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This page last modified May 31,
Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century Irish Names and Naming Practices
© 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 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 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
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