Posted this somewhat in jest over on me wee blogeen a while back. Must admit, it is not exactly an academic paper and more about just pointing out something interesting, whatever the deficiencies, our surnames tell us something about ourselves, and certainly make talk of the planter and the Gael somewhat more complicated.Now, a health warning, your surname is simply one ancestor of many, it is not who you are, it is a part of who you are, who you are is your choice, or at least it is in my book, and as Nelson McCausland has pointed out if you say you are an Ulster-Scot then you are an Ulster-Scot.
All these surnames could be described therefore as Ulster-Scots, that is a cultural label however, nothing to do with the linguistics of the matter.
Lets hae a wee luck at thems a tha DUP whas up in tha big hoose.
Key : * (Gaelic surname), ** (possible Gaelic surname), *** (Gaelic place-name as a surname, note these are not considered Gaelic and do not necessarily indicate any Gaelic speaking ancestors).
Allan Bresland* (Ó Breasláin)
Wallace Browne** (Reasonable chance of being from Mac a Bhriuthainn or Mac ille Dhuinn)
Thomas Buchanan* (from the place-name Both a Chanáin Canáns hut but it is believed that they were once MacAusaláin)
Gregory Campbell* (Caimbeul twisted mouth)
Trevor Clarke** (good chance of being Ó Cleirigh or Mac a Chleirich é)
Jonathan Craig*** (form Gaelic Creag a rock)
Alastair Ian Ross* (Rosach from Ros)
Jeffrey Donaldson* (Mac Domhnaill)
William Hay (Not a Gaelic name but it has a Gaelic form, MacGaraidh)
William Irwin** (there is a small chance it is from Ó hEireamhóin)
Nelson McCausland* (Mac Ausaláin, this one is may favourite)
Ian McCrea* (Mac Rath son of grace)
William McCrea* (Mac Rath)
Michelle McIlveen*(Mac Giolla Mhín)
Adrian McQuillan* (Mac Uighilín, this is a Gaelicised family)
Maurice Morrow** (small chance Mac Murchaidh)
Stephen Moutray (?)
Ian Paisley*** (from the Gaelic Páislig, a place-name originally Latin)
Ian Paisley Jr*** (from the Gaelic Páislig, a place-name originally Latin)
Jim Shannon* (Ó Seanáin)
Peter Weir** (good chance it is from Mac a Mhaoir)
So, 10/36 of the DUP assembly team have Gaelic surnames, more than a quarter. There are a further five possibles and there are three with a Gaelic place-name as a surname.
Interesting at least. I make no further comment. I will not be able to hang about but will call in tomorrow.
Update : Well one more thing, having done quite alot of ‘cross-community’ work, I have always found that the pupils I have met have always been more interested in their surnames than in any other subject I am asked to talk about.
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I am the former editor of the newspaper GaelscÃ©al, www.gaelsceal.ie