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Archiver > GENIRE > 2003-03 > 1048254620

From: "Sean MacLochlainn" <>
Subject: Re: Earliest Irish Surname Continued (was Re: codswallow?)
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 13:50:20 -0000
References: <b4_ba.27186$> <b4q0bm$suo$> <0Qhea.32666$> <b5dbdf$fse$> <HsCea.275$> <b5f206$kq9$>

Sean MacLochlainn wrote:
> So could you outline the evidence that shows that your Domhnall ua
> Niall did not have a grandfather named Niall? This is vital, because if
Domhnall's genealogy is:
> Niall>grandfather>father>Domhnall
> then Ua Niall is indeed a fixed surname, but if his genealogy is:
> Niall>father>Domhnall
> then ua Niall is just a nickname meaning 'grandson of Niall'.

Accoding to Alan's own website
(look a quarter of the way down the page) Caithreim Ceallachain Caisil (as
translated) makes the following references to Domhnall ua Niall:

"Then Aedh, son of Domhnall , grandson of Faelain, and Domhnall Ua Nill ,
grandson of Nill, of Magh d chonn said ; We are here twenty men of the
Disi and let us remain behind the rest and avenge ourselves, before the
body of the host overtakes us ; and then they stopped and slew twenty
hereos of the Norsemen and only five of them came back to their people.
Grevious to me the head in your hand
the head of Spiolain, the grandson of Suiliobhain.
No sadder to me the other head,
the head of Domhnall, grandson of Nill bidhe

A head to whom women gave love
The head of the brave son of a King of the Disi.
His head in sore stress for spears,
Aedh, son of Domhnall, grandson of Faelain"

So it seems pretty clear that Domhnall *is* a grandson of someone called
Neill (ie: Niall), so in this context ua Niall is a patronymic rather than
a surname. In apparent confirmation of this, further down the same page the
following genealogy appears:

"Nill a quo Nill of Magh d chonn (Co. Carlow/Wexford)
Cernach , possibly a brother of Domhnall Ua Nill of Magh d chonn killed
by the Vikings in or around Dublin c. 934-44."

So it would appear that Alan does believe that Domhnall ua Niall had a
grandfather named Niall (ie: Neill). In other words, Alan disproves his own


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