Affixes are found either separately or in combination with the surname.

The following instances of affixes commonly in use may be given:—



Fetherston Haugh.

Fetherston H.




McDermott Roe.




Sometimes names are altered both by prefixes and affixes. The name Johnston, Johnson or Jonson, affords a good illustration of this. “Johnson,” i.e., the son of John, is in use interchangeably with “McShane,” i.e., the son of Shane or Shawn (Irish for John), and with “Mac-eown,” the son of Eoin, another Irish form of John. “McHugh,” i.e., the son of Hugh, is synonymous with “Hewson.” “McAimon,” i.e., the son of Aimon (an Irish form of Edmond), is found to be interchangeably used with “Edmundson.”

In some districts, where there are many families of the same name, additional names are given for purposes of distinction, and these names frequently appear in the Index—thus:—

RyanRyan (Slater).
SullivanSullivan (Magrath).

The Registrar of Murroe District (Limerick Union) reports—

“There are dozens of distinctions for ‘Ryan’ in this district, all well known locally.”

The Registrar of Murragh District (Bandon Union) gives the following affixes as in use in his district:—

To the name Leary—Bue, Reagh, Dreedar, Rue; to the name McCarthy—Cahereen, More, and Reagh, and to the name Sullivan—Beara and Bogue.

Frequently the affix is the father’s or mother’s Christian name, the mother’s maiden surname, or the grandfather’s Christian name. A Registrar of Marriages reports:—

“I know a ‘Quinlan’ whose father was ‘Cleary,’ a ‘Ryan English’ whose father was ‘Ryan.’”

The entry of the birth of a “John John Murphy” was met with in Millstreet District. On inquiry the Registrar stated:—

“It is the habit in this part of the country to take the father’s name to distinguish them from others of same name; for example, ‘John Daniel Murphy,’ ‘John Jeremiah Murphy,’ and as in this case, ‘John John Murphy,’ there being so many families of the same surname.”

The Registrar of Castlebar No. 1 District reports:—

“Joyce, a very common name, is distinguished by affixing father’s name, e.g., Tom Joyce (Tom), Tom Joyce (Martin), and in many cases further distinguished by any peculiarity of complexion, colour of hair, or special dress, or if exceptionally tall, and those are transmitted in the Irish language.”

The Registrar of Tuosist District (Kenmare Union) furnishes the following note:—

“The name Sullivan being exceedingly common, it is often omitted, and the Christian name of father (or mother) substituted, e.g., ‘Johnny O’John,’ ‘John Williams,’ or name of farm, as ‘Dan Rusheen,’ &c.”

Occasionally the complexion of the members gives a surname to the family, e.g., Mike Bawn, or a distinction is made as “Shawn Og”—“Young John.”

The Registrar of Kilkeel No. 2 District, remarks:—

Often the grandfather’s Christian name is used as an affix, as “Charles Cunningham Dick.”

The Registrar of Sneem District, in Kenmare Union, reports—

“‘Dorohy’ is applied to Sullivan, such as Sullivan Dorohy, also ‘Mountain,’ as Sullivan Mountain, and the other Sullivans are called after the locality they live in, &c., as ‘Sullivan Glanac,’ ‘Sullivan Brachae,’ ‘Sullivan Dillough,’ ‘Sullivan Budoch.’”

The Registrar of Rathmullan District (Milford Union), states that—

“The trade or occupation is often added in Irish after a surname, such as ‘Mulrine (saorcloch’);—saorcloch, saorcloċ, signifies a Mason.”

Sometimes the affix entirely displaces the surname. A certificate of a marriage came under examination in the General Register Office, in which the bridegroom’s name was given as “Patrick Sullivan,” and his father’s name as “Patrick Cooper.” On inquiry it was ascertained that the father’s real name was Patrick Sullivan (Cooper).