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.
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.
|Pádraig||Patrick, Padraig, Padric, Padraic, Peyton, Pha(e)drig|
|Pait||Pat, Patt, Pa|
|Páid||Podge, Paud, Pad|
|Páidí||Paddy/Paddie / Pady), Paudy (Paudie), Padsy/ Patsy, Patty||pet forms|
|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;
Patrick Beirne, Roscommon.
Or maybe with a "servant of Patrick" surname?
Barney Fitzpatrick, Killashandra, Co. Cavan
Over to you... got an ancestor named Patrick?
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