Peculiar names found in the Indexes

It only remains in conclusion to refer to some peculiar names, many of them the names of local patron saints, which are liable to be mis-spelt, or otherwise metamorphosed, so as to be thrown out of their proper place in the Indexes. Thus, the name “Ailbe,” the patron saint of Emly diocese, has been found in the forms, “Elli,” and “Elly,” as well as in its proper form “Ailbe.”

Two cases recently came under notice in Kilrush Union where the Christian name “Sinon” was given to males. This name is taken from the name of a local saint—St. Senan—and has been met with also in the forms “Senan” and “Synan.”

The name “Gourney” for a female was entered in the Register Book of Deaths for Ardrahan District, in Gort Union, County Galway. In reply to a query, the Registrar stated—

“This is the only Christian name I could obtain for this woman, after a considerable amount of trouble. It is pronounced ‘Gurney,’ but I believe it is spelt with an ‘o.’ It is a very uncommon name, but on inquiry I found that St. Gourney is considered the patron saint of a locality not far from here.” This name has been reported from Kinvarra District (Gort Union), as “Gurney.”

The names “Gillan,” “Geelan,” and “Keelan,” have been reported by the Superintendent Registrar at Mohill, as forms of the name “Kilian,’ from St. Kilian.

The various forms “Cairn,” “Cairan,” “Kiaran,” “Keiran,” “Kieran,” and “Kyran,” which occur in many parts of Ireland, and are derived from the names of local saints, are very liable to cause confusion in searching. They are sometimes found under the letter “C” and sometimes under the letter “K.” Several Registrars report their use under both initial letters in the same locality.

Two entries of birth came under observation in which the name of the child in one and the name of the father in the other were given as “Maur.” It was supposed that this was an error in copying for “Maurice,” and the Registrar was asked for an explanation. In reply he stated—

“Maur, for all I can find out, may be an abbreviation of ‘Maurice,’ but in this town (Rush), they are looked upon as entirely distinct. Rush, being a fishing village, it was dedicated to St. Maur, who is the patron saint of the place.”

The Registrar adds that St Maur is the original of the name ‘Seymour,’ and it might readily assume that form as a Christian name.

A Registrar reports—

“Some years ago a man gave me ‘Eden’ (pronouncing ‘E’ like the long English ‘A’) as the name of his daughter. I told him I knew no such name. He rather indignantly asked me did I never hear of the Garden of Eden, and said he called her after that.”

In this case had the Registrar entered the name as pronounced by the informant it would have appeared in the Index as ‘Adan’ or ‘Aidan,’ a well-known male name, and thus, probably, altogether escaped observation.

Other peculiar names have been found, such as “Kado,” “Gamuel,” “Dill” (in various districts in County Donegal), and “Elan,” for males; also “Coosey,” and “Afric” (in various parts of Donegal), for females. As, however, such names, if correctly written, do not affect searches, it is unnecessary to refer further to them.