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Historical Name Generator:
Sixteenth Century Irish and Scottish Gaelic Names

by Sharon L. Krossa
Last updated 10 Nov 2006  


This is a simple historical name generator suitable for selecting a Gaelic language name for a sixteenth century character or persona who is an Irish or Scottish Gael. All names listed are known to have been used by Gaels in the relevant region in the sixteenth century or else are known to have been used in the fifteenth century and it is probable that they were also used at least in the early sixteenth century. A normalized Gaelic spelling for the sixteenth century has been used for all names; capitalization follows modern editorial conventions.

Note that this name generator deals only with the names of Gaels in Gaelic. There were some people in Ireland and a large number of people in Scotland who were not Gaels and so who would not have had any kind of Gaelic name. In addition, even the name of a Gael could be quite different depending on whether the name was their name in Gaelic or their name in another language. For example, the name of one earl of Argyll was <Gille Easbaig mac Gille Easbaig> in Gaelic but <Archibald Campbell> in Scots/English.This article deals only with the Gaelic names of Gaels!

For more detailed information about how to form whole Gaelic names, see the article Quick and Easy Gaelic Names. For more detailed information about the evidence for sixteenth century use of the particular names listed here, included any attested Gaelic spellings, see the articles Index of Names in Irish Annals and Scottish Gaelic Given Names. (These articles are all still in progess, so some names listed here may not yet be found in them, but eventually they will all be included.)

How to Use the Historical Name Generator

The Historical Name Generator is very easy to use. Simply answer the question in bold on each page by selecting among the hyperlinked choices presented!

1. Culture

Is this name for an Irish Gael or a Scottish Gael?

Scottish Gael
Irish Gael


Gaelic orthography had fairly fixed rules, especially by the 16th century; accordingly, we can construct a spelling which we have not actually found in period records. This is called a normalized spelling, which can be thought of as a theoretically correct spelling according to the rules for the period under consideration rather than the most common spellings actually found.

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