Original text can be found at http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/manxnb/v05p020.htm

Thanks to Frances Coakley for transcribing


[From Manx Note Book vol 2, 1886]



E NOW COME to the Celtic patronymics formed from personal names of purely native origin. As many of these are capable of being translated, being originally significant of personal qualities, it is often difficult to distinguish between the regular names and the mere nick-names, whose derivatives in family nomenclature are discussed in the following chapter. In making this distinction, our guide must be the old Irish records, which give us some of these words as regular names, while others appear only as descriptive epithets appended to the names. Several of these native names were borne by persons who attained the honours of saintship, and thus, like other hagiological names, give rise to secondary formations with the prefix Giolla.

KAIGHAN, or KAIGHIN, contracted from Mac Eachain, 'Eachan's son.' The name EACHAN means horseman or 'knight.' 'Don of Eachan.'

The surname KAIGHAN may possibly be the same name originally, as KEIGEEN, as a contraction of Mac Taidhgin or Mac Aedhagain (see Keigeen), or even from Mac Cahain (see Cain). It is remarkable that KAIGHAN is confined to the north of the Island, and KEIGEEN to the south, the former being of much earlier occurrence than the latter.

Compare (Gaelic) MAC EACHAN, Mc GACHAN.

These are common names on the adjacent coast of Galloway.

MAC HAUGHAN(?) [1417], MAC CAIGHEN [1422], MCCAGHEN [1511], KAIGHIN [1611], CAIGHAN [1643], KAIGHAN [1667], CAIGHIN [1745].

Michael, German (vc), Bride (c), Ballaugh (u), elsewhere (w).

Submissions, corrections or suggestions kindly

received by the editor at kaighin@iname.com