Old Irish Naming Patterns

Sons
1st son was named after the father's father
2nd son was named after the mother's father
3rd son was named after the father
4th son was named after the father's eldest brother
5th son was named after the mother's eldest brother

Daughters
1st daughter was named after the mother's mother
2nd daughter was named after the father's mother
3rd daughter was named after the mother
4th daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister
5th daughter was named after the father's eldest sister

 

Some  recent observations from County Cork-L list regarding naming patterns:

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On Wed, 3 May 2000 NKie wrote:

> After a recent return from beautiful Ireland, West Cork and Sligo in
> particular, I have been pondering that naming pattern again. It occurred to
> me after some thought, would not the first and fourth son end up with the
> same name. If first son is named after fathers father and the fourth after
> the eldest brother, eldest brother is named after the fathers father in all
> the sons families. Is there some logic in my thinking or have I confused
> myself beyond repair??Is that why they seemed to name people one thing and
> call them something else??
>
> Regards, Nancy Kie

Reply given by Sean Ruad is as follows:

Exactly - unless the father was the eldest son and his oldest brother
was actually younger than himself and so was named for the mother's
father - well, with that said... I'm beginning to feel a lot more like
I did when I first got here than I do now -   *{;-)

May 10th, 2000

It is not an aberration. The naming convention was;
First Son after paternal Grandfather
2nd Son after maternal Grandfather
3rd Son after Father
4th and subsequent Son's after next eldest Uncle
The exact same convention was used for girls, with Grandmothers and Aunts
used.
This convention was modified when the resulting name would mean that 3
people in one family had the same name. The superstition was that in the
case of 3 having the same name, one would die. When one of the people having
the name died, the name was reused on the next born child.
Regards, Shaun
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