Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: na gCeann

by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O'Brien)

© 2000-2008 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.6, updated 08 June 2008

Descriptive Bynames: na gCeann


"[of] the heads" (one person was "so called from the many heads of enemies which he had cut off")


What we know as a set of Irish Annals are manuscripts that were each compiled during a particular time period, usually using older material as sources. For example, when the Annals of the Four Masters were written from 1632 to 1636, they covered events that occurred centuries and millenia before (including legendary history). So, when an entry in this set of annals refers to a person who lived in the year 738, the spelling used for that person's name is very likely not using the spelling that would have been used in 738.

Standard forms of this name (based on spelling systems of different periods) would be:

Frequency & Dates:

Number of men found in the annals with this name: 1
Found in Years: 1536, 1542, 1543, 1545, 1558, 1582, 1598

Research Notes:

FM (p. 1434, vol. 5, footnote "b") says of this byname that it means "of the heads, so called from the many heads of enemies which he had cut off".

[Answering a question about a standardized form of this byname:]
That should be [...] na gCeann "of the heads"; there's eclipsis in the genitive plural following the article. [email from Talan Gwynek - 30 Aug 2002]


Further information about the byname na gCeann, may be found in:

The Sources page lists the Annals referenced below. Information about secondary sources is included on that page as well.

Raw Data

In the table below, I have separated individuals with a blank line. That is, when there are multiple entries in the annals that refer to a single person, those entries are grouped together.

Within the list of entries refering to a single person, I have sorted the entries primarily by orthography when it is obvious that what I am seeing is the same entry showing up in multiple annals. The entries that tend to use older spellings are listed first.

NOTE: The Annals referenced below under the code letters A, B, C, E, & F tend to use later spellings than the other Annals. In some cases, the spellings listed in these Annals may not be appropriate for the year referenced in the Annal entry.

In some Gaelic scripts, there is a character that looks approximately like a lowercase f, but without the crossbar. This character (represented by an underscored , e, in the entries below) sometimes represents e and sometimes ea depending upon the context of the text.

[Standardized form of this man's name]
AnnalsEntryContextCitation (formatting preserved)
[Uilleag na gCeann mac Riocaird Mhic Uilliam Clainni Riocaird]
EM1536.4ANUillecc na c-Cend
FMvol. 5, p. 1424, year 1536ANuillecc na ccend
Co1542.15ANMac Uilliam Clainni Ricaird .i. Uilleg na Cend mac Ricaird
Co1543.16ANMac Uilliam Clainni Ricaird .i. Uilleg na Cend
EM1545.8ANMac Meic Uilliam Cloinne Riocaird .i. Tomas Farranta mac Uillicc na c-Cenn mic Riocaird, mic Uillicc Chnuic Tuagh
FMvol. 5, p. 1492, year 1545ANMac meic uilliam cloinne riocaird .i. tomas farranta mac uillicc na ccenn mic Riocaird, mic uillicc c.nuic tuag.
Em1558.5ANRiocard mac Uillicc na c-Cenn, mic Riocaird, mic Uillecc Cnuic Tuagh, mic an Uillicc Medhonaicch mic Uillicc an Fhíona
EM1582.2ANIarla Cloinne Riocaird, Riocard Saxanach mac Uillicc na c-Cend, mic Riocaird, mic Uillicc Chnuic Tuagh, mic Uillicc Medhonaigh, mic Uillicc an Fhiona
EM1585.8ANiarla Cloinne Riocairt Uillecc mac Riocaird mic Uillicc na c-Centt ["the Earl of Clanrickard (Ulick, the son of Rickard, son of Ulick-na-gCeann)"]
FM1598.18ANRemann a Burc mac Seain na Semar micc Riocaird Shaxanaigh, mic Uillicc na c-Cenn

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