in an ethnic byname, in the example here, it is mostly likely a hereditary surname.


Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Ormond Comitem Ormonie 1; (accusative); title "count of Ormond".

Locative Bynames with Irish Place-names

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Baile Gabhráin de Balligaueran 1; Hogan p.81
Baile Mór de Balymore 1; Hogan p.84.
Baile mac ? de Balymaclothyr 1; unidentified.
Boytenrath Boytenrath; possibly the English surname "Boyten" (R&W p.58) plus Irish toponymic "rath", but uncertain.
Cell Mór de Killmor 1, Kilmor 1; Hogan p.203.
Cell Caissill de Kilkasshe 2; Hogan p.180.
Dun Domhnaill Doundonevold 2; Hogan p.382.
Mide de Midia 3, Methe 1; Hogan p.538.
Raith Garbháin de Rathgarvan 1; Hogan p.572.

Other Locative-style Bynames, probably English Surnames

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Blancheville de Blaunchevill 1, Blaunchevile 1; unidentified.
d'Anton Doneton 1; Woulfe (p.282) notes ca. 1600 examples like "Daundon".
Grange del Grange 1; R&W p.202.
Hay de la Hay 1; R&W p.222.
Hereford de Hereford 1; R&W p.228.
Penrhys de Penris 1; Richards p.176.
Roilly de Roilly 1; unidentified.
Rupe de Rupe 1; unidentified.
Salle de Salle 1; R&W p.390.
Stafford de Stafford 1; R&W p.423.

English Surnames

Modern form Forms found in the manuscript
Argentine Argentyme 1; R&W p.13.
Betriche Betriche 1; uncertain.
Breannóc Braynok 1; Woulfe (p.248) has "de Breannóc" as an Irish form of the Anglo-Welsh locative surname "Brechnock". "Braynok" is given as a ca. 1600 English form.
Buckley Bukeley 1; R&W p.70. Also perhaps Irish "ó Buachalla" (Woulfe p.446).
Butler Bottiller 1, le Botiller 2; Woulfe p.250.
Cass Casse 1; R&W p.86
Cowell Cowill 1; R&W p.113, but also possibly from Irish given name "Cathmhaol" (Woulfe p.329).
Croker Croker 2; R&W p.117
Douce Duse 1; R&W 139.
Fainín ffanyn 1; Woulfe (p.285), from the Norman given name "Payn", alternately a diminutive of Irish "fann" (weak) v. DIL.
Hesam Hesam 1; unidentified.
Mag Mag 1; R&W p.293.
Rutledge Rothlek 1; Woulfe p.666 notes the English surname as "Rutlech", "Routhledge" et al.
Travers Travers 1; R&W p.453.
Vale Vale 4, de Valle 2; R&W p.464.
White Wyte 1; R&W p.486.

Given Names
Name Patterns
Glossary of Elements in Bynames

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