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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2000 (July-December) » Irish names and learning Irish Gaelic... « Previous Next »

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Christopher Huff (1cust121.tnt2.portland.or.da.uu.net - 63.15.153.121)
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 12:14 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I have the new TYI edition and it is hard going. I know that I am Irish but I have no idea what my Irish surname is. And almost no hope of ever knowing it! Potato Famine immigrants from Ireland to USA changed their name because of 'Irish need not Apply' signs. Are there any book to help me or internet site that could help me with either of these questions. Or any help about the old surname or a new one would be very appreciated.

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Laighneach (oak.may.ie - 149.157.1.55)
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 08:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

"Surnames of Ireland" by Edward MacLysaght, would be the most authorative.It takes into account, things like the dropping of O and Mac in irish names and often gives the irish version of the name, though not always.In the US you should be able to get it in an irish book shop, or maybe over the net.

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Seosamh (1cust220.tnt11.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.23.134.220)
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Huff isn't in MacLysaght. There is a surname in Co. Clare that might be it but I'm not sure -- Haugh or O'Haugh. The surname is also found in Limerick spelled Hough. If that is the origin of 'Huff', then your surname is Ó hEachach (oa ha-khukh). He seems to be saying that it means grandson of Aghy (an old first name).

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Christopher Huff (131.252.39.163)
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 05:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you all for posting. I don't think I made myself clear though. My family changed their last name from the original Irish into Huff. 'Huffer's' was a nick-name given to the men who ran the steam engines on boats. Which my Irish ancestors did. They came to America and changed the name to Huff. We have no record of what it was originally. I was hoping for some advice about either a new name or a derivative or MacRae, my Scottich surname. Thank you all again for posting.

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Seosamh (2cust80.tnt12.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.23.137.80)
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 08:49 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Christopher, most often name changes are based on the original names. (People sometimes think my surname, McCloskey, is Polish and, in fact, I met a Polish-American named McCloskey whose grandfather's original name sounded close.) That's why I offered the most likely candidate for such a change.

One option is the one I gave above, that is, accepting Hough in the absence of anything else. That way there's still a connection with your family's past, even if not of the normal kind. As to MacRae, it comes out in Irish as either Mac Raith or Mac Craith (pr. MAHK RAH or MAHK KRAH). You can take your pick -- they seem equally valid. The name is found in Ulster as well as Scotland and is related to MacGraith.

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