The Irish Naming pattern

(see below the actual naming pattern)

  The Irish have used a naming pattern for centuries.  This is not used today as it was in earlier days, and it also seems that once they immigrated to the US or Canada, this custom had seemed to die out somewhat.  Nonetheless, when researching in Ireland, especially in the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, when so many of the records had been destroyed by the fires, this was a very common practice , and it helps immensely when trying to tie names together with families.

With the Kenny family that is still residing in Kennystown, County Wicklow, Ireland,  this practice has been used to some extent.

The present family still there, are using family names.

Denis and Bridget Kenny are the parents to Bartholomew, Michael, Denis, Richard, Mary, Elizabeth, Patricia, Bridget and Rita, not necessarily in this order.

  Certain family names (from my Kenny family) in Ireland are Michael, Denis, Philip,  Bridget, Anne, Richard, Elizabeth, Thomas, William, James, Edward, Mary, and Bartholomew.  Bartholomew was one in particular that enabled me to trace our family to the one presently living in Kennystown, Wicklow. 

In Kennystown, there seems to be at least one Bartholomew in every generation for many years.  My 5th great grandfather’s name was Bartholomew, married to Anne Breen.  Their son, Thomas and wife Ellen, came to Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada in 1851 with their children, Bartholomew, Richard, Edward, James and Anne.

  Below is the Irish naming order that Families in Ireland have used for centuries.

First son after father's father

Second son after mother's father

Third son after father

Fourth son after father's oldest brother

Fifth son after mother's oldest brother
(Sometimes father's 2nd. oldest brother)


First daughter after mother's mother (or father's mother)

Second daughter after father's mother (or mother's mother)

Third daughter after mother

Fourth daughter after mother's oldest sister

         Fifth daughter after father's oldest sister
(Sometimes mother's 2nd. oldest sister)