Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Drumballyroney Surnames

Most common surnames in Drumballyroney in 1863-4

(Rough notes)

Surname (Households)

Martin (35). In South Down Mac Giolla Martáin is anglicised as Martin.
Mac Giolla Martáin means 'Son of the servant of (St) Martin'. It can also be of Scottish origin, both Gaelic 'Mac Gille Mhartainn' and lowland, and of English origin.

Cromie (20) - from the Gaelic Crombach, 'crooked place'. Despite the deriving from a Gaelic word and only meaning in the Gaelic language, Cromie is not a Gaelic name, but rather a 'Lowland' Scottish name as it is a toponymic, i.e. named after a place-name. Gaelic surnames are generally patronymic, ie. named after an ancestor. The Irish Cromie is normally found in South Armagh and is an anglicisation of Ó Cromtha. meaning bent / crooked. This however may derive from the Scottish name.

Davidson (20), despite the appearance of being an English name, it is unlikely to be so. Davidson would be considered a 'Protestant', Plantation name. But the truth is that Davidson could Gaelic a name as any of those above given that the Davidsons of Ulster are originally the Scottish MacDhaibhidh.

Bell (18), Can be an Anglicization of the Gaelic Mac Giolla Mhaoil, but can also be an English or French language name.

Burns (16). Most likely from the Irish Ó Broin but clearly can be a plantation surname. (From Ciarán Ó Duibhín notes "Pron. ă brin′ or (without preceding forename) ō-brin′ or (most commonly) bran′-ăh (S Armagh, SÓhA)" Ciarán Ó Duibhín).

Downey (15) - From the Irish Mac Giolla Domhnaigh. The Scottish Gaelic Mac Gille Domhnaich is also anglicised as Downey. The both mean 'son of the Lord's servant' (Bell).

Ferguson (15). A Scottish surname, being an anglicisation of the Gaelic Mac Fhearghuis / Mac Fhearghusa 'son of Fergus'. Fergus means 'man of valour;.

McNeilly (15). From the Gaelic Mac an Fhilidh 'Son of the poet', originally an Antrim name.

Beatty (13) Beatty CAN be of Gaelic origin, either Scottish or Irish meaning Biadhtach 'Public Victualler' (Bell), but this is unlikely in this case, what is likely is that Beatty is a lowland Scots name being a diminutive / pet form of Bartholomew.

Murphy (13), from the Irish Mac Murchaidh, pronounced (in Omeath) A' Mhurfaí. Murchadh means 'sea warrior'. Murphys are refered to in Irish as 'Na Beirnigh'.

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