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Archiver > GENIRE > 2003-03 > 1047402418

From: "Sean MacLochlainn" <>
Subject: Re: "SURNAMES" - When did this practice start????
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 17:06:58 -0000
References: <> <b46cl1$65d$> <pC%9a.85792$> <b4afcq$2sq$> <7emaa.86109$> <b4d00h$9fc$> <vOjba.26152$>

Alan O'Neill wrote:
> I understood that the use of Ua (O) specifically as a "last name" had
> not been used before this time.
> It had been used to describe a Clan or a single person but the norm
> was to use Mac (Mc came much later to save ink and colour a people).
> As it was not normal, never been done before, and as this was the
> time in which surnames were being adopted by families in Ireland (as
> it was the fashion on the continent at the time), Dom's use of the Ua
> was specifically as a surname. He qualified it by taking it as his
> surname rather than Mac.The adoption of it by his children before his
> death kept it alive in his family.

I have re-read this several times but it makes no sense at all, is
incorrect in several respects (Mac surnames *didn't* come before Ua
surnames, Ua was *not* previously used to "describe a clan", surnames were
*not* fashionable on the continent at the time), your bare assertion that
"Dom's use of the Ua was specifically as a surname" just does not hold
water and the time of death of Domhnall is irelevant.

The Irish surname literature backs me up on this, see the Celtica article I
referred to earlier in the thread. You, however, are off with the birds.


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