Irish Names

Our immigrant ancestor Arthur O’Neal (Airthir Ui Niall clan) from County Tyrone (Tir Eoghan) would have been easily identified as to lineage in his native Ulster. The meanings of names were still significant and given proper consideration back then:

Art – (ART) from Old Irish ardh “bear.” Ancient Irish name, also meaning “noble”. Artagan. Artur – (AR-toor), Artair, Arthur, Artus, Arth.

Niall – (NEE-AL)(Celt) “champion”; or From the Old Irish poss. derived from nel “cloud.” King Niall Noigiallach of Tara founded Ui Neill dynasty and ancestor to the O’Neills and Scotland’s MacNeils. Neal, Neil, Neill, Nyle, Nealy, Niallán (NEE-a-lahn).

Arthur’s mother’s name Margaret was also passed on in the form of my grandmother Pearl:

Máiréad – (MAW-rayt or MAW-reed) from Greek margaron “pearl.” Popular due to admiration of Saint Margaret, queen of Scots in 11th C. Peig, Peigi are popular Irish-language nicknames. Margaret, Maighread (MEH-reed).

His father’s name John connected him with their tribal homeland:

Eoghan – (oh-GAHN)(H) “god’s gracious gift.” Eoin (same pronoun.).
Eoghan – (YO-wun)(Gr) “well-born.” Owen.
Eóin – (OH-en)(H) “god’s gracious gift.” John.

[ Traditional Irish Names ]


~ by Jay Taber on July 9, 2007.

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