[From J. J. Kneen - Personal Names, 1937]



WHEN man had sufficiently advanced in knowledge and his inarticulate sounds had begun to crystallize into a definite language, rude at first but becoming more polished as the centuries rolled by, one of the most essential things he would need would be names by which he could distinguish between the various members of his family and friends. As our later ancestors did within recent times, primitive man invented nicknames, and these in the course of time became real personal names. Often the original elements of which a name was composed became obsolete in the spoken language, then the meaning of the name was forgotten. Thus Art<C. *artos, 'a bear'; Conn<C. *kondos, 'sense'; Aed<C. *aidos, 'fire' were well understood by the people when bestowed upon the individuals who bore them, but being replaced later in the language by other words their significations were eventually forgotten. Our Norse ancestors bore names of a similar type; thus we find on the Runic monuments: Biarn<ON. björn, 'a bear'; Froka <ON. frakki, 'a spear'; Habr<ON. hafr, 'a he-goat'.

When the population of Mann mainly consisted of nomadic tribes one name was usually sufficient to designate each individual, and as long as there was no one else of the same name in the neighbourhood nothing more was required to complete the identification. As the late 'Father Woulfe [Stoinnte Gaedeal is Gall] ,said: 'Personal names were, of course, far more numerous then than now, and it was by no means difficult for each individual in an Irish community to have a distinct name all to himself. But surnames or family names, as we understand them, were unknown. The Irish had, indeed, from a remote period a well-established system of clan-names, formed from the names of distinguished ancestors, as: Ui Neill, descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages, in Meath and Ulster; Ui Briun, descendants of his brother Brian, in Connacht and Brefney: Eoganact and Dal gCais, descendants of Eoghan Mor and Cormac Cas respectively, in Munster; but these names were ordinarily used in the plural and as a common designation of the whole clan. For the individual the single name was the rule.'

The use of the single name was universal among the nations of antiquity, with the exception of Rome when it was at the zenith of its glory. Single appellations we usually find in the Old Testament, such as Abraham, Isaac, &c., given from some circumstance of birth or as an expression of some religious sentiment. Personal names were originally all significant and must have been so from the earliest times. Names could only be given out of the spoken languages of the people by whom they were first imposed. The use of proper names only becomes general in a more or less advanced stage of civilization, when the spoken tongue has drifted away from its primitive form, and intercourse with foreign nations makes possible the use of archaic and exotic words the meanings of which have been lost.

All personal names were originally nicknames, in the sense that they were significant and descriptive. If we take the Manx name Duggan as an example, we must assume that, as a nickname, it was originally applied to a'little dark man'; but a time must have come when his descendants were neither 'little' nor 'dark', on the contrary, some of them must have been 'big' or 'fair'. When the name had ceased to be descriptive, it could no longer be regarded as a nickname, but became a personal name.

The single-name system eventually disappeared. With the growth of population, difficulties of identification arose. Namesakes were necessarily multiplied and the single name was no longer sufficient to particularize the individual, with the result that a further distinction became necessary.

Speaking of Irish personal names, Woulfe says that from an early period the patronymic was in use for this purpose. Irish patronymics were formed by prefixing mac to the genitive case of the father's name, or Ua (or Õ) to that of the grandfather, and the Irish annals are full of designations of this character. Cormae Mac Airt (Cormac son of Art) and Laogaire Mac Neill (Laoghaire son of Niall) among the names of early Irish kings, are examples. In addition to this there were descriptive epithets of various kinds. Some personal characteristic, physical, mental, or moral, complimentary or the reverse, the trade one followed, or the place where one was born, or was fostered, or lived; one or other of these gave rise to a soubriquet which attached itself to the name and, like the patronymic, served to give increased individuality to the bearer. Epithets denoting age, size, shape, peculiarities of complexion existed in endless variety, and instances of their use are to be found on every page of the Annals.

As long as men are living in small and isolated communities there is little danger in the use of single names, but when people congregate in a town or city, with the same name common to several individuals, difficulties of identification must necessarily arise. As Canon Bardsley observes, we could not imagine how such a population as that of Manchester or Birmingham could possibly get on with but single appellations. In the later books of Moses we find the Israelites also making use of the patronymic as a means of identifying the individual. 'Joshua son of Nun' is a type of name of frequent occurrence; and in the New Testament we have not only ' Simon Barjonas' (Simon son of Jonas), but also ' Simon Zelotes' and ' Simon the Leper' and ' Simon of Cyrene'.

The Celts of Gaul, before the conquest of their country by the Romans, were called each by a proper name, to which was added, when there was need to avoid confusion, either an epithet implying personal description or the name of the father in the genitive case followed by the word cnos (son), as Atengnatos Druti-cnos (Atengnatos son of Drutos), Andecamulos Toutissi-cnos (Andecamulos son of Toutissos). In Goidelic surnames the word -cnos is represented by the termination -an, so common in patronymics.

In course of time most of the European nations adopted the system of patronymics. Even the Romans, after the fall of their great empire, lost their old elaborate system of nomenclature and generally adopted the patronymic system, thus Petrus filius Martini (Peter Martin's son), or simply Petrus Martini (Peter Martin's). Sometimes a suffix was used to express the idea of son-ship. Thus the Anglo-Saxons suffixed -ing, as: Cidding (son of Cidda) ; the Spaniards -ez, as: Rodriguez (son of Rodrigo), the Basques -ana or -ena, as Lorenzana (son of Lorenzo). The Normans used fitz-, a corrupt form of the Latin filius (son), as Fitzgerald. Among the Teutonic peoples the ending was -son, or its cognates: as English Williamson; German Mendelssohn ; Danish Andersen; Dutch Janzen ; Swedish and Norwegian, Olsen ; and among the Slavonic races, -vich, -wicz, -ich, -vitch, -itch, -off, and -eff, so common in Russian and Polish names.

Welsh patronymics were formed by prefixing Mab- or Map(son) shortened to Ab- or Ap-, as Ab Evan, now Bevan, Ap Howel, now Powell.

In early medieval times the use of nicknames for the purpose of distinguishing individuals of the same name was common throughout western Europe. Thus arose such names as le Grand (Fr. the great), Roth (Ger. red), Whyte (Eng. white). Occupational names also became common, such as Schneider (Ger. tailor), Taylor (Eng. tailor). In 1334 William le Taillour, along with two others, was empowered by Edward III of England 'to seize the aforesaid Island (Mann), with its appurtenances into our hands, and safely to keep the same until we think fit to order otherwise'.

Local names or designations derived from place of birth or residence were frequent. In France and Spain these were characterized by the use of the preposition de; in Italy by di and da ; in Germany by von ; in Holland by van; all corresponding to the English of. In English surnames of this type we find John o' Gaunt, but the more common prefixes were at and by, as in Atwood and Bywater.

The exact period at which Manx patronymics were crystallized, so to speak, can only be determined approximately. The following are the earliest found in the Chronicle of Mann: Macmaras, 1098 ; Maclotlen, 1166; Mackerthac, 1238; Mactoryn, 1293; Macdowal, 1313; Mackouri, 1314; Macoter, 1334 Macdowal, who defended Castle Rushen against Robert Bruce, bequeathed his name to Balladoole. In the Annals of Ulster we find Irish patronymic surnames as early as the beginning of the 10th century. The death of tTigearnace Ua Cleirig, lord of Aidhne, is recorded in the year 916, and that of his brother Flann ua Cleirig, lord of South Connacht, who was slain by the men of Munster, in 950. In the year A.D. 581 there is recorded in AT: Cath Manand i quo victor erat Aedan Mac Gabrain, 'the Battle of Mann in which Aedan Mac Gabrain was victorious'. The same battle is recorded in the Annals of Ireland, 1197; and the Annals of Ulster, c. 1496. Mod. Ir. Aodhdn (dim. of Aodh, OI. aed, fire) and Gabhrán (dim. of Gabhar, goat).

Woulfe says: 'The 11th and 12th centuries must be assigned as the period within which the great bulk of our Irish patronymics became fixed and began to assume the hereditary character of family names. The practice of forming surnames with Ua (or Ó) had most certainly ceased before the coming of the English, and it is doubtful if we have any Ó-surnames that can be shown at a later date. Mac-surnames are, generally speaking, of later date than Ó-surnames.'

A study of Manx personal names bears out Woulfe's theory. Our Ó- names all came from Ireland, and at the beginning of the 16th century the prefix had almost disappeared. Here are some examples of Ó-names from the Liber Assedationis of 1511-15: Ó Fayle, Ó Morgan, Ó Barron, Ó Lyn, Ó Quyllan. Other examples from which the prefix has disappeared are: Dogan, Fargher, Gellen, Hugen (now Higgin or Higgins), More, and Seer, and there may be a few others which can be regarded as doubtful. But we have plenty of evidence to show that at least some of our surnames originated in the Isle of Man, although the same names are found in Ireland, Scotland, and the Hebrides.

A study of the early Christian names of the Isle of Man reveals the interesting fact that many of them were the bases of our surnames, and, further, we can actually see the surnames in course of formation within family groups. In the treen of Ballafayle, Kirk Maughold, we find in 1515 Aleyn Mac Calo and Murdagh Mac Aleyn. Here we have Aleyn (Allen) as a Christian name and surname in an interrelated family. Similar examples are: In Cornaa Beg, Kirk Maughold; Abell More Mac Conylt, i.e. Big Abell Mac Conylt ; Allow Abell and Doncan Abelson, where Abell becomes a surname. Also note Allow the basis of Callow, for in the adjoining treen of Cornaa More we find John Mac Aloe.

Sometimes the prefix mac- was omitted from the surname, probably for reasons of brevity. In Balytersyn, Kirk Maughold, we find Gilchrist, Doncan, and Gibbon John, where mac- is omitted in each case, the surname involved here being Mac Eoin (Kewin). In the treen of Balyfaden, Kirk Arbory, we have Gibbon Bane and Gibbon Rede, their other relatives being John and Donald Gibbonson. The translation of mac- into -son at such an early date, and earlier, shows that English influence was already well in operation. We have examples as early as the beginning of the 15th century. In some cases it may have been due to the scribes who set them down, as they were mostly Englishmen, or descendants of Englishmen, who through their Gaelic-speaking wives and mothers had acquired a good knowledge of Manx, and whose descendants eventually became as Manx in sentiment as the Manx themselves. Some of these translations are still with us, such as Kneale and Nelson (from Mac Nele and Nele-son). In other parts of the island we find couplets within the same limited areas, as: William Mac Cowne and Gibbon Mac William, Fynlo Mac Kerron and Thomas Mac Fynlo, and in one case Urmen Mac Urmen, yielding the modern Manx surnames Cowin, Quilliam, Kinley, and Kermeen.

Here is a list of surnames which may have originated in the Isle of Man. Most of them are found either in Ireland or Scotland. In regard to Scottish surnames, it is very improbable that any great number came to Mann. We must remember that Scottish surnames did not become common in Scotland until the 16th and 17th centuries, and Manx surnames were well established at the beginning of the 15th century.

Christian Name Original Surname Modern Surname
Adam Mac Adam (obs.)
Aleyn (Allen) Aleyn Callin
Allow Allow Callow
Andrew (Gilandrew) Andrew Anderson (by trans.)
Auler Auley Cowley
Cristen ,, Cristen Christian
Donald, Dolyn Danell Cannell, Connell
Fergus Fergus Kerruish
Fynlo Fynlo Kinley
Germot Germot Kermode
Gibbon (Gilbert) Gibbon Cubbon
Gilcalm Gilcalm (obs.)
Gilcrist Gilcrist Mylchreest
Gilmartyn Gilmartyn Mylvartin, now Martin
Gilmere Gilmere Monier -
Gilmore Gilmore Mylvoirrey, now Morrison
Huchon Huchon Hudgeon, now usually Hodson
Hugh Kewe (obs.)
John (Eoin) John Kewin
Lucas Lucas Clucas
Mark Mark, -Quark Quark
Nele Nele Kneale, by trans. Nelson
Neven Neven Kneen
Nichol Naikell Cringle, Criggal
Paul (Payl) ,, Fayle Quayle
Reginald, Reynold Reynold Crennell
Robyn Robyn Crebbin, by trans. Robinson
Simond Simond Shimmin
Stephen Stephen Stephen, Stephenson
Thomas ,, Comas Comish, Cammaish
Thormot ,, Cormot Cormode
Urmen ,, Urmen Kermeen
William ,, William Quilliam

Of these names only three are obsolete, and one, Monier, although obsolete in Mann, still survives in America.

Woulfe states that Ireland was the first country after the fall a.- of the Western Empire to adopt hereditary surnames. Of surnames in England, William Camden, the oldest authority on the subject, in his Remaines concerning Britaine, writes: 'As for myself, I never hitherto, found any hereditary surname before the Conquest (1066), neither any that I know; and yet both I my self and divers whom I know, have pored and pusled upon many an old Record and evidence to satisfie our selves herein, and for my part I will acknowledge my self greatly indebted to them that will clear this doubt.'

Freeman, in his History of the Norman Conquest of England, states that 'in England before the Conquest there is no ascertained case of a strictly hereditary surname'. 'If the Norman Conquest had never happened,' he writes, 'it is almost certain we should have formed for ourselves a system of hereditary surnames. Still, as a matter of fact, the use of hereditary surnames begins in England with the Conquest, and it may be set down as one of its results.'

The late Isaac Taylor, author of Words and Places and Names and their Histories, in a contribution to Notes and Queries (2 Feb. 1901), writes: 'Surnames grew out of descriptive appellations, and the date at which they originated varied according to the locality and the person's rank in life. In the South we find them at the beginning of the 12th century. In the Northern counties they were not universal at the end of the 14th; and in remote parts of Wales, in the mining districts and in the slums of Glasgow they are still unknown. They were first used by the barons and franklins, then by the tradesmen and artisans, and lastly by the labourers.'

Freeman writes in his History of the Norman Conquest of England: 'at the time of the Norman invasion of England, the practice of hereditary surnames seems still to have been a novelty in Normandy, but a novelty that was fast taking root. The members of the great Norman houses already bore surnames, sometimes territorial, sometimes patronymic, of which the former class easily became hereditary.'

In the lowland Scottish towns the use of surnames began in the 12th century. The oldest Highland surnames, Mac Dubgaill and Mac Domnaill, only date from the 13th century. Dubgall who was son of Somerled, flourished about 1200; Domnall who was grandson of Somerled, about 1250. Surnames were rare in the Highlands until the 16th and 17th centuries.

In regard to Wales, it is stated in the 16th Annual Report of the Registrar-General for England and Wales (1853) that 'hereditary surnames were not in use even among the gentry of Wales until the time of Henry VIII, nor were they generally established until a much later period; indeed, at the present day they can scarcely be said to be adopted among the lower classes in the wilder districts, where, as the marriage registers show, the Christian name of the father still frequently becomes the patronymic of the son'.

In Scandinavian countries, as in Wales, surnames were of comparatively late introduction. Of Ireland, Baring-Gourd, in his Family Names and their Story 1910), says that: 'to this day there does not exist a family name in the Island pertaining to a native. Every man is known by his personal designation, and as the son of his father.'

Of surnames in Germany it has been said that family names did not come into general employ until late in the Middle Ages. First of all, the nobility in the 12th century called themselves after their ancestral seats, as Conrad von Wettin, Rudolf von Hapsburg ; then among the citizens they were adopted in the 14th century, but did not become general until the 16th century.

Surnames were not general in Spain at the time of the discovery of the New World.

So tenaciously did the Jews stick to their single Hebrew names that it was only in the 18th and 19th centuries that they were forced by governmental action in Austria, Germany, and France to adopt hereditary names.

The earliest Manorial Roll of the Isle of Man only gives four individuals without surnames: Denis the Chaplain, Gilmurry Elenagh (Gilmury the Islander)[ But see Elenagh in Surnames.], Robert Erenagh (Robert the Husbandman or Irishman), and Doncan Ireshman. In some cases, however, it might be suspected that some apparent surnames were not fully established at the beginning of the 16th century. Thus Murdagh Mac Aleyn might have been the son of Aleyn Mac Calo, seeing that they held the same treen, and again, Aleyn Mac Calo's father was probably Allow Mac (?).

Some Christian names and surnames are traceable in origin to the name of the saint to whom the church in their treen or quarterland was dedicated. In the treen of Ballawarynagh, parish of Kirk Bride, there is a quarterland called Ballavarkish. One of the original holders, William Mac Quark, is mentioned in the Liber Assedationis of 1515, and his descendant occupies the same quarterland to this day. There was a little church or keeill here, the foundation of which may still be seen, from which the farm or quarterland took its name, Ballavarkish, for an older Balla keeill Varkysh (Markys, gen. Markysh, Mark), 'the Farm of Mark's Church'. This is proved by the fact that an old fair was held here annually up to 1834 on S. Mark's Day. Before surnames came into common use one of the holders of this treen named his son Guilley Varkysh, the servant or devotee of S. Mark, and another descendant became Mac Guilley Varkysh. In course of time when the name was crystallized into a surname, it was worn down to Mac Vark or Mac Wark, hence the modern surname. The name Corkish shows the fully inflected form, Mac Warkysh (1511 Mac Querkus).

There are many cases of this kind which enable us to trace the names of the saints to whom these keeills were dedicated. In the Particles, parish of Jurby, there is a farm called Ballaconley. In 1515 the holder's name was Mac Conoly, which postulates an older Mac Guilley Conoly (Ir. Mac Giolla Connlaoda). We may conjecture that this little church, now disappeared, was dedicated to an Irish saint, Connlaod. One of the holders in the treen named his son Guilley Conley, 'Servant of Saint Conoly', from which the surname eventually sprang. This sacred edifice must have been of some importance in early times, for it had a glebe attached to it and an eminence there is still known as Cronk y Vargee, 'the Hill of the Fair'. There also came from here the beautiful Sigurd cross of Viking age which is now at the parish church.

On Ballelby, Barony of Bangor and Saul (Sabal), there is the site of a church where an early Christian cross was found, now set up against the gable of the barn. The oldest name of this church was Kirk Maloney (LBS. 1585), which means the Church of Maloney (Ir. Maol Domnaig, 'Servant or Devotee of the Church'). This may have been the name of the saint to whom the church was dedicated. Domnach (Lat. Dominica) was said to have been the name bestowed by S. Patrick on the churches whose foundations he marked out on the Lord's Day. The fact that the Norsemen added to the name their term for church, kirk (ON. kirkia), shows that the church must have been of some importance before the Norse occupation of Mann. It was latterly known as Keeill yn Chiarn, 'the Lord's House', an obvious rendering of its older name, showing that the signification of the earlier appellation had not been forgotten. The 16th-century holders of the farm were named Mac Loney, and it is obvious that they took their name from the church or the saint to whom the church was dedicated, i.e. Mac Maol Dhomhnaigh, 'the son of Maol Dhomhnaigh'. The latter word, in its much aspirated form, is simply pronounced [o:ni, auni, or u: ni]. Maol is contracted to 'l, hence the 16th-century form Mac '1 ony. With the disappearance of the prefix Mac we get the modern forms Looney and Lewney. Maol, primarily meaning bald, was applied to a male tonsured servant of a saint or holy man, and is found in the oldest Irish surnames of Christian origin. The Barony of Bangor and Sabal, on which Kirk Maloney was situated, belonged to the Abbey of Bangor and Sabhal in Ireland.

On the quarterland of Shenn Valley, in the treen of the same name, Kirk Christ Rushen, there existed a church which was probably dedicated to one of two Irish saints named 'Oubtac, gen. 'ouiitai,t (Dubhthach, gen. Dubhthaigh). The name Mac Gillowy here in 1511 shows us that one of the holders named a son Guilley Dowey, 'Servant of S. Dowey', after the saint to whom the church was dedicated (Ir. Siotta 'OutitAii~, Giolla Dhubhthaigh, pron. gilau'i). The contracted form of the name, Lowey, still exists in the district.

It will have been noticed that most Gaelic surnames were patronymic, and therefore prefixed by Ó- or Mac-. The old distich says

Per Mac atque O, veros cognoscis Hibernos ;
His duobus demptis, nullus Hibernus adest ;

which has been translated:

By Mac and O
You'll always know
True Irishmen, they say;
But if they lack
Both O and Mac,
No Irishmen are they.

Some surnames in Ó- and Mac-, however, are of foreign origin, as we shall see later.

Woulfe observes that 'the only difference between a surname commencing with Mac- and one commencing with Ó- is that the former was taken from the name of the father and the latter from that of the grandfather of the first person who bore the surname'. Dr. Donovan thought it was not improbable that at the period when surnames first became hereditary some families went back several generations to select an illustrious ancestor from whom to take a surname, and although his conjecture is supported by the eminent Irish scholar O'Curry, Woulfe thinks it is altogether groundless, for the simple reason that surnames arose naturally without premeditation, and were given rather than taken. Woulfe adds: 'the idea certainly was that all the members of a family derived their origin from the ancestor whose name they bore in their surname; but not all families of the same name are of the same origin. Every Murphy, for instance, is proclaimed by his surname to be descended from an ancestor named Murcad, but not all the Murphys are descended from the original Murcad, nor all the Caseys from one original Catarac.'

Instead of Ó or Mac, a contraction of inneen (daughter) was used in women's surnames, as Isabell Ine Joghen, Calyhony Ine Brew, &c.

About the beginning of the 10th century, Celts of the upper classes, through intermarriage with the Norse rulers, had become a hybrid race known to history as the Gall-Gael or Stranger Gael. At this period arose such names as Corlett, Corkill, &c. At this time there were two languages spoken in Mann, a Norwegian dialect with a dash of Gaelic spoken by the ruling classes and an Irish dialect probably akin to the Irish of Munster spoken by the lower classes. But the end of Norwegian influence in the 15th century proved the death-blow of the Norse dialect, which disappeared rapidly, without bequeathing to the Manx language that rich Norwegian vocabulary which is such a distinctive feature of Scottish Gaelic and the Gaelic of the Southern Isles. Probably a fresh infusion of Gaelic blood from Ireland, Galloway, the Hebrides, and the southern parts of Scotland hastened the decay of the Norwegian tongue, which had been the language of the ruling classes for more than four centuries.

On the Manx Runic crosses, erected to Norwegian and GallGaelic chieftains and their kin, we find Norse personal names indiscriminately mixed with Gaelic names, with a preponderance of the former. The following Gaelic names appear:

Mail Brikti (Ir. Mael Brigoe)
Mal Lumkon (Ir. Mael Lomagam)
Mal Moru (Ir. Mael Muire)
Athakan (Ir. Aedagan)
Krinai (Ir. Criona)
Murkial (Ir. Muirgeal)
Truian (Ir. Draordean)
Tufkal (Ir. 'Dubgall)

In the course of time the Manno-Norsemen added Mac to their own personal names, thus forming a series of hybrid names, most of which are still extant. This probably came about through intermarriage and other alliances of friendship with the best Manx landed families, and shows that the Norse occupation of Mann was accomplished more by peaceful penetration than by actual military conquest. The Manx, in like manner, borrowed names from the Norsemen. Asa consequence of this interchange of names between the two nations, a name, whether Norse or Manx, was, at the period when surnames were being formed, no sure indication of nationality, and for the same reason it is now

impossible to say, judging merely from the surname, whether a family is of Gaelic or Norse descent. A Norse eponym, generally speaking, merely indicates a Norse strain in the family. The following surnames belong to this hybrid class:

Later Surname

Older Surname




Calo, Calowe



































There were three kings of Mann who bore the name Godred, the most distinguished of these being Godred Crovan (ON. Go5fri6r) who became King of Mann at the time of the Norman conquest of England. The descendants of one or more of these became Mac Corry and Mac Curry, but later the name was confused with Mac Curghy, now Curphey, so that it is now impossible to say whether any particular Curphey had a Mac Corry or Mac Curghy for an ancestor. In Ballakillingan, Kirk Christ Lezayre, we find in 1515 John and Gilcalm Mac Curry, and William Corry ; while in 1643 and 1703 we find two John Curgheys, who must both have been descendants of one or other of the 1515 holders.

There were two kings of Mann named Olaf or Olave, the first of whom, Olaf the son of Godred Crovan, reigned forty years (1114-54), when he was assassinated by his nephews at Ramsey. The oldest form of this Norse name was Anleifr (ancestral relic), which later became Aleifr, Alåfr, and lastly Olåfr. Each of these succeeding forms has given us a personal name. From Åleifr we get the surname Caley (OM. Mac Caly), from the next form, Alåfr, we have Callow (OM. Mac Calowe), and from the later form, Olåfr, we have Cowley (OM. Mac Auley). The latter form may have been an importation from Ireland, where it was Gaelicized & mtaoiö (Amhlaoibh) [pron. au'lil. It is mentioned in the Irish Annals as early as the year A.D. 851, and is chiefly confined to Ulster. On the other hand, Caley and Callow are not found in Ireland and are probably of local origin.

Reginald (ON. R6gnvaldr, 'God's wielder') was also the name of two Manx kings, Reginald I son of Godred III who was killed at the Battle of Tynwald, A.D. 1228, and Reginald II son of Olave II, who was killed by a knight named Ivar in a meadow adjoining Kirk Christ Rushen, A.D. 125o. The descendants of these kings became Mac Regnylt, now Crennell.

Here is a list of surnames of royal origin borne by the descendants of Manx kings and princes and their connexions.

Oldest Surname

Later Surname

Descent from




Ottar, Earl




Engus, son of Somerled, Lord of Argyll



Cooil, Coole

Dubgal, third son of Somerled



Callin, Allen

Alan, Lord of Galloway




Nel, Prince




Thorkel, Prince




Fergus, Earl of Galloway




Somerled, Thane of Argyll, married Affrica, daughter of Olave I




Magnus I and II of Mann and the Isles




Lagman I of Mann and the Isles




Harald I and II of Mann and the Isles




Ivar, son of Godred III, sur-named 'the Black'

' Found chiefly in the Southern Isles. x Now obsolete.

Some of these names were borne by other princes of Manx royal blood who are not mentioned above, and who through inter-marriage were connected with many other Manx families.

In regard to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, Woulfe says that 'unlike that of the Norsemen, it profoundly influenced the Irish system of nomenclature. Not only was an entirely new set of Christian names introduced, and a type of surname previously unknown, but the continuous existence side by side for centuries of two peoples speaking different languages necessitated a bilingual nomenclature, to meet the needs of which each name and surname had to appear in both a native and a foreign dress'.

Down to the Norman invasion of Ireland, the personal names were purely Celtic. The Irish were slow to adopt scriptural names or the names of Latin and Greek saints. Anglo-Norman nomenclature was partly Teutonic and partly scriptural and saintly. The most popular names were those Germanic names which the Franks had brought across the Rhine and which ultimately found their way into every corner of Europe.

The character of the surnames borne by the Anglo-Normans may be illustrated by examples taken from the oldest AngloIrish records: (1) patronymics, with fitz, as Maurice Fitzgerald, Meiler FitzHenry, Adam FitzSimon ; or the ancestor's name appears in its simple and unaltered form, without any prefix, as: John Jordan, Robert Wallerond, Adam Fraunceis, William Matheu, John Herberd, Robert Bryan; (2) local, with de, as Richard de Burgo, William de Barri, William de Freynes, John de Hynteberge, Henry de Maundeville, Philip de Stauntoun, Adam de Keusaac, Roger de Hyda, Hugh de Lacy, John de Verdune, John de Cogan, John de Kent, John de Andoun, Walter de Lecton, Robert de Stapiltoun, Maurice de Rochfort, David de Cauntetoun, Richard de Val; (3) occupative, with le as: Thomas le Clerc, Philip le Harpur, Michael le Fireter, Henry le Marescal, Richard le Archer; (4) descriptive, with le (sometimes corrupted to de), as: Fromund le Brun, Richard le Blake, Geoffrey le Hore, John de Long, William le Graunt, John le Fort, Maurice le Wolf, William le Poer, Thomas le Engleys, Rys le Waleys, Milo de Bret, Adam le Flemyng, Robert le Deveneys.

Many of the early Norman settlers in Ireland only bore one name, and some of them took surnames from the places where they settled, as: John de Athy, Richard de Fineglas, Adam de Trim. Others were surnamed from places abroad whence they set forth, or from the trades they followed, as: Jordan de Anglia, Peter de Birmegham, William de London, Walter de Tailur.

In the 15th century the English tried to compel Irishmen to conform to English ways and adopt English surnames, and it was enacted by the Statute of 5 Edward IV (1465) that every Irishman dwelling within the Pale, which then comprised the counties of Dublin, Meath, Louth, and Kildare, should take an English surname. This act contained the following provisions, namely: that every Irishman dwelling among the English in the counties mentioned shall 'take to him an English surname of one towne, as Sutton, Chester, Trym, Skryne, Corke, Kinsale; or colour, as white, blacke, browne ; or art or science, as smith or carpenter; or office, as cooke, butler; and that he and his issue shall use his name under payne of forfeyting of his goods yearely till the premises be done, to be levied two times by the yeare to the king's warres according to the discretion of the lieutenant of the King or his deputy'.

This statute caused a few of the Irish families of the Pale to translate their surnames or assimilate them to English ones; but this was not done to any great extent in spite of the threatened penalties. Meanwhile, the descendants of the Anglo-Normns were being gradually absorbed into the Irish nation. They had in many places laid aside entirely their Norman-French dialect and were speaking the Irish language. This necessitated an Irish form of their names. The Norman Fitz was replaced by Mac. Other forms of surname were either Hibernicized or the families who bore them took patronymic surnames after the Irish fashion. Thus the Birminghams took the surname of Mac Peopair, from an ancestor named Piers or Peter de Bermingham; the Stauntons, that of Mac an Mileada (Mac Erilly) from an ancestor named Milo de Staunton; the de Exeters that of Mac Siuptam, from Jordan de Exeter, the founder of the family.

Like the great Irish families, some of the Anglo-Norman families also split up into septs which adopted distinct surnames of their own. Thus the Mac Davids, the Mac Philbins, the Mac Keoneens, the Mac Gibbons, the Mac Walters, and Mac Redmonds of Connacht are all said to be branches of the great Anglo-Irish family of de Burgo or Burke.

Many persons of Norman descent were, in one way or another, connected with the Isle of Man. William de Twynham, of the Isle of Man, seeks the King's Writ to the Sheriff of Lancashire, because the justice (Deemster), Duncan Mactory, and William his son, had deprived him of his goods to the value of fifty marks, against the peace (RP. 18 Ed. I). Walter de Huntercombe was keeper of the Isle of Man in 1292.

John de Waldeboef claimed the Isle of Man as his inheritance in A.D. 1305. He sent the following petition to Edward I of England: 'On the petition of John de Waldeboef, seeking the Land of Mann, with the Islands adjacent, as against the heir to them, in that Reginald, formerly King of that land of Mann, , had died seized of the same, from whom the right descended to a certain Mary, daughter of the same, who was the wife of William de Waldeboef. Which said Mary at another time prosecuted her right before the King of England, at which time the answer to her was that she prosecute her claim before the King of Scotland, in that the said land was at that time held of the said King of Scotland, which Mary died in the prosecution of her right: From which said Mary the right descended to John de Waldeboef, son and heir of the aforesaid William, who now petitions, &c.' (RP. 33 Ed. I).

Aufrica de Connacht, heiress of Mann, gave and conceded her heirship in the Isle of Man to Simon de Montacute, knight. In A.D. 1308 Edward II of England granted the Isle of Man to Henry de Bello Monte. In A.D. 1318 Edward II committed to John de Athy the custody of Mann.

In A.D. 1316 the Chronicle of Mann tells us that 'Richard le Mandevile and his brothers, with a great many others, outlaws from Ireland, and a numerous fleet, arrived at the port of Ronalswath (Ronaldsway), where they landed troops, arms, banners and large magazines ... afterwards they plundered the country of all that was valuable.... After this they went to the Abbey of Russyn, and plundered it of all its furniture, cattle and sheep, leaving nothing whatever. . . '. They had a battle with the Manx on the slope of Wardfel (Barrule) mountain in which they were victorious. It is remarkable that the field in which they fought belonged to John Mandevil, and it is possible that he was related to the Irish freebooter.

William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, was Lord of Mann in 1343, and Sir William le Scrop, Earl of Wiltshire, in 1398. Other descendants of the Normans were William le Taillour, 1334, Henry de Percy, Earl of Northumberland, 1402, John de Myles, William and John de Stanley, 1405. From the latter descended the Earls of Derby, who were Lords of Mann for several centuries. Henry (de) Man was Bishop of Sodor and Mann in 1546 and probably took his surname from the Isle of Man.

Those of Anglo-Norman descent who settled in Mann came from Ireland, and settled chiefly in the south of the island, Kirk Arbory and Kirk Christ Rushen, where they seem to have been powerful enough to acquire the best farms near the coast and push the Gaelic population towards the upland farms. These settlers had already discarded the Norman prefix Fitzand adopted the Irish Mac-. The most important of the Norman patronymics were: Mac Gibbon (from Fitz Gibbon, now Cubbon), Mac William (from Fitz William, now Quilliam), Mac Robyn and Robynson (from Fitz Robert, now Crebbin), Mac Whaltragh, Mac Water and Waterson (from Fitz Walter, now Qualtrough and Watterso4), Mac Henry (from Fitz Henry (later Kinry, now Harrison), and Mac Stephan (from Fitz Stephan, now Stephen and Stephenson).

The following names in the above-mentioned parishes may be suspected of having a Norman origin. In fact it might be said that all patronymics derived from scriptural names or the names of non-Celtic saints are Norman in origin: Martynson (from Fitz Martin, now Martin), Mac Iss-ak (from Fitz Isaac, now Kissack), and Mac Querkus (from Fitz Marcus, now Corkish).

These also are found: Rede (N. le Rede), Taylor (N. le Tailleur), Bayly (N. le Baillif), Norres (N. le Norreys or Noreis), Hugen (N. Hugon). Even the Christian names of Kirk Christ Rushen and Kirk Arbory, although differing little from those of other parishes, betray the same Norman source. John and Jenken, Robert and Robyn, Gilbert and Gibbon, Thomas and Thomlyn, Roger, William, Peter, Henry, Moris, Richard, and Michael. It will be seen that several of these are of scriptural origin, while others are diminutives of scriptural names. Another surname, Sherlock, although Saxon in origin, was probably introduced into Mann by the Hiberno-Normns.

Names of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew origin came in with Christianity. They were almost exclusively Biblical names, and the Greek and Latin names of saints; but they were not generally adopted until a late date as Christian names. The Irish Annals show that they were mostly borne by monks and ecclesiastics who had adopted them in place of their Celtic names.

The following Biblical names occur among our surnames:

Abel (Abell, Abelson, Mac Caball).
Adam (Mac Adam, Mac Adde).
Andrew (Mac Andrew, now Anderson).
Daniel (Danell, but usually for the Celtic name Donal).
Isaac (Mac Issak, now Kissack).
John (Mac Kewne, Johnson, now Kewin).
Luke (Lucas, Mac Lucas, now Clucas).
Mark (Mac Mark, Mac Quarke, Mac Querkus, now Quark and Corkish).
Michael (Mychel, Mac Mychel).
Paul (Mac Fayle, O'Fayle, now Quayle and Fayle).
Philip (Mac Killip, now Killip).
Stephen (Mac Stephen, Stephen, Stephenson, now Stephen and Stephenson).
Thomas (Mac Comas, Thomas, Thomasson, Thomson, now Comish, Cammaish, and Thompson).

In regard to names prefixed with Maol (Mael) and Giolla, Woulfe says: 'It was the very reverence in which these names were held that prevented their more widespread adoption, our ancestors preferring to be known as the servants, rather than the namesakes, of the saintly men and women who bore them. Hence, instead of directly adopting the name of the saint, they formed from it a new name by prefixing to it the word Mao; or Giolla, signifying servant or devotee, and names so formed were common in Ireland-those formed with Maol from early Christian times.' Maol (Mx. Meayl) means 'bald', hence tonsured, and when prefixed to the name of a saint, the tonsured servant or devotee of that saint. It is now confused with the old word mål (Old Celtic maltlos, 'a chief') found in one of our Ogam names. With the exception of several examples on our Runic monuments, Maol is not found in Mann at all, at least, not in our earliest names, the few examples found being later importations from Ireland. S,otta (Mx. Guilley) occurs in several of our surnames, and is responsible for that peculiar prefix Myl-.

It is believed by some that Slotta is not Gaelic at all, but derived from the Norse gisl, a pledge or hostage, as it only became common during the Norse period, when it was largely used by the Norsemen on their conversion to Christianity to form Christian names. This seems rather a wild conjecture, however, and there seems no reason to doubt that we are here dealing with a pure Gaelic word, Slotta, used from the earliest times with the meaning of boy, or, secondarily, a servant. It is possible that the Celticized Norsemen did not adopt the early Christian practice of tonsure, and if that were so, the use of Giolla as a prefix would be preferable to Maol.

It is also possible that when the Norsemen were converted to Christianity, maot as a prefix to names was going out of use and was gradually being superseded by siotta, a word of similar meaning, but excluding the sense of ' bald' or 'tonsured'.

O'Donovan, quoted by the late A. W. Moore (Manx Names, pI7), says: 'Slotta, especially among the ancients, signified a youth, but now generally a servant, and hence it happened that families who were devoted to certain saints, took care to call their sons after them, prefixing the word Siotta, intimating that they were to be the servants or devotees of those saints.' And he continues: 'shortly after the introduction of Christianity we meet many names of men formed by prefixing the word T;iotta to the names of the celebrated saints of the first age of the Irish Church, as Srotta-Aitbe, 'otto.-PAirais, T;,otta-tiar,ain. . . . And it will be found that there were very few saints of celebrity, from whose names those of men were not formed by the prefixing of T;rotta.. . . This word was not only prefixed to the names of saints, but also to the name of God, Christ, the Trinity, the Virgin Mary. . . .' Professor Zimmer, in a review of this book, traverses absolutely the statement in italics, and he denies that Siotta is a genuine Irish word, and he remarks that any one can see that in the first century after the introduction of Christianity the names formed from the names of celebrated saints of the Irish Church are found in Ireland only with maet. . . . He then points out that in O'Donovan's Index to the Annals of the Four Masters there are between the 6th and i2th centuries 354 persons mentioned whose names are formed with m&et or moot, and in fairly equal proportions for each century, whereas, in the same Index, 56 persons only are mentioned whose names are found with Siotta or gitta, and of these the earliest occurs in 982, while 49 out of the 5o names are of the iith and 12th centuries. With these statements he couples the fact that the conversion of the Vikings in Dublin, Limerick, and Waterford began in 945, and he comes to the conclusion that persons met with from the end of the 8th to the end of the 12th century, having names compounded with giotta, are, for the most part, Vikings converted to Christianity and to Irish citizenship. Considering the question also from a linguistic point of view, he decides that the word T;ittA is not Gaelic or even of Celtic origin, and that the British name Gildas, which has been supposed to be cognate to Sitta, is really a loan-word from the Norse, i.e. in the same way as the Irish mrta is the Norse iarlr, so pitta, 'stout youth', is equivalent to the Norse gildr, 'strong, brawny'.

Moore sums up by remarking: 'While allowing that Prof. Zimmer's article is a strong one, we cannot admit that it is absolutely convincing. We would point out that Gildas occurs in Bede, who wrote before the arrival of the Northmen, and that in the story of Kulhweh (Rhys and Evans' Mabinogion) Gildas appears as Gillu ; also that Professor Zimmer has only succeeded in producing an adjective gildr-not having been able to show any change of this adjective into a Celtic noun with the sense of " a strong fellow ", or " a stalwart young man ". On the whole, then, we must consider his theory as "not proven".'

Caillagh (Ir. Caitteac), female servant or devotee, took the place of Moot or Slotta in female personal names, as: Calybrid (Caillagh Vridey), Brigit's servant; Calycrist (Caillagh Chreest), Christ's servant; Calyhony (Caillagh Ghoonee), servant of the Church; Calypatric (Caillagh Phatric), Patrick's servant; Calyvorry (Caillagh Voirrey), Mary's servant. These did not become surnames, but continued as Christian names down to the beginning of the 18th century.

Christian names with diminutive suffixes are usually of Anglo-Norman origin, thus: Gibbon for Gilbert, Jenken for John, Paton for Patrick, Ranlyn for Reynold or Reginald, Robin for Robert, Thomlyn for Thomas; Ibott and Issott for Isabel, Johnet for Joanna or Jane (fem. of John), Mariot for Mary or Marion, and Sissott for Cecilia. In the strange name Otnel, we have a double diminutive (Ot-en-el) for Oates, found both as a Christian name and surname.

Many Christian names found in our early registers and other sources are merely substitutes for old Gaelic names: thus Denis for 'Oonnta'6 (Donnchadh), Daniel for 'aorfinatt (Domhnall), Hugh for Ao6 (Aodh), Humphrey for ArhtAoib (Amhlaoibh), Myles for TTlaotmuire (Maolmhuire), Roger for 13uaivri (Ruaidhri), Timothy for ua-6S (Tadhg) ; Agnes for M6r and flnn (Mor, Una), Dorothy for 'Ooireann (Doireann), Gertrude and Grace for Frmnne (Grainne), Mabel for The -6b (Meadhbh), Penelope for rionn,~uata (Fionnghuala) (thus Sir Walter Scott's 'Fenella'), Sarah for Soria and SAv) (Sorcha, Sadhbh), Winifred for tina (Una).

The following clan-names were formerly used in the Isle of Man, cloan and its dative clein, mooinjer, kynney, sheel, and sleight, as: Clein Christeen, the Christian Clan; Clein Cholcad, the Calcot Clan; and in the Scriptures we meet with such names as Sheel Adam and Sluight Abraham, &c. Sheelnaue is also Sheel n' Aue, the descendants of Adam. Sometimes the suffix -agh was added to indicate descent, especially in foreign names, as, Yn Tailleyragh, the Taylors ; Yn Walteragh, the Mac Walters (Qualtroughs and Wattersons). Occasionally the genitive is implied by the suffix -agh, as Johnet Ine Kerdaragh, Johnet the daughter of Kerdar, Thomas Kerdar, &c.

In later Irish, mac was reduced to ,iac (vac or wac) in surnames, and although we do not actually find such written forms in Manx, we know that the same changes took place, for instance Juan Mac Auley in the 16th century later became Juan y Cowley, and Illiam Mac Aleyn became Illiam y Callin. These forms were always used when Manx was spoken.

The English Mr. (Master) was always represented in Manx by Mainstyr, thus Mr. Thomas Kelly would be Mainstyr Thomase y Kelly; Mr. Edward Martin, Mainstyr Edard Mylyvartin, and so on.

Mrs. was usually translated by ben: Thus Mrs. Thomas Kelly would be Ben Homase y Kelly, or without the Christian name, simply Ben y Kelly.

Miss was translated by Inneen and sometimes Ben-aeg, thus Miss Mary Kelly was Moirrey Inneen y Kelly and Miss Kelly simply Inneen y Kelly. In surnames of local origin, the form of the surname after names of females is the same as that after names of males, as:

John Douglas, Juan Doolish. Mary Douglas, Moirrey Doolish. Alan Preston, Aleyn Preston. Judith Preston, Jony Preston. Luke Sayle, Lucas Sayle. (Alice Sayle, Ealish Sayle.

In colour names, such as Black, White, &c., the initial consonant should be aspirated after female names, thus:

John Brown, Juan Brown.
Mary Brown, Moirrey Vrown.

James White, Jamys Bane.
Catherine White, Catreeney Vane.

Patrick Green, Parick Glass. (
Isabel Green, Ysbal Ghlass.

In the case of a widow Bentreogh was used instead of Ben, as

Bentreogh Yuan y Kelly.
Mrs. John Kelly, or John Kelly's Widow.

Bentreogh Illiam Talhear.
Mrs. William Taylor, or William Taylor's Widow.

Surnames are variously corrupted in the spoken language, and even in our earliest manuscript-material, various corruptions had already taken place.

O was corrupted as follows:
1. Shortened to A, as Aspallan for O Spallan.
2. Dropped altogether, as More for O More, &c.

The following are the corruptions and variations of mac

1. c (sometimes g) attracted over to the name of the ancestor. This happens when the name of the ancestor commences with a vowel or h, or with l, n, or r, or with a consonant aspirated after mac or mag. The name of the ancestor is treated in all the forms of the surname as if it commenced with c or g. Examples

Mac Calo for Mac Allow, now Callow.
Caskell Askell, Castell.
Casmund Asmund, Casement.
Cluag ,, Luag, Clague.

2. M aspirated or totally elided, as:

Juan 'ac Kaye, now written Juan y Kaye, for Juan Mac Kaye (Mac Aye).
Illiam 'ac Karagher, now written Illiam y Karagher for Illiam Mac (F)aragher.
Thomase 'ac Crye, now written Thomase y Crye for Thomas Mac Rye.

3. Mac Guilley is corrupted to Myle, as:

Mac Guilley Chreest, now Mylechreest. Mac Guilley Ruy, now Mylroi.

Sometimes Myle drops out in modern forms, when English is spoken, but was usually retained in Manx, as: Mylevartin for Mac Guilley Vartin, now Martin.

Some Manx families had two surnames, one being considered the Manx form and the other the English form, as:

Kinry and Harrison.
Kodere and Watterson.

Translations into English are also common, as
Abelson for Mac Abel (later Cabal, now obs.).
Begson Kinvig.
Doncanson Mac Doncan.
Gibbonson Mac Gibbon (now Cubbon).
Martynson Mylevartin.
Morrison Mylevoirrey.
Nelson Mac Nele (Kneale).
Robynson Mac Robyn (Crebbin).
Stephenson Mac Stephen.
Watterson Qualtrough.
Williamson Quilliam.
Wright Teare.

Occasionally we have two surnames from the same root, one being a diminutive, as Kaye from the Irish Mac Aodha. Keggin from the Irish Mac Aodhagain.

Sometimes we have surnames derived from different genitive forms, as Kaye from Mac Aodha, 'son of Aodh'. Kee Mac Aoidh, 'son of Aodh'. Quaye is also another form of Kaye.

There are some surnames, which, although the roots became obsolete as forenames before written records, we know must have originated in Mann. One of the most interesting of these is Corlett. The personal name from which the surname was derived, was I:)õrljõtr, found on many Danish Runic monuments, and perhaps implying a Danish origin. Prefixed by Mac it became Mac Corleod and now Corlett. Sometime during the existence of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, one branch of this family emigrated to Cadboll in the Hebrides, and another branch emigrated to Lewis. There the name was abbreviated to Mac Leod. Further proof of their connexion with the Isle of Man is the fact that both the Mac Leods of Cadboll and Lewis quarter the Manx 'Three Legs' and also use the same motto.

Many of our personal names are, so to speak, the waifs and strays of the islands of Britain, which Mannin has gathered to her bosom, moulded, and fashioned in her own simple way and enshrined in her heart. Many European countries have contributed to our personal names and some have come from countries so far apart as Normandy, Germany, and even Palestine. But these were probably domiciled in Britain before setting out for Mann.

Excluding imports from other parts of Gaeldom, the bulk of our exotic names come from the northern counties of England, especially Cumberland, Lancashire, and Cheshire. With the exceptions of patronymics ending in son, these imports are mostly of the local and occupative type. Of the local type we still have with us the Radcliffes, the Skillicorns, the Sansburys, the Sayles, and others, and other important families such as the Tyldesleys and the Norrises who have only died out in recent times, although there must be many Manx families to whom they were ancestors. Occupative names are Taubman, Maddrell, Cooper, &c.

Many of our Manx personal names have a great deal of romance attached to them, when we, so to speak, dig up the past, and make some of these romantic characters tell us their story. First of all, let us consider the story of Donald Waterford, whose descendants are still with us after a lapse of five centuries.

In the year of grace 1422, Sir John Stanley, as King of Mann, presided over the destinies of our island. He appointed one John Walton as governor or lieutenant, who seems to have been very unpopular with the yeomen. History does not inform us as to the precise nature of their grievance, but in any case they rebelled, and the ringleaders said that they would not only put the governor down but refuse to obey the laws of the land as well. The upshot was, that at a Tynwald holden at Kirk Michael within the octave of Corpus Christi, they not only stopped the proceedings but chased the governor and his officials into the church and churchyard, belabouring them with shillelahs in a style worthy of the best Hibernian traditions. Now the law of the land at that time was, that after the Coroner of Glenfaba had fenced the court, ' . . . noe Man (must) make any Disturbance or Stirr in the Time of Tynwald, or any Murmur or Rising in the King's presence, upon Paine of Hanging and drawing'. But the farmers had doubly transgressed by ill-using the governor and his officers on hallowed ground whence they had fled for refuge. Sixteen were condemned to be drawn by wild horses, hanged, and headed. They threw themselves on the Lord's grace and some were reprieved, but the ringleaders suffered the full penalty of the law. The kings of those days seized with avidity any excuse to deprive the yeomen of their patrimonies-patrimonies which must in most instances have descended to them from their Gaelic and Viking forefathers. Therefore even the lands of those who escaped execution would be confiscated and the owners thereof, as felons, attainted. The names of several of these rebels disappeared from the pages of history, but the names of most of them are still with us. Let me enumerate them: Kissack, Cowley, Crwen, Curphey, Kaighen, Craine, Cannell, Christian, and Kaneen.

Among the rebels was a Manxman whose forebears evidently hailed from Ireland, for his name was Donald Waterford. His ancestor evidently came from that city, and in the first instance 'Waterford' or 'of Waterford' would be a kind of nickname bestowed on him by the Manxmen. But the name apparently disappears, and no doubt Waterford was executed and his farm confiscated. After this there is no record of the family for well over a century, but he must have left either relatives or descendants, for at the opening of the 17th century we find that one of them had managed to acquire an upland farm in Kirk Christ Rushen, and his name and rental are duly entered in the Manorial Roll of 1601. In the intervening years a metamorphosis of the name had taken place-Waterford had become Watlefoorth-and the name still flourishes around Port Erin and Port S. Mary in the further corrupt form, Woodworth. Another branch went to Kirk Malew and then to Kirk German. In the latter parish the family attained some eminence, for in 1703 we find Samuel Wattleworth, Archdeacon of Mann. We thus see how one ancient name, almost wiped out of existence by the relentless hand of the law five centuries ago, still exists in two distinct forms.

Let us bridge the centuries to the year of Grace 1307. Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, grandson to that other Bruce who competed with Baliol for the Scottish Crown, was determined that he himself should be the deliverer of his people. He thought his family had been unjustly deprived of the Crown by the decision of the English king in favour of Baliol. But Bruce had a rival in Comyn, and he found that the latter was in league with the English monarch, Edward, and had advised Edward that Bruce should be captured and put to death. Bruce arranged an interview with Comyn in the convent of the Minorites at Dumfries and charged him with his guilt, which Comyn denied. Then Bruce slew him at the altar.

After this episode every man's hand seemed to be turned against Bruce and he was excommunicated by the Church. He sought a safe asylum in the mountain fastnesses.

Bruce had two brothers, Thomas and Alexander, who were bringing him a small army from Ireland, but they were unfortunate in their enterprise. Landing on the shore of Loch Ryan, they were attacked by Mac Dowall, a powerful chieftain, and their little army was totally routed. The two brothers, desperately wounded, were taken prisoners; and being presented to the English king at Carlisle, were immediately executed.

When Bruce heard of the fate that had befallen his brothers he vowed that retribution would be exacted, whatever the cost. But seven years elapsed before he was able to avenge them.

Mac Dowall, the Gallovidian chieftain, also had an estate in Mann, and perceiving that Bruce was at the zenith of his power, and fearful of the latter's vengeance, he fled thither, and sought an asylum in Castle Rushen, where he imagined he would be safe from the wrath of the Scottish monarch. But the irate Bruce was not so easily eluded. Finding that Mac Dowall had fled from his castle on the shores of Loch Ryan, and mindful of the fact that he had an estate in Mann, he gathered together a large fleet and went in pursuit. He arrived at Ramsey on the 18th of May 1313, and, according to the Chronicle of Mann, he went the following Sunday to the monastery of Douglas, where he stayed the night. 'The ensueing Monday', says the Chronicle, 'he besieged the Castle of Rushen, which fortress Lord Duncan Macdowal held against the aforesaid king, until Tuesday, the day after the festival of S. Barnabas the apostle (11 June) on which day the aforesaid lord the king took the castle.'

According to the Scottish historians, Bruce subdued the island without difficulty, but it was at least three weeks before Castle Rushen capitulated, and there is good reason to believe that this was due to treachery within the castle.

History is silent as to what befel Mac Dowall, but we may be certain that Bruce exacted his full meed of vengeance, and it is ominous that Mac Dowall the chieftain disappears from history. His estate of Balladoole, however, still bears the name of the family, and the fact that he owned the whole treen of Balladoole, as well as the Calf of Mann, shows a connexion with Manx royalty, as the Calf was, from early Scandinavian days, a deer-park for the kings of Mann.

Thirty-one years after Bruce's invasion of Mann, A.D. 1334, Edward III of England appointed William le Taillour, of Carlisle, Haver Mc Coter, and Gilbert Mak Stephan as custodians of the island. We are chiefly concerned here with Mak Stephan, who undoubtedly was one of the ancestors of the Stephensons of Balladoole, and it seems likely that Gilbert Mak Stephens' son married a Mac Dowall, or Mac Doole, the heiress of Balladoole, thus bringing in a long line of Stephensons, who produced many men of eminence. Descendants of the Mac Dowalls are still with us, however, in the disguised forms, Coole and Cowell. The old Gaelic form was Dubhghall, which through the phenomenon called aspiration becomes softened to Doo-al or Dow-al. The name means 'dark stranger' and was an epithet applied by the ancient Irish to the Danes. Prefixed by Mac it eventually became a surname, and by epithesis or the addition of a final d, we get the Scottish form Dugald.

Olave, son of Godred Crovan, began his reign over Mann and the Isles A.D. 1114. He married Affrica, the daughter of Fergus, a chieftain or prince of Galloway. He had a son by Affrica named Godred, who came to the throne as Godred III, A.D. 1154

Some of Fergus' kinsfolk settled in the island, mostly in Kirk Maughold, and we find a descendant of one of these, John Mac Fergus, in the Keys in 1417, 519 years ago. The family did not supply another member for nearly five centuries, when another John, John Robert Kerruish, became a member in 1879, 462 years after his ancestor.

Let us trace the name from its beginnings. Its primitive Celtic form was Vergustus, meaning 'super-choice' or 'superselection'. This became in Old Irish ' Fergus' with a genitive 'Fergosso'. By aspiration or softening of the medial g the name became Fearghus (gh silent) in Middle Irish. It belonged to that class of nouns called heteroclite, i.e. belonging to more than one declension. In the first declension its genitive was Fearghuis (pron. ferroosh), and this is the form we find in our Manx name. When a name was prefixed by mac (son), not only was the following personal name put in the genitive case, but the initial consonant was aspirated, and when f is aspirated it is not sounded at all; thus instead of a form Mac Ferruish we get Mac Kerruish and later Kerruish.

If a personal name happened to resemble in sound a word or name of the spoken language, then popular etymology usually had a hand in the game, causing a further departure from the original form.

Thus the name we are dealing with resembled two Manx words, kiare rooisht 'four naked'. Such an opportunity as this could not possibly be missed. A legend arose that a shipwreck had occurred on the coast of Maughold, whence four men escaped to the shore, with not even the proverbial barrel to cover their nudity, and these four naked men were the founders of the Kerruishes of Maughold.

There are some personal names which we can link up with historic events which took place in one or other of the surrounding countries. One of these is Dougherty.

The Õ Dochartaighs of Ireland were chiefs of Cinel Enna and Ard Miodhair, in the Barony of Raphoe, but about the beginning of the 15th century they became lords of Inishowen, in the north of Ireland, and one of the most powerful families of Tyrconnell, a position they retained down to the reign of James I, when, after the rebellion of Sir Cahir O'Dogherty, their possessions were confiscated and granted to Sir Arthur Chichester.

The first record we have of the Doughertys in the Isle of Man is in 1630 in the parish of Kirk Andreas, and the cumulative evidence shows clearly that they were a branch of the O'Doughertys of Inishowen, who sought a safe asylum in Mann after the confiscation of their Irish territories in the early part of the 17th century.

At the beginning of the 16th century one Thomas O'Lyn held part of the quarterland of Ballakneale, in the treen of Edremony, Kirk Christ Rushen ; an estate which is being absorbed by the thriving watering-place, Port Erin. It is probable that the family had been in the same neighbourhood since. the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th century. They were descendants of a famous Ulster family who, from about the middle of the 11th until towards the latter part of the 14th century, were chiefs of Ui Tuirtre, a district comprised in the baronies of Upper and Lower Toome, in co. Antrim, and are frequently mentioned in the Irish Annals. In the year 1177 they defeated John de Courcy when he advanced into their territory, and for two centuries they continued to maintain their independence. After the year 1368 they disappear from history. The Irish estate of the O'Lyns is but fifty miles from their Manx settlement on the south-west coast of Mann.

Unfortunately our parish registers are so defective that they do not allow us to follow the fortunes of this family. The name O'Lyn disappears and Lindsay later takes its place, a name which is recorded in the early parish registers of Kirk Christ Rushen, and is still extant in the neighbourhood. O'Donovan, the Irish historian, leaves it on record that Lindsay was one of the Anglicized forms of the surname O'Lyn.

It is probable that Irish personal names were subject to the process of Anglicization before the O'Lyns came to Mann, and they would carry this knowledge with them to their adopted home, which itself was beginning to feel the influence of the English tongue.

The root of the name is lann, 'red or ruddy complexioned', the source of many Irish personal names. O'Lyn is a modified form of O'Flynn, meaning Flann's descendant.

Some Manx families are descended from Scottish ancestors, and very probably the reverse is also the case. These immigrants mostly came from Argyll, Galloway, and the surrounding country.

In the Scottish Annals we find that Donald Fitz Cane and Cuthbert Mac Cane were jurors among the men of Roxburgh and Dumfries, A.D. 1304, together with Walter de Twynham and others. Probably Gibbon Fitz Cane was an ancestor of Gibbon Mac Cane who in 1297 was in association with Dunkan Makdowel, receiving letters, one close and one patent, empowering and commanding them to bring two thousand footsoldiers of the chosen men of Galloway, at the same time as Bruce, Earl of Carrick, was required to bring troops from Carrick and Galloway, and Sir John de Hodelstone from Coupland.

Later we find these men, or their direct descendants, settled in Mann, whither, no doubt, they had fled for political reasons, when Bruce was being pursued by his enemies and had to hide in the mountain fastnesses.

The Mac Canes evidently settled in Ballaugh, and the estate which they made their home still bears the name Ballacain. It was quite a large estate, or treen, as it was called, and contains several quarterlands. Later they disappeared from this parish, and at the beginning of the 16th century we find them in Jurby. Mac Cathåin, the Gaelic form of the name, means 'the son of Cathån', i.e. a warrior.

Dunkan Makdowel is one with whom we have already made acquaintance as the defender of Castle Rushen against Robert Bruce's siege. Makdowel's estate, as already pointed out, still bears the family name, Balladoole, 'the estate of Doole or Dowel'. In place-names mac was usually dropped when balla was prefixed.

Walter de Twynham's father, William de Twynham, had also an estate in Mann, but where it was we do not know. In 1290 we find that William de Twynham of the Isle of Man seeks the king's writ to the Sheriff of Lancaster, because the judge, Doncaster Mac Tory, and William his son, had deprived him of his goods to the value of fifty marks, against the peace.

Sir John de Hodelstone of Coupland also left descendants in Mann. Their estate was Ballahot in Kirk Malew, and they filled some of the highest offices in the Manx legislature. Thomas Huddleston of Ballahot was appointed Attorney-General in 1696.

The personal names Kinley and Kewley do not seem to have much in common, yet they are similarly derived. The early forms show a confusion between two ancient Gaelic names: Fionn Lugh, meaning 'fair Lugh', i.e. Lugh, the Celtic sun-god, and, Fionn Laoigh, 'fair hero'. The genitive form of Fionnlugh is Fionnlogha (pron. finlo). In our earliest form the f is retained, thus: Mac Fynlo in 1511, which later became Kinloe, then Kinley, now pronounced [kin'li]. Fionnlaoigh, 'fair hero', gives us a modern Kinlaie [kin lei], a colloquial form which was much used in the Isle of Man among Manx-speaking people. Now let us deal with Kewley ; this is a name we can treat definitely as of Scottish origin. The qualitative fconn varies in pronunciation in different localities. Perhaps [fin] is the most common. The nominative form-of course adjectives are declined like nouns in Irish and Sc. Gaelic-is spelt f-i-o-o-n, and in some localities this is pronounced fune [fju:n]. When this is used as a prefix, the n apparently disappears, and the preceding vowel is nasalized, and instead of a pronunciation [kju: n la] we get [kjü'le], and this is the form which came to us from Scotland. Then Manx tongues got busy on it, changing the vowel [u:] to [o:], and giving us [kjo: la]. We find the two spellings, indicating the pronunciation, at the beginning of the 17th century, Kyuley in 1607 and Kewley in 1625. Later the l became mouillë, i.e. as though it were followed by a y, and ' Keo'la' becomes ' Keo'lya'. This phonetic law is known as 'assimilation', i.e. a tendency for a letter to become like its neighbours. Thus if k is followed by a y sound, as kyo, so must l be followed by a y sound also, as lyo. We thus arrive at the stage' Kyo-lya' [kjo:'lj9], which owing to English influence has now become ' Kyu-lee' [kju'li]. We can thus compare Kinley and Kewley to two pebbles lying on the shore. One is eventually cast up so high on the strand that the tide cannot reach it, but the other is not so fortunate, and it continues to be thrown to and fro by the waves, until eventually it becomes so worn that it does not bear any resemblance to its former companion, although they were identical in shape and form at the beginning of their career.

The names Leece and Lace are like the unfortunate pebble to which I have just referred, for they are worn so much that there is nothing but the core left. Leece began its career in the grandiloquent form Mac Guilley Yeesey, i.e. 'the son of Guilley Yeesey', a personal name meaning 'the servant of Jesus', a post-Christian name. The name Lace may belong to preChristian times. Its oldest form was Mac Guilley Chass, i.e. 'the son of Guilley Cass', which latter means simply 'the curlyhaired youth'.

There are many names belonging to this class, of which I shall just give two more examples: Bane, now translated White, from Mac Guilley Vane, 'son of Guilley Vane', i.e. the fair youth, and Mylroi from Mac Guilley Ruy, 'son of Guilley Ruy', i.e. the red-haired youth.

Then we have the ancient pagan totem names of which our two best examples are Kinrade and Kinvig. The former is derived from Mac Con Riada, 'the son of Cu Riada', i.e. Riada's hound, Riada being the name of a pagan chieftain. Kinvig comes from Mac Con Bhig, 'the son of Cu Beg', i.e. the little hound. These two names were evidently mysteries to the scribes of the early 16th century, so in both cases they made con into John, thus making them intelligible, at least to themselves.

And now a few words about the languages from which our personal names are derived.

Our oldest documents which contain personal names are not of vellum but of stone. The Ogam monuments bring us back to a period dating from about the first century of the Christian era to the fifth century. They belong to the pagan period, for Christianity had not yet reached our shores. On these sepulchral monuments are the earliest examples of Celtic personal names known to exist in these islands, and the language shows many grammatical inflexions which had disappeared before Old Irish was committed to writing by the holy men of the Irish monasteries. The history of Ireland and Mann at that time was one. The hardy Norsemen had not yet set out to conquer new lands for their clamouring children.

But the time arrived when economic conditions in Scandinavia made it imperative that new territories should be conquered, and thus began those thrilling but terrible adventures which are so vividly described in the sagas, and which made the name of Viking the most hated in Europe.

Here is a description by the Norse court-poet of the invasion by King Magnus of Norway in A.D. 1098 of Mann and the Hebrides

Fire played fiercely to the heavens over Lewis,
He went over Uist with flame;
The yeomen lost life and goods,
He harried Skye and Tiree,
The terror of the Scots was in his glory;
The Lord of Greenland made the maidens weep
In the Southern Isles.
The people of Mull ran in fear,
There was smoke over Islay ;
Farther south, men in Cantire bowed beneath the sword-edge,
He made the Manxmen to fall.

To Ireland, Mann was now a foreign country, the links of kinship which had previously bound them together were ruthlessly snapped asunder by a destiny over which Manxmen had no control. But in spite of all this, they still clung tenaciously to their ancient heritage, their Gaelic tongue, which four centuries of Norse rule had failed to suppress, and which still lingers on after an added five centuries of English dominion.

And thus our personal names reflect the history and traditions of times that are no more, the grace of the Celt and the strength of the Norseman and the Saxon are welded together by fetters which can never be broken. The Quinneys, Corletts, and Radcliffes, each descendants of a great race, live together in that unity and material understanding which is the basis of true nationality.


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