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Re: [albanach] New Name Question

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  • Matthew A. C. Newsome
    Addressing just the surname part, MacGregor, in Gaelic, is _Mac Griogair_, which means son of Gregory. This is probably why you were told the name was not
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 3, 2005
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      Addressing just the surname part, MacGregor, in Gaelic, is _Mac
      Griogair_, which means "son of Gregory." This is probably why you
      were told the name was not possible.

      In Gaelic, the by name was not an inherited surname, but rather
      actually descriptive of the person. If your father's name was
      Gregory, you would be called the Son of Gregory, and so on... So you
      see what a young lady named Brighit would not be named _Mac Griogair_.

      There *is* a feminine form that means "daughter of Gregory" that you
      wuold use instead. Someone please correct me on my spelling, but it
      is rather like _inghean Griogair_.

      That being said, in Lowland, English speaking culture in the latter
      parts of our period, inherited surnames were used, and it would be
      quite plausible for a lady to have the surname McGregor, or some
      variation of it, as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name. Black
      lists M'Gregare c. 1500, McGrigour c. 1586, Makriggour c. 1600, and
      several other variations.

      Aye,
      Eogan


      On Wed, 2 Mar 2005 21:56:42 -0800 (PST), Brighit MacGregor
      <brighitmacgregor@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Greetings all~
      >
      > Since we are on the subject on name submission, (the local shire I live in does not have a herald), I would like to find out about using my "family" name.
      >
      > We were originaly MacGregors, came to US and changed the name to McGehee. I do have the research and documentation as to lineage if that is a help.
      >
      > I would like to use the name Brighit MacGregor, but I had heard that that wasn't possible.
      >
      > Anyone with information as to what I can do and how to go about doing it would be helpful.
      >
      > Thank you in advance
      >
      > "Brighit MacGregor"
      >
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      --
      Matthew A. C. Newsome, FSA Scot
      Curator of the Scottish Tartans Museum
      Member of the Guild of Tartan Scholars
      Homepage: http://www.albanach.org
    • Kevin Myers
      ... BTW your spelling is fine. This is correct for Middle Gaelic, in Old Irish (the ancestor of modern S-G) it would be ingen (pronounced the same, more or
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 3, 2005
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        --- "Matthew A. C. Newsome" <macnewsome@...> wrote:

        >
        > There *is* a feminine form that means "daughter of Gregory" that you
        > wuold use instead. Someone please correct me on my spelling, but it
        > is rather like _inghean Griogair_.
        >
        BTW your spelling is fine.

        This is correct for Middle Gaelic, in Old Irish (the ancestor of modern
        S-G) it would be 'ingen' (pronounced the same, more or less, as
        'inghean'--in-yin) This became 'nighean' in modern Scots-Gaelic. I'm
        not sure when 'Nic' started being used in this context, probably with
        the modern S-G period (18th-ish cent.?).

        -Cainnech R´┐Żad mcGuairi




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      • Mike Labny
        I am curious as to why you were told the name isn t useable. If it is because someone already has that name registered, you may want to contact them for
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 3, 2005
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          I am curious as to why you were told the name isn't useable. If it is because someone already has that name registered, you may want to contact them for permission to conflict. The Black book of Surnames would probably be able to give you a date for when MacGregor first showed up. I am not a herald, so I couldn't say why Brighit wouldn't be allowed; possible too modern, possibly needs a different spelling.

          Brighit MacGregor <brighitmacgregor@...> wrote:
          Greetings all~

          Since we are on the subject on name submission, (the local shire I live in does not have a herald), I would like to find out about using my "family" name.

          We were originaly MacGregors, came to US and changed the name to McGehee. I do have the research and documentation as to lineage if that is a help.

          I would like to use the name Brighit MacGregor, but I had heard that that wasn't possible.

          Anyone with information as to what I can do and how to go about doing it would be helpful.



          Thank you in advance

          "Brighit MacGregor"



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        • Sharon L. Krossa
          Especially because once names start being talked about, it tends to bring up more name questions from others, I highly recommend that when asking about a name
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 3, 2005
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            Especially because once names start being talked about, it tends to
            bring up more name questions from others, I highly recommend that
            when asking about a name one specify not only "Name" but also the
            specific name of interest in the subject line -- that way people can
            tell what posts go with which discussion, both now and months in the
            future when someone may look through old messages.

            At 9:56 PM -0800 3/2/05, Brighit MacGregor wrote:
            >Greetings all~
            >
            >Since we are on the subject on name submission, (the local shire I
            >live in does not have a herald), I would like to find out about
            >using my "family" name.
            >
            >We were originaly MacGregors, came to US and changed the name to
            >McGehee. I do have the research and documentation as to lineage if
            >that is a help.

            This is just an aside motivated by idle curiosity, but what evidence
            does your family have that your family's surname used to be MacGregor
            but then got changed to McGehee in the US? From both an onomastic and
            a genealogical perspective, the scenario sounds rather suspect. (I'm
            not saying it couldn't possibly have happened, just that it is much
            more likely that the real story is rather different. I know from
            personal family history how the actual facts behind a family story
            can be not quite what the story suggests...)

            >I would like to use the name Brighit MacGregor, but I had heard that
            >that wasn't possible.

            I'm not sure whether it is registrable or not -- that would depend on
            whether the CoA is currently allowing registration of Gaelic
            <Brighit>, and offhand I don't know if they are. (For why <Brighit>
            might not be registrable, see below regarding historical plausibility
            of the given name.)

            However, registrable or not, it is not historically plausible.

            First, they didn't mix Gaelic and Scots/English in the same name, and
            (especially in the name of a woman) <MacGregor> is a Scots language
            form, while <Brighit> is a Gaelic spelling.

            Second, after the age of saints (the first couple centuries of
            period), to the best of my knowledge neither Scottish nor Irish Gaels
            used <Brighit> on it's own as a given name, apparently because it was
            the name of a very important saint and was considered too holy or
            presumptuous to use (similarly to how most non-Hispanics would regard
            naming a child <Jesus>, with an English pronunciation, modernly).

            Also, for a Scottish Gael, unlike Irish Gaels, their Gaelic names did
            not normally indicate clan affiliation, nor did they use inherited
            family names. Instead, their bynames were most commonly literal
            patronymics -- that is, it indicated who their father was. So, if
            Ealusaid was the daughter of <Aodh mac Domhnaill>, then she would be
            known as <Ealusaid inghean Aoidh> "Ealusaid daughter of Aodh", and
            they could belong to any clan.

            On the other hand, the byname used for them in Scots might indicate a
            clan affiliation (at least if a close relative of a clan chief) or
            else be an inherited family name (or at least their father's surname
            in Scots, which itself could be simply a phonetic rendering of his
            Gaelic byname, or of a more distant ancestor's Gaelic byname, or
            indicate clan affiliation) -- or it could be simply a phonetic
            rendering of their Gaelic name. For women, their Scots language
            byname could be a bit more complicated, involving a Gaelic inspired
            feminizing of one of her father's potential Scots language surnames).

            Anyway, I recommend reading the various articles on Scottish names at
            my web site <http://MedievalScotland.org/scotnames/>, especially
            "Scottish Names 101" and then whichever ones are relevant to the
            particular Scottish culture you want your name to match.

            For when re-creating a historically plausible Scottish name, it is
            easiest to start by deciding which time and culture you want the name
            to match, and then go create a name based on what was known to be
            done by historical people in that time and culture.

            If you let us know what time and culture you'd like to recreate in
            your name, I can point you to more specific articles that might help.
            The name you are asking about suggests you're interested in the name
            of a Gael (Highlander), but if so, what period? Time period can have
            almost as much impact on likely names as culture.

            Also, if you had to choose only one option (and couldn't have both),
            would you rather have a historically plausible name or a name like
            <Brighit MacGregor>? Knowing that will help us help you. (The SCA
            will register certain kinds of historically implausible names, so
            just because a name isn't plausible doesn't necessarily mean
            something like it can't be registered -- but you should decide what
            is most important to you in a name.)

            Anyway, I'll hold off further comments until hearing more from you
            what your interests are.

            Sharon, ska Effric
            --
            Sharon L. Krossa, skrossa-ml@...
          • Brighit MacGregor
            **What we have is birth/death records, census records, records in family bible, church records and gravestone records. Yes, the family has really done the
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 3, 2005
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              **What we have is birth/death records, census records, records in family bible, church records and gravestone records. Yes, the family has really done the background investigating on the genealogical records on this one.

              Yes, I am interested in a Highlander to be born in 1425 on the MacGregor lands.

              If I had to decide it would have to be historically plausable. Even though I really wanted to use the name MacGregor, I do understand that I am the wrong gender.

              Would it be possible to use (as one of our queens names) Brighit of the MacGregors? Hers is Brigdhid Chailin of the Moors.

              The now nameless merc in Trimaris





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