Sunday, 1 March, 2020
Share This:

How many Pats and Paddys have you got in your family tree? Our ancestors' penchant for naming a son after the patron saint of Ireland has left so many of us with the daunting task of looking for a needle in a haystack. The good news is, we can help each other out.

This month, we're asking all our members to post a Patrick to our Ancestor Chronicles in time for #StPatricksDay. Click here now to ADD YOUR ANCESTOR!

St. Patrick Banishes the Serpents by Jim Fitzpatrick©

IMAGE: "St. Patrick Banishes the Serpents" by jimfitzpatrick.com

How Irish is the name Patrick? 

Patrick has long been a popular given name for Irish boys and continues to rank among the top 20 in Ireland today. But how far back does the tradition of this name go in Ireland? Saint Patrick (c. 385-461) was an early Christian missionary to our Emerald Isle, but did you know that he may not have been the first or only Patricius to preach on our shores?

Patrick albeit the national name of Ireland, it is of Latin derivation.  The Latin adjective patricius signified membership of the patricians, the aristocracy of ancient Rome.  In Roman Catholic baptisms (traditionally recorded in Latin) Patrick will often appear as Patricius or Patricii.

How far back does the tradition of naming a child after Ireland's patron saint go? 

Out of reverence to our patron saint, the name was not used as a first name in Ireland for some time. However, "servant of Patrick" surnames such as Fitzpatrick/Gilpatrick and Mulpatrick abounded.

Gaelic Surname Anglicised Origins
Pádraig Patrick Anglo-Norman surname
Ó Maolphádraig

Mulpatrick/ Molpatrick, Patrick

servant of St. Patrick
Mac Giolla Phádraig Fitzpatrick, Fitchpatrick, Fitzspatrick, Fizpatrick, MacGilpatrick, McIlpatrick, Kirkpatrick son of St. Patrick's gillie/servant
Mac Páidín, Ó Páidín Padden, Padin, Padian, Peyton a diminutive of Patrick

In due course, the Irish started using Patrick on its own. It was certainly established by the 17th century (when Patrick Sarsfield was the Jacobite Earl of Lucan).

St Patrick's Day is sometimes called Peadar's (Peter's) Day because at one time there was an unsuccessful attempt to amalgamate Patrick with Peter

Gaelic Anglicized Notes
Pádraig PatrickPadraig, Padric, Padraic, Peyton, Pha(e)drig  
Pádraic Patrick, Paurick  
Pait PatPattPa  
Páid Podge, Paud, Pad  
Páidí Paddy/Paddie / Pady), Paudy (Paudie), Padsy/ Patsy, Patty pet forms
Páidín Paudeen little Patrick

Pádraigín/

Pádraicín

Patricia, Patrice, Patrickina, (also Patrick can occur as a middle name for girls) little Patricia 
 

'Patrick Joseph' is a popular combination often shortened to PJ, Pa Joe, or Pakie Joe


Click on the images below to learn more about some of the people that inspired this Chronicles Insight.

Pádraic Pearse, the rebel leader of 1916, no doubt added to the name's popularity.

Pádraig Ó Dubhghaill, Ennistymon, Co. Clare;

Padraig o dubhgaill

Patrick Beirne, Roscommon.

Patrick Beirne 1870

Or maybe with a "servant of Patrick" surname? 

Barney Fitzpatrick, Killashandra, Co. Cavan

Barney Fitzpatrick


Over to you... got an ancestor named Patrick?

This month, we're asking all our members to post a Patrick to our Ancestor Chronicles in time for #StPatricksDay. Click on the button below to add your ancestor now!

HOW TO Add your own Ancestor