There was more than tradition involved in naming Irish children. There
was a "British Isles Naming Convention" of the late 1500 to 1850 that
suggested naming them as follows:

First son named for Father's father.
Second son named for Mother's father
Third son named for Father.
Fourth son named for Father's eldest brother.

First daughter named for Mother's mother.
Second daughter named for Father's mother.
Third daughter named for Mother.
Fourth daughter named for Mother's eldest sister
Second wife's oldest daughter named for the first wife.


Applying this pattern to a genealogy search is both a valuable "clue" and a
potentially dangerous and misleading one. First of all, not all of the Irish followed
the pattern. Secondly, in most cases there is nothing recorded about death in
We know that one John Donnellan sired 23 children but only 8 lived to maturity.
There is also no record of the names or order (oldest to youngest) of these children.
In some instances the names were "re-used" as a commemoration of a dead child's
existence. The procedure is to use it as an indication in a search but to confirm
through other sources of data.

Another example:, Ms. 467 lists Murtogh/Nicholas as being a son of the Archbishop.
we have enough documentation to prove this to be the case for a Murtogh, but why
are they listed interchangeably on the manuscript? It does make sense, according to the naming pattern, that there would be a son Nicholas named after Nehemiah's
father-in-law---but we need more evidence.

Finally, Ms. 467 identifies John & Dorothy Mostyn as having additional sons-James,
Loghlin and 3 as priests (Nicholas, Murtogh, & Eugene). This may be verified
circumstantially by the data in the Maurice Donnellan biography AND by naming
patterns-but I am still not ready to add them to the pedigree until additional proof is located.