Which names were the most popular among males in early medieval Ireland?
To find out, researcher Heather Rose Jones compiled a list of the most-used male names in the book Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae, “a collection of Irish genealogical material from the pre-Norman period (i.e., roughly pre-12th century).”
The 10 most-used names were…
Áed, 248 instances
It’s pretty interesting that Áed came out on top, as Áed is the ultimate root of the Aidan-names (e.g. Ayden, Aedan, Adyn) that became so trendy during the first decade of the 2000s.
Other names in Ireland’s medieval top 100 include Crimthann, Crundmáel, Indrechtach, and Imchad. Click the link below to see the rest.
John and Rebecca Lamar married in the mid-1790s and lived on a 1,000-acre cotton plantation near Milledgeville, Georgia. They welcomed a total of nine children, four sons and five daughters, whose names were…
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus (b. 1797)
Mirabeau Buonaparte (b. 1798)
Thomas Randolph (b. 1800)
Evalina (b. 1803)
Jefferson Jackson (b. 1804)
Amelia (b. 1807)
Louisa Elizabeth (b. 1807)
Mary Ann (b. 1814)
Loretto Rebecca (b. 1818)
The boys were named by their paternal uncle, Zachariah — a self-taught bachelor who also lived on the plantation and who,
like many of the men in the old plantation times, gave himself up to the ideal world of literature and history […] So when son after son was born to the head of the house this bookish enthusiast claimed the privilege of naming his infant nephews after his favorite of the moment, and the amiable and doubtless amused parents consented. Thus Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, Mirabeau Buonparte, Jefferson Jackson, Thomas Randolph, and Lavoisier Legrand (a grandchild) indicate how his interest shifted from history to politics, and from politics to chemistry.
Oldest son Lucius (named for Roman statesman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus) went on to become a judge. Two of his own sons — Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II and Jefferson Mirabeau Lamar — had careers in law as well. In fact, Lucius II served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1888 to 1893.
Second son Mirabeau (named for the Comte de Mirabeau and Napoleon) also went into law initially. Later he got into politics, and ended up becoming the second president of the Republic of Texas. (He was also the first vice president, under Sam Houston.)
I couldn’t find anyone in the family’s third generation named “Lavoisier Legrand,” but one of Mary’s sons was named Lucius Lavoisier (middle name in honor of French chemist Antoine Lavoisier).
Mayes, Edward. Lucius Q.C. Lamar: His Life, Times, and Speeches. 1825-1893. Nashville, TN: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1896.
In 40 B.C., Cleopatra VII (ruler of Egypt) and Mark Antony (co-ruler of the Roman Republic) welcomed fraternal twins, a boy and a girl.
The twins were named Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios — selene and helios being the Ancient Greek words for “moon” and “sun,” respectively — though their second names may not have been bestowed until they were around three, when they met their father for the first time (and he officially recognized them as his own).
Her surname (“the Moon”) — and that of her twin brother Alexander Helios (“the Sun”) — represents prophetic and allegorical concepts of the era in which she was born as well as her parents’ ambitious plans to create a new world order.
Both Cleopatra and Mark Antony committed suicide in 30 B.C. We don’t know what became of Alexander Helios after this, but Cleopatra Selene married Juba II of Mauretania and thereby became the queen of Mauretania until her death (circa 5 B.C.) — which, ironically, may have occurred right around the time of a lunar eclipse.
Sixteenth-century Dutch nobleman William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was the primary leader of the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).
William had a total of 16 children with five different women (four wives, one mistress). All 16 received traditional first names, but four of his daughters were given location-inspired middle names — symbols of the political alliances between William and “the lands for which he fought.”
Here are the names of all 16:
Maria (born in 1553)
Philip William, (b. 1554)
Maria (b. 1556)
Justinus (b. 1559)
Anna (b. 1562)
Anna (b. 1563)
Maurice August Philip (b. 1564)
Maurice (b. 1567)
Emilia (b. 1569)
Louise Juliana (b. 1576)
Elisabeth (b. 1577)
Catharina Belgica (b. 1578)
Charlotte Flandrina (b. 1579)
Charlotte Brabantina (b. 1580)
Emilia Antwerpiana (b. 1581)
Frederick Henry (b. 1584)
Each of the regions/locations honored with a name responded by “bestow[ing] pensions upon the children”:
Catharina Belgica was provided with an annuity of 3,000 florins by the States General of the Dutch Republic.
This inspired other parents with connections to the House of Orange-Nassau to adopt similar naming practices. For instance, Ernst Casimir I — the Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe — named his daughter Elisabeth Friso (b. 1620). And Henri Charles de Le Trémoille — a direct descendant of William of Orange via Charlotte Brabantina — named his son Charles BelgiqueHollande (b. 1655).
Broomhall, Susan and Jacqueline Van Gent. Gender, Power and Identity in the Early Modern House of Orange-Nassau. London: Routledge, 2016.
Steen, Jasper van der. Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700. Leiden: Brill, 2015.