Index of Names in Irish Annals: Gilla Ruad / Giolla Ruadh

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

© 2000-2010 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.0, updated 10 February 2015

Masculine Given Names: Gilla Ruad / Giolla Ruadh


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: 5
Found in Years: 1196, 1227, 1258, 1277, 1317

Research Notes:

NOTE: This name began as an appellative - it was used in place of the given name, not actually as a given name.

The name literally means 'red boy' (i.e. red-headed boy). Because of this meaning, and the grammar construction of the phrase, it usually appears in byname phrases with the definite article. So, the normal form seen in the annals uses the construction mac an Giolla Ruaidh meaning 'son [of] the red[-headed] boy'.

This name also became the basis for an inherited family name that was also used as a chiefly title. In that usage, the definite article an 'the' seems to have fallen away fairly quickly.


Further information about the name Gilla Ruad / Giolla Ruadh 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.

[Standardized form of this man's name]
AnnalsEntryContextCitation (formatting preserved)
(d. 1196)
CM1196.8Muiredhach Mhácc Ragnaill .i. an Giolla Ruadh taoiseach Muintire h-Eolais ("Murray Mac Rannall, surnamed the Gillaroe, Chief of Muintir-Eolais")
[an Giolla Ruadh Ó Gadhra] (d. 1227)
Co1227.4don Gilla Ruad
CM1227.6don Ghiolla Ruadh
Co1227.4In Gilla Ruad [Note: "In" is capitalized in the normalized transcription because it is at the beginning of a sentence.]
CM1227.6an Giolla Ruadh
(d. ?)
Co1258.10Matha mac Gilla Ruaid h. Raduib .i. in maigestir
CM1258.5Matha mac Giolla Ruaidh Uí Roduibh
(d. ?)
Co1277.3don Gilla Ruad mac Lochlainn h. Conchobair
CM1277.3don Giolla Ruadh mac Lochlainn Ui Concobhair
(d. 1317)
Co1317.8in Gilla Ruad mac ind airchindich
CM1317.7an Giolla Ruadh mac an Airchindigh Mic Tighernáin

Mac Giolla Ruaidh used as a family name or chiefly title:

Co1291.11RLucas Mac Gilla Ruaid archideochain Ola Find
Co1408.10Baethan Mac Gilla Ruaid
DM1408.4don Baothán mac Giolla Ruaidh
U3U1476.4Mac Gilla Ruaidh, .i. Domnall Mac Gilla Ruaidh
U3U1484.3Mac Gilla Ruaidh, .i. Brian, mac Domnaill Mic Gilla Ruaidh
U3U1485.20Mac Gilla Ruaidh (.i. Brian)
DM1484.16Mac Giolla Ruaidh, .i. Brian mac Domhnaill
U3U1485.20Mac Seaain Mic Gilla Ruaidh (.i. Gilla Padraig) [Note: the first Mac is capitalized in the normalized transcription because it is at the beginning of a sentence.]
U3U1487.35Ruaidhri, mac Goffradha, mic Domnaill Mic Gilla Ruaidh
U3U1493.1Mairgreg, ingen Meg Uidhir, .i. ingen Tomais Oig, mic an Gilla Dhuibh Meg Uidhir, .i. bean Mic Gilla Ruaidh, .i. Domnaill, mic Mail t-Shechlainn, mic an Gilla Bhallaigh Mic Gilla Ruaidh ["Margaret, daughter of Mag Uidhir, namely, daughter of Thomas junior, son of the black Gillie Mag Uidhir, that is, wife of Mac Gilla-ruaidh, namely, of Domnall, son of Mael-Shechlainn, son of the freckled Gillie Mac Gilla-ruaidh"]
U3U1495.33Mac Gilla Ruaidh, .i. Brian, mac Domnaill, mic Maeil t-Shechlainn Mic Gilla Ruaidh
U3U1497.34Uilliam Og, mac Uilliam Mic Gilla Ruaidh
DM1500.14Domhnall Caoch Mac Giolla Ruaidh
DM1500.14Ruaidhri mac Domhnaill Girr Mec Giolla Ruaidh
DM1500.15Gofraidh Mac Giolla Ruaidh
Co1520.13Mac Gilla Ruaidh .i. Gofraidh
EM1507.8Mac Gilla Ruaidh .i. Brian

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