Naming Conventions and Alternative Surnames

1) Naming Conventions

The following may help you trace your ancestors as they followed a tradition when naming their children. The named them after their ancestors in the following fashion :-

1st son after Paternal Grandfather

2nd son after Maternal Grandfather

3rd son after father

4th son after Father's eldest brother

5th son after Mother's eldest brother

6th son after Father's second brother

and son on...

1st daughter after Paternal Grandmother

2nd daughter after Maternal Grandmother

3rd daughter after Mother

4th daughter after Mother's eldest sister

5th daughter after Father's eldest sister

6th daughter after Mother's second sister

and so on...

In addition, certain forenames are interchangeable

Ann : Hannah, Nancy, Agnes

Christina : Christian, Cirsty

Dorothy : Dirphail

Elizabeth : Eliza, Liz, Betty, Beth, Bess

Grace : Grizel, Grissel

Isabell / Isobel : Bella, Isa

Isabella : Elizabeth, Sibella

Janet : Jean, Jane, Jessie, Chunnet, Channet

Margaret : Maggy, Maggie, Meg, Peggy

Mary : Polly

Sarah : Marion, Marian, Merran, Marran

Alexander : Sandy, Ecky, Alec, Alistair, Key

Donald : Daniel

Charles : Tearlach

Edward : Ned, Ted

Farquhar : Ferrichar

Godrey : Guar, Guarie, Gorrie

Hector : Eachunn

Hugh : Ewen

Ivor : Ivie

John : Jack, Jock, Ian

James : Jamie, Jim

Lachlan : Lachunn

Ludovick : Lauchlan

Peter : Patrick

Robert : Rob, Rab, Rabbie, Bob

Rodger : Roderick, Rory

If a girl was given a boy's name, usually 'ina' was added on to the end as in Jamesina, Andrewina. Often this was shortened to "Ina".

For more alternatives and the meanings of forenames, the Whatsinaname website might be able to help.

For more information on Middle Names.

For Gaelic/English forename alternatives, click here.

For Celtic Name of the British Isles, click here.

For First Names and their meanings click here.

2) Alternative Surnames - this is by no means a complete list.

Buchanan -McPhananich
Currie -McVurich, McMhuirrich, McMureach
Henderson -McEnrick
Johnson -McIan(laichs)
Macdonald -Obrin, Obyrne, Oburn
Macdonald -McKellaich
McCormick -McCarmaig
McCuilken -Wilkie
McDougall -McLucas
McDougall -McQuilkan
McFadyen -McPhaden
McGilvra -McIIrevich, McGilreoch, McIIvorie
McGregor -McIqhheill, McGill
McGregor -McYeil
McGregor -McGhiel
McKean -McIanlaich, McKeanalach
McKechnie -McEachern
McKillop -McGilp
McKinnon -McShery, McSherrie, McShirrie
McKinnon -McInnen
McKinnon -McKinven
McMarquis -McVartnass
McMillan -McIIVoil
McNeill -McNeillage
McPhaiden -McFayden
McPhee -McDuffie or McDiffie
McQuilkan -McCuilken
McTaggart -McIntaggart
Munn -McPhunn
Paterson -MacUlphaterick, McIIphadrig, McOphadrick, McIIfradraig, McOlphadraig
Peterson -McIIphadrig (son of Patrick or Peter)
Taylor -McIntaillor
End of List