This page is crammed with information about the
Celtic genre, the origins of Celtic baby names, first
name and surnames.
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Celtic Baby Names - Info requested by our visitors
In their search for this particular Celtic category
people become interested in researching their own
surname or family and First Name. We have therefore
included this information to meet the requests of our
Celtic is the language of the Celts. The remains of the
old Celtic language are found in the Scottish (also
referred to as Gaelic), Irish (also known a the Erse),
the Manx, Cornish and the Welsh dialects. A name
sometimes given to that dialect of the Celtic which is
spoken in the Highlands of Scotland is called, by the
Highlanders, Gaelic. Celtic surnames and their
derivatives are detailed under the following sections
about Scottish surnames, Welsh surnames and Irish
Celtic Surnames - Scottish
Scottish surnames divide into two categories. Scottish
surnames from the highlands and Scottish surnames from
the lowlands of Scotland. The Scottish Gaelic surnames
from the highlands were heavily influenced by the Clans.
Highlanders gave their allegiance to Clans and adopted
the surname used by that clan. These surnames included
names like Mackintosh, Macgregor, Maclachlan,
Macdonnell, Macdonald, Macduff, Buchanan, Drummond,
Munro, Campbell, Stewart, Cameron and Ross. Scottish
surnames from the lowlands of Scotland tended to be
influenced by English surnames. Many Scottish surnames
such as Stewart, Cameron and Ross are now commonly used
as a First or middle name.
Celtic Surnames - Welsh
Welsh Surnames -It has been estimated that about
nine-tenths of the Welsh population answer to a total of
just one hundred surnames. Examples of Welsh surnames
are Bennett, Beynon, Davis, Ellis, Evans, Griffiths,
Jones, Lewis, Llewelyn, Lloyd, Owen, Pritchard, Pugh,
Powell, Price, Meredith, Thomas, Trewent, Yorath and
Williams. Welsh surnames make use of patronymics as
opposed to fixed surnames. Patronymics are of , relating
to, or derived from the name of one's father or a
paternal ancestor. The Welsh patronymics surnames system
used the prefixes ab or ap (meaning son of) such as ap
Rhys (for son of Rhys) or ab Owen (for son of Owen).
This lead to many Welsh surnames beginning with the
letters B and P. The letter A was dropped from ap and
ab. The name ap Howell was thus shortened to Phowell and
gradually this then lead to the surname Powell.
- Bowen from 'ab Owen' son of Owen
- Price from 'ap Rhys' for son of Rhys
- Pritchard from 'ap Richard' son of Richard
- Celtic Surnames - Irish Surnames
The oldest surname recorded
anywhere in Europe can be found in Irish historical
records dating back to the year 916. According to Friar
Woulfe, an authority on Irish surnames, the first
recorded fixed surname is O'Clery (Ó Cleirigh) detailing
the death of Tigherneach Ua Cleirigh, lord of Aidhne in
County Galway. Patronymics are of , relating to, or
derived from the name of one's father or a paternal
ancestor and this system of naming people played a part
in the meanings and origins of Irish surnames. The term
'Ua', as in the above Irish surname Tigherneach Ua
Cleirigh, was an early form of "O" meaning grandson
(Tigherneach was therefore the grandson of Cleirigh).
The prefix "Mac", meaning son of, was also used in Irish
surnames, although this name was not always hereditary
and could change according to a given name. Fitz was
also a similar prefix used (also meaning son of).
Ancient Irish Celtic Surnames
The oldest Irish surnames were taken from
occupations, tribal customs and traditions and from
pre-Christian Gods. Unlike English surnames, very few
Irish surnames were derived from locations. Irish
surnames tended to reflect ancestors or important
Church & Irish Celtic Surnames
The influence of the Christian church from the
10th century then played a role in the origins and
meanings of Irish surnames and these have survived the
test of time. Irish surnames beginning with 'Kil' or
'Gil' derive from the Irish word 'Giolla', meaning
follower or devotee. Irish surnames beginning with 'Mul'
derive from the Irish word Maol meaning bald (this
referred to the tonsure of monks)
Celtic First Names
Importance of a Celtic First Name!
We respond to our names throughout our lives. People
associate us with our first name, it forms part of our
identity. They help to distinguish us from one to
another. Other people gain immediate and sometimes
totally subconscious views of people, just from hearing
a name they can therefore give us a distinct advantage
in life, or conversely, a disadvantage! The choice of an
Celtic Baby name is, therefore, incredibly important.
And those of us who choose a baby's name are taking on a
Origins of Celtic baby names
The origins of Celtic baby names include those related
to places, mythology and history, origins are sometimes
derived from colours, plants and other types of nature,
fictional origins, historical origins, characteristic
and religious origins. We then move on to the specific
Celtic category which can be classed as Clan names,
Descriptive, Place, Speciality and finally unique (or
Questions about Celtic baby names!
At one time or another most of us have posed some the
following questions about our own names...
- What does my name mean?
- Why did my parents choose the name?
- Are there any strong family connections to my
- Where did my name originate?
- Why was I given such a popular name?
- Why was I given such an unusual name?
What Celtic baby name
shall I give to my baby?
Will the traditional Celtic baby name suit my
baby? Will it be appropriate throughout a full life
cycle starting with baby - toddler - school child -
teenager - young adults - parents - middle age -
retirement and ending with old age. Will it suit a
pensioner as well as a baby? Will the schoolchild be
teased mercilessly about a name? What will your baby
think of your choice?
Help is at hand when
making a choice from Celtic baby names!
The various sections included in www. babynames. org. uk
accessed via the Site Map will provide answers to all of
your questions regarding the choice of a first name. And
our exclusive Name Evaluator will help you avoid any of
the many pitfalls!
Want to know more?
Further information about surnames and Genealogy can be
found by clicking the following links:
World of Baby Names