Index of Names in Irish Annals: Alaxandar, Alaxandair (Alasdrann, Alasdar)

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

© 2000-2010 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.8, updated 29 September 2010


Masculine Given Names: Alaxandar, Alaxandair (Alasdrann, Alasdar)

The name Alexander was introduced into Scotland when the son of King Malcolm III (Canmore) and his wife Margaret was given this name. In time, this Alexander became king of Scotland (reigned 1107-1124) and he is referred to in the Annals of Ulster in entry U1124.5. It is important to note that he is the only example found in the annals of a person with any form of this name was who born in Scotland before 1200.

It is worth noting that there were two other kings of Scotland named Alexander. One reigned from 1214 to 1249. The other reigned from 1249 to 1285.

The first examples of men in the annals with a form of this name (but who are not King Alexander) are men who are natives of Scotland who are listed in entries for the year 1299. The majority of the subsequent references to men with forms of this name are referring to men from Scotland. There are a few references to men who cannot be conclusively identified as Scotsmen: they may be Scotsmen or they may be Irishmen. Men from Scotland are identified with an S in the Context column in the raw data table on this page.

The name Alexander first migrated into Gaelic as Alaxandar (also Alaxandair). Later, a diminutive form Alasdrann (also Alasdrainn) appeared. Examples of this diminutive begin to appear in the annals in entries for the mid 15th century. At some point later, a second diminutive appeared. Modernly, that diminutive takes the form Alasdair. There are a few examples of forms close to this spelling in the annals. These are:

[Alasdrann mac Eoin Móir Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. ?)
There are 3 other mentions of this person - 2 with forms of Alasdrainn and 1 with a form of Alaxandair
U3U1465.11SEoin, mac Alasdair, mic Eoin Mhoir Mic Domnaill
 
[Alasdrann Ballach] (d. 1499)
There is 1 other mention of this person - it uses a forms of Alasdrainn
LC2LC1499.1SAlusdar Ballach
 
[Alasdrann mac Mhic Dubhghaill] (d. 1513)
There is 1 other mention of this person - it uses a forms of Alasdrainn
U3U1513.18Alustar, mac Ualtair Mic Uibilín
 
[Alasdrann mac Mhic Dubhghaill] (d. ?)
LC2LC1521.1Sa mac .i. Alusdar
 
[Alasdrann (or Alaxandar) Carrach mac Eoin Cathánaigh Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1536)
There are 17 other mentions of this person - 16 with forms of Alasdrainn and 1 with a form of Alaxandair
LC2LC1522.4Smac Mic Dhomnaill, .i. Alustar
Co1522.6Smac Meic Domnaill .i. Alusdur
U3U1522.2Smac Mic Domnaill, .i. Aluster Carrach
LC2LC1528.6SAlusdar mac Eóin Chathánaigh
LC2LC1532.3SMac Domnaill leis .i. Alusdar mac Eoin Chathánaigh
 
[Alasdrann mac Domhnaill Ballaigh mhic Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1581)
There are 3 other mentions of this person - all with forms of Alasdrainn
LC2LC1581.26SAlusdair mac Domnaill Bhallaigh Mic Domnaill
 
[Alasdrann mac Somhairle Buidhe mhic Alasdrainn mhic Eoin Chathánaigh mhic Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1586)
There is 1 other mention of this person - it uses a forms of Alasdrainn
LC2LC1585.28SAlastar mac Somairle Buidhe mheg Domhnaill
SATSAT1586.1SAlasdair mac Somhairle
 
[Alasdrann mac Séamais mhic Alasdrainn mhic Eoin Chathánaigh mhic Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1586)
There are 2 other mentions of this person - both with forms of Alasdrainn
LC2LC1586.18Sda mac Sémais micc Domnaill .i. Domnall Gorm ocus Alusdar

It is worth noting that the Annals of Connacht (noted by the code "Co" above) and the Annals of Loch Cé (volume 2 is noted by the code "LC2" above) consistently use archaic spellings. The Annals of Ulster (volume 3 is represented by the code U3 above) also uses archaic spellings fairly consistently. As a result, the spellings shown in these entries are not necessarily typical for spellings that would have been used in the 15th and 16th centuries.

This handful of examples are enough to imply that some form of what we know today as Alasdair seems to have been in rare use by the 16th C among Scotsmen, and perhaps Irishmen. However, the data shown on this page indicates that Alaxandar and Alasdrann were still the common forms of this name even through the 16th C.

Spellings:

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 forms of Alaxandar, Alaxandair: 18
Found in Years: 1124, 1299, 1318, 1366, 1368, 1419, 1465, 1466, 1468, 1484, 1485, 1488, 1494, 1501, 1503, 1504, 1508, 1537, 1577
Number of men found in the annals with forms of Alasdrann: 17
Found in Years: 1465, 1473, 1487, 1488, 1495, 1499, 1501, 1508, 1521, 1522, 1524, 1528, 1532, 1533, 1536, 1540, 1542, 1546, 1567, 1577, 1581, 1586, 1588, 1590, 1591, 1601
Number of men found in the annals with forms of Alasdar: 4
Found in Years: 1465, 1499, 1513, 1522, 1532, 1581

Research Notes:

[Followup to a message of mine regarding forms of the name Alaxandar, Alaxandair appearing in Irish Annals but referring to men from Scotland:]

[There is also a reference to an Raghnall mac Alaxandair who is heir to Cloinne Alaxandair.]
Black, s.n. Macalaster: "Ranald Makalestyr, who obtained a lease of lands in Arran, 1455, is afterwards referred to as Ranald Alexandri, Reginald McAlestir..."

[Alaxandar Mac Caba]
Black, s.n. MacCabe: "In the Book of the Dean of Lismore, the name appears as M'Caybba...". Also: "The family of MacCabe are now widely spread through the midland counties of Ireland....they are evidently a branch of the MacLeods of Arran, and would appear to have migrated to Ireland in the 14th century." That last is from O'Donovan, so his "now" is about 1850. [email from Adelaide de Beaumont - 01 Jun 2001]

Sources:

Further information about the name Alaxandar, Alaxandair / Alasdrann / Alasdar, 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.

Special factors which may affect name usage are marked in the context column.

ANindicates a member of an Anglo-Norman family
ASindicates an Anglo-Saxon
Nindicates a Norseman
Pindicates a Pict
Rindicates a person holding a religious office
Sindicates a person from Scotland

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.

AnnalsEntryContextCitation (formatting preserved)
 
[Alaxandar mac Mael Choluim] (d. 1124)
UU1124.5SAlaxandair m. Mael Choluim ri Alban ["Alexander son of Mael Coluim, king of Scotland"]
 
[Alaxandar Mac Domhnaill] (d. 1299)
Co1299.2SAlaxander Mac Domnaill
 
[Alaxandar Mac Dubhghaill] (d. ?)
Co1299.2ShAlaxander Mac nDubgaill
 
[Alaxandar Mac Domhnaill] (d. 1318)
II1318.4SAlexander M{ac Domnaill}
Co1318.8SMac Domnaill ri Oirir Gaedeal
CM1318.4SMac Domhnaill tigearna Airir Gaoidel ["Mac Donnell, Lord of Argyle"]
 
[Alaxandar Óg mac Toirdhealbhaigh Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1368)
CM1366.8Sdo Cloinn n-Domhnaill, .i. do Thoirrdhealbhach mac Domhnaill & do Alaxanduir a mhac ["the Clann-Donnell, i.e. Turlough, the son of Donnell, and Alexander, his son"]
Co1366.11SAlaxandar an mac ["Alexander the son"]
CM1366.8SToirrdhealbhach & a mac Alaxandair ["Turlough and his son Alexander"]
Co1366.11SAlaxandar Mac Domnaill
CM1366.8Smac Toirrdhealbhaigh (Alaxandair) ["Turlough's son, Alexander"]
Co1368.13Sd'Alaxandar Oc Mac Domnaill do tigerna na ngalloclaech ["Alaxandar Oc Mac Domnaill, the lord of the gallowglasses"]
CM1368.11SAlaxandair Óg Mac Domhnaill tighearna na n-Gall-occlach ["Alexander Oge Mac Donnell, Lord of the Gallowglasses"]
Co1368.13SAlaxandar Occ mac Toirrdelbaig Meic Domnaill Consabla na ngalloclaech & oigri Clainni Domnaill ["Alaxandar Oc son of Toirrdelbach Mac Domnaill, constable of the gallowglasses and heir of the Clann Domnaill"]
CM1368.11SAlaxandair mac Toirrdhealbhaigh Méc Domhnaill consabal na n-Gall-oglach ["Alexander, the son of Turlough Mac Donnell, Constable of the Gallowglasses"]
 
[Alaxandar] (d. ?)
Co1366.11SRagnall mac Alaxandair oigri Clainni Alaxandair ["Ragnall son of Alexander, heir of the Clann Alaxandair"]
CM1366.8SRaghnall mac Alaxandair oighre Cloinne Alaxandair ["Randal, son of Alexander, the heir to Clann-Alexander"]
 
[Alaxandar Mac Dubhghaill] (d. 1419)
Co1419.17SAlaxandar Mac Dubgaill
Co1419.18SAlaxander Mac Dubgaill
 
[Alaxandar Mac Domhnaill] (d. ?)
Co1468.34SOengus mac Alaxandair Meic Domnaill
DM1468.26SAengus mac Alaxandair Mec Domhnaill
 
[Alasdrann mac Eoin Móir Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. ?)
DM1465.5SEoin mac Alasdrainn mic Eoin Mhóir Mec Domnaill
U3U1465.6Sh-Eoin, mac Alexandair
U3U1465.11SEoin, mac Alasdair, mic Eoin Mhoir Mic Domnaill
U3U1495.3SEoin Cluasach, mac Eoin Mic Alaxdrainn, .i. macam uasal do Clainn Domnaill na h-Alban ["John the large-eared, son of John Mac Alexander, namely, a noble youth of the Clann-Domnaill of Scotland"]
 
[Alaxandar mac Somhairle Mhic Caba] (d. ?)
U3U1466.12Cu Mara (.i. in Gilla Gruamda), mac Alaxandair, mic Somairle Mic Caba ["Cu-Mara (namely, the Gloomy Gillie), son of Alexander, son of Somairle Mac Caba"]
 
[Alastrann mac Domhnill mhic Eoin] (d. ?)
LC2LC1473.10SMac mheic Domhnuill na h-Albun .i. Gilla Esbuig mac Alustrainn mheic Domhnuill mheic Eoin na h-Ile
 
[Alastrann] (d. ?)
LC2LC1488.3Scloinn an aba mheic Alustruinn ["the sons of the Abbot, son of Alexander"]
Co1488.4Sle clainn an apa meic Alusdrainn
 
[Alaxandair Ruadh] (d. 1484)
U3U1484.15SAn t-Eidhre & Eoin Cathanach, a mac, [unrelated] & in mac dob' fherr aigi, .i. Alexandair Ruadh ["The Heir and John Cathanach, his son, [unrelated] and the best son he had, namely, Alexander the Red"]
 
[Alasdrann mac Colla mhic Thoirdhealbhaigh] (d. 1487)
DM1487.20SAlastrann mac Colla mic Toirrdhealbhaigh
 
[Alaxandair mac Connla mhic Lochlainn] (d. 1485)
U3U1485.13Alaxandair, mac Connla, mic Lochlainn
 
[Alasdrann] (d. ?)
U3U1488.8SDomhnall Gorm, mac Alexandair, mac Mic Domnaill
LC2LC1488.3SDomhnall Gorm, mac Alustruinn mheic mheic Domhnaill
Co1488.4SDomnall Gorm mac Alustrainn
 
[Alaxandar mac Giolla Easpaig Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1494)
DM1494.16SAlaxandair mac Gille Espuicc Mec Domhnaill, .i. fer ionait Mec Domnaill ["Alexander, the son of Gillespick Mac Donnell, the representative of Mac Donnell"]
U3U1494.17SAlaxandair, mac Gilla Espuic Mic Domnaill, .i. fer inaid Mic Domnaill ["Alexander, son of Gilla-espuic Mac Domnaill, namely, deputy of Mac Domnaill"]
 
[Alasdrann Ballach] (d. 1499)
LC2LC1499.1SAlusdar Ballach
Co1499.2SAlusdrann Ballach
 
[Alaxandar Mac Domhnaill] (d. ?)
U3U1501.15tri mic Colla, mic Alaxandair Mic Domnaill, .i. Toirdelbach & Donnchadh & Ludar ["three sons of Colla, son of Alexander Mac Domnaill, namely, Toirdelbach and Donchadh and Ludar"]
 
[Alasdrann Mór Mac Cába] (d. ?)
U3U1501.7Somhairli, mac Alastrainn Oig, mic Alastrainn Moir Mic Caba
LC2LC1546.3Schlainn Alusdroinn Mic Cába
 
[Alaxandar (or Alasdrann) Óg mac Alastrainn Móir Mhic Cába] (d. ?)
U3U1501.7Somhairli, mac Alastrainn Oig, mic Alastrainn Moir Mic Caba
EM1504.10Brian mac Alaxandair Oicc Mic Cába
U3U1504.15Brian, mac Alaxandair Oig Mic Caba
EM1508.11Niall mac Alaxandair Mic Cabba
U3U1508.9Níall, mac Alaxdrainn Mic Caba
 
[Alaxandair (or Alastrann) mac Tomás Plunced] (d. 1503)
U3U1495.23ANdo muinntir Alastraind, mic Tomais Pluinced ["of the people of Alexander, son of Thomas Plunket"]
U3U1503.12ANMac Tomais Pluingced [unrelated], .i. Alaxandair ["The son of Thomas Plunket, namely, Alexander"]
 
[Alasdrann mac Mhic Dubhghaill] (d. 1513)
U3U1513.18Alustar, mac Ualtair Mic Uibilín
 
[Alasdrann mac Mhic Dubhghaill] (d. ?)
LC2LC1521.1Sa mac .i. Alusdar
Co1521.2Sa mac .i. Alusdrann ["a mac" indicates he is the son of "Mac Dúbhgaill" who is mentioned earlier in the entry]
 
[Alaxandar mac ... Mhic Domhnaill] (d. ?)
U3U1537.4SAlexandar, mac Mic Domhnaill, .i. mac Rubhraighi
 
[Alasdrann (or Alaxandar) Carrach mac Eoin Cathánaigh Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1536)
LC2LC1522.4Smac Mic Dhomnaill, .i. Alustar
Co1522.6Smac Meic Domnaill .i. Alusdur
U3U1522.2Smac Mic Domnaill, .i. Aluster Carrach
EM1522.3Smac Mic Domnaill, Alastrann
EM1524.4SMac Domhnaill [unrelated] Alasdrann mac Eóin Cathanaigh
LC2LC1528.6SAlusdar mac Eóin Chathánaigh
Co1528.7SAlusdrann mac Eoin Cathanaigh
EM1528.8SAlastrann mac Eóin Chathánaigh
LC2LC1532.3SMac Domnaill leis .i. Alusdar mac Eoin Chathánaigh
Co1532.4SMac Domnaill [unrelated] .i. Alasdrann mac Eoin Cathanaigh
EM1532.14SMac Domhnaill [unrelated] .i. Alasdrann mac Eóin Cathanaigh
U3U1533.12SAlasdrand Carrach, mac Mic Domnaill
U3U1536.16SMac Domnaill na h-Alban [unrelated] (.i. Alastrann, mac Aeon Cathanaidh) ["Mac Domnaill of Scotland, ([unrelated] Alexander, son of John Cathanach)"]
LC2LC1540.9Smac Domnaill na h-Alban .i. Colla mac Alusdraind
Co1540.10Smac Meic Domnaill na hAlpan .i. Colla mac Alusdrainn
EM1540.7Smac Mic Domhnaill na h-Alban Colla mac Alasdrainn
LC2LC1542.10Smac Alusdrainn Mic Domnaill
Co1542.9Smac Alusdroinn Carraigh meic Meic Domnaill
EM1542.13Smhac Alasdrainn Carraigh Mic Domhnaill
LC2LC1565.1Sdias mac Mic Domnaill .i. Sémus ocus Alusdrann Uaibhrech ["Mac Domhnaill's two sons, viz., James and Alexander Uaibhrech"]
EM1567.3Scloinn t-Semais mic Alastraintt mic Eoin Cathanaigh mheic Mheic Domhnaill
EM1577.5SDomhnall mac Somhairle Buidhe mic Alaxandair, mic Eóin Cathanaigh mic Mec Domhnaill
EM1586.4Sda mac Shemais mic Alastrainn, mic Eóin Chathanaigh mhec Mec Domhnaill .i. Domhnall Gorm, & Alastrann ["Donnell Gorm and Alexander, the two sons of James, son of Alexander, son of John Cahanagh, son of Mac Donnell"]
EM1586.6SAlasdrann mac Somhairle Buidhe, mic Alastrainn, mic Eóin Chathánaigh mac Mec Domhnaill na h-Alban
FM1590.12SSomhairle Buidhe, mac Alastrainn, mic Eóin Cathanaigh Mhec Domnaill
FM1601.9SSémus mac Somhairle Buidhe mic Alastrainn mic Eóin Chathanaigh
 
[Alasdrann mac an Chalbhaigh mhic Thoirdhealbhaigh mhic Eoin Charraigh] (d. 1577)
EM1577.10SAlastrann, mac An Chalbhaicch, mic Toirrdhealbhaigh, mic Eoin Charraigh
 
[Alasdrann mac Domhnaill Ballaigh mhic Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1581)
LC2LC1581.26SAlusdair mac Domnaill Bhallaigh Mic Domnaill
EM1581.27SAlastrann mac Domhnaill Bhallaigh, mic Mhec Dhomhnaill
EM1581.27St-Alastrann
EM1581.27SAlastrann
 
[Alasdrann mac Séamais mhic Alasdrainn mhic Eoin Chathánaigh mhic Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1586)
LC2LC1586.18Sda mac Sémais micc Domnaill .i. Domnall Gorm ocus Alusdar
EM1586.4Sda mac Shemais mic Alastrainn, mic Eóin Chathanaigh mhec Mec Domhnaill .i. Domhnall Gorm, & Alastrann ["Donnell Gorm and Alexander, the two sons of James, son of Alexander, son of John Cahanagh, son of Mac Donnell"]
EM1588.15SAlastrann
 
[Alasdrann mac Somhairle Buidhe mhic Alasdrainn mhic Eoin Chathánaigh mhic Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. 1586)
LC2LC1585.28SAlastar mac Somairle Buidhe mheg Domhnaill
SATSAT1586.1SAlasdair mac Somhairle
EM1586.6SAlasdrann mac Somhairle Buidhe, mic Alastrainn, mic Eóin Chathánaigh mac Mec Domhnaill na h-Alban
 
[Alasdrann mac Aodha Buidhe Mhic Dhomhnaill] (d. ?)
FM1591.5Sh-Alastrann mac Aodha Buidhe Mhec Domhnaill


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