[ANSTHRLD] Irish Gaelic help -- Ronan M-something

Lisa Theriot lisatheriot at ravenboymusic.com
Mon Jul 25 10:18:41 PDT 2011

[OK, I hate Gaelic and know nothing about it.]

I got your Gaelic right here...

[I can push Ronan up to 1117]

And further, as it was the name of at least ten Irish saints.

[And my feckless client bought a copy of The Surnames of Ireland by

Almost any book is better than no book.  Even if they start with a bad
book, if they are willing to do research, they can be taught!

[and settled on Maghery]

Really poor choice.  Not only is Maghery a rare example of a toponymic
(placename-based surname), OCM gives one of the saints Ronan as Ronan of
Magheralin (Ro/na/n an Mhachaire Lainne), so submitting <Ro/na/n an
Mhachaire> makes me twitch.

If he is adamant, your surname documentation is here:


You might point out to the client that all the annals citations appear
with a patronymic in addition to <an Machaire> "of the field"; no
self-respecting Irishman would leave off his father's name!

If he just likes the sound of the surname, see if he will take <mac
Fearadaig> which appears recorded by English scribes near 1600 as
M'Karrye and M'Kerry (Woulfe, Irish Names and Surnames, s.n. pg. 359),
modern form MacGarry.  Documentation for the underlying given name for
the father is here:


He would then have a Gaelic name <Ro/na/n mac Fearadaig> (Woulfe
spelling) or <Ro/na/n mac Fearadhaigh> (annals spelling), with a likely
English form of Ronane M(ac)Kerry (Woulfe gives O Ronane as a circa-1600
English spelling of O/ Ro/na/in; Woulfe shows no period anglicized form
of an Macaire, BTW).

Will that do?


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