Darren McEvilly (rb-ppp212.monmouth.com - 188.8.131.52)
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 1999 - 12:00 pm:
Sorry to contact you in this unsolicited manner but I was looking through your site for a dictionary of Gaelic in the hope of finding a translation for a Gaelic word - could you possibly help
The word I'm looking for is Ulcin.
The conText - if it helps at all - is that my family (McEvilly) originate from Ireland and I am researching the origins of the name. At some point in the past they killed a man in error and where known afterwards as Clan Ulcin.
The starting point for researching Irish surnames is the old standby, The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght.
He gives the Irish form of the names as Mac an Mhílidh (MAHK uh VEEL-ee -- or MAHK uh VEEL-ig in Munster): son of the knight or warrior. He describes it as 'an Irish patronymic assumed by the Stauntons of Mayo.' On the map in the book McEvilly appears in southern inland Mayo along the border with Galway.
Clan Ulcin may mean 'family or clan of spite'. Assuming that 'ulcin' is some form of 'olc' which means evil (compare with 'Evilly' -- a coincidence, not a pun, I'm sure) or harm and also spite, grudge or ill will. B'fhéidir nach gnáth-Mhíligh a bhí i do mhuintir. Scéal maith atá ann ar aon chuma! Maybe your people were not ordinary Evillys. There's a good story here, evidently.
One last thing: Gaelic refers to a range of related dialects traditionally spoken from souther Ireland to northern Scotland, now considered to be three related but distinct languages: Scots Gaelic, Irish and Manx.