Irish Language Blog

Edward Moore Kennedy (1932-2009) (Cuid a Dó) Posted by on Aug 29, 2009 in Irish Language

Cad iad na sloinnte eile i gcraobh ghinealaigh Uí Chinnéide?  What are the other surnames in the Kennedy family tree?  The English equivalents are given at the end of the blog.  Agus cárbh as na teaghlaigh?  Seo cuid acu, ar a laghad (here are some of them, at least). 


Mac Gearailt:  Ba é “Mac Gearailt” an sloinne a bhí ar sheanathair Éadbhaird, John Francis, ar thaobh a mháthar, Rose.  Tomás Mac Gearailt a bhí ar shinseanathair Éadbhaird agus b’as an mBrú, Contae Luimnigh é. 


Ó Murchú: an sloinne a bhí ar Philib, sinsinseanathair Éadbhaird agus athair a shinseanmháthar, Bríd, as Ráth na gCosarán, Contae Loch Garman. 


Ó hÍcí: an sloinne a bhí ar Shéamas, sinseanathair Éadbhaird agus athair a sheanmáthar, Mary Augusta.  B’as Contae Chorcaí é.   


Ó hAnnáin: an sloinne a bhí ar Mhícheál, sinseanathair Éadbhaird, ar thaobh a mháthar.  B’as Contae Luimnigh é. 


Mac an Choiligh nó Mac Colgan: an sloinne a bhí ar Philib, athair Rose Anna (sinseanmháthair Éadbhaird), as Contae an Chabháin.  As with many Irish surnames, one needs to know the family history to be certain which Irish original pertains, since the same English could be used for several different Irish surnames.    


No doubt there are many more géaga (branches) in this craobh ghinealaigh, so once again, this is just barr an chnoic oighir. 


So, how did you do figuring out leaganacha (versions) Béarla na n-ainmneacha seo?   


Mac = son = fils = fitz, so that gives us the “Honey Fitz” side of the family.


Logainmneacha: An Brú, Contae Luimnigh = Bruff, Co. Limerick; Ráth na gCosarán = Gusserane, with the “Ráth” (fort) element having disappeared. 


Ó Murchú [say: oh MUR-uh-khoo] Murphy; Ó hÍcí, Hickey; Ó hAnnáin, Hannon; and Mac an Choiligh [mahk un KHIL-ee], Cox, lit. “son of the rooster,” OR Mac Colgan [mahk KOL-ug-un], which can be Cox or, in a different lineage, and perhaps more typically, is Culligan or Quilligan or a variation of that.  The “Colgan” element most likely means “son of Colga,” a personal name based on “colg” (sword, blade, bristle, anger)


And just to review the “grands” and the “greats,” which we had worked our way several months ago:


seanathair [SHAN-AH-hirzh] grandfather, sinseanathair, great-grandfather, and sinsinseanathair.  Likewise, seanmháthair [SHAN-WAW-hirzh], sinseanmháthair, sinsinseanmháthair.  The prefix “sin” is always pronounced like English “shin” (the one you “bark”). 


You might have noticed that the letter “i” can disappear at the end of any of these words, or of “athair” and “máthair” themselves.  Examples would be the phrases “sloinne an athar,” “in ainm an Athar,” and “ar thaobh a mháthar.”  The loss of the “i” for “athair,” “máthair” and their compounds signals possession.  These phrases mean “the surname of the father,” “in the name of the Father,” and “on the side of the mother.



1) craobh [kreev or krayv] typically means “branch” but is used in the phrase  “family tree.”  Within the craobh, you have géaga.


2) The question “Cá as iad?” is more common in everyday conversations since it is in the present tense (Where are they from?).  Cárbh as iad?” is the past tense form of the same question (Where were they from?) and is perfectly straightforward for this context.  And, of course, some speakers would say “Cá as dóibh?” for the present but the change to the “where” element () would still apply for the past “Cárbh as dóibh?”

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