mac - - a son, Irish mac, Old Irish macc, Welsh mab, Old Welsh map,
Cornish mab, Brenton map, mab, Ogam grn, maqvi: *makko-s, *mavko-s, root mak, rear, nutrice, Welsh magu, rear nurse, Brenton
maguet: Indo-European mak, ability, production; Greek @Gmakr'os, long, @Gm'akar; blessed; Zend macanh, greatness; Lettic ma'zu,
can, be able, Kluge compares Gothic magaths, maid, Anglo-Saxon magb, English maid, further Gothic magus, boy, Norse mo'gr,
which, however, is allied to Old Irish mug (pl, mogi), skave. The teutonic words also orignally come from a root denoting
"might increase:, Greek @nhos, means, Sanakrit mahas, great, Hence macanta, mild: filial".
Gill - is an English patronymic name from a shortened form of the given
names Giles, Julian or William - - modern pronunciation of these names bnotwithstanding. When of North English origin,
it is derived as a place name for the man who live by a ravine or deep glen, from the Middle English term gil = used in a
transferred sense from the thin-slit gill of a fish. When of Scottish or Irish origin, it is derived from an Anglicized
version of the Gaelic Mac Gille (the Scottish version) or Mac Giolla (Irish), as an occupational bame for the servent, or
a shortened form of any of the several names which were attached to the names of saints to mean "devotee of (insert Saint's
name here), " or it is derived from Mac An Ghoill, where ghoill was a Highland reference to the English-speaking lowlander.
MACBRIDE - - MacBride comes from the Irish Mac Giolla Bhride 'son of
the follower of (St) Bridget'; St Bridget was a famous abbess of Kildare, who died in 523. Also derived from the same
Irish orignal are the surnames Kilbride, Gillbride, MacIlvreed, MacGilbride, and others. The principal Irish family
of the name were based in the north of Co. Donegal in Raymunterdoney, where they were very prominenet in the church, a number
of the family becoming bishops. A branch migrated in Co. Down in early times, where the surname remains quite numerous.
In Ulster also, the name may have a Scottish origin, from the descendants of Gillebride, progenitor of one branch of the Clan
Donald. The best known contempory bearer of the surname was Sean MacBride (1904-1988), active on the Repulican side
in the War of Independence and after, Minister for External Affairs from 1948 to 1951, founder-member of the Amnesty International,
winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974, the Lenin Peace Prize in 1977 and the American Medal for Justice in 1978.
Dictionaries of Surnames indicate probable spelling variations of Mc Bride
to be Mac Bride, St. Bridget, McBrides, Mac Brides, Mc Bryde, Bride, Brides, Bridget, Bridgets, Bryget, Bryde and Brydes.
Family Tree tales and stories passed down through the years and generations certainly have affirmation
that our family surname ' McBride ' had at once been ' MacBride '.
The date and place that this surname change in spelling in unknown. Still they are proud Irish Surnames to bear and
have been for centuries and the ages of time to come.
McBRIDE / KilBRIDE
by Arthur Spears
The names McBride, KilBride come from the Gaelic Mac Giolla
Bhride, 'Devotee of the cult of St. Bridget'. St. Bridget is one of the three patrons of Ireland. Her cult was
initially of the Irish midlands where it was confined to the Counties of Kildare, Offaly and Roscommon. Her great schrine
was at Kildare where there are still monstic remains.
In Donegal it appears there was another St. Brigid whose
father's name, Dubthach, was the same as the great St. Brigid's, her centre was Ray, near Falcarragh. The erenaghs there
were for centuries MacGiolla Bhride. It is unlikely that this St. Brigid cult could have completed with that of St.
Columbkille were it not for the Kildare Saint's name. While it is not likely that the McBrides are decendants of the
erenaghs, the many cult followers would have given the name to their children. The name McBride is well attested today
from Carrigart to Dungloe, the presumed spread of the original Donegal cult of nearly a thousand years.
McLsaght refers to the 1659 census of County Down and
finds McBride the principal name there. This would be consistant with an active cult from the ninth century. The
cult was extensive in Scotland also and it is impossible now to distinguish the localnames from those which might have been
brought into north of Ireland by newcomers. In Scotland the forms Kilbride, Bridge(s) and others were also commonly
This Surname History is reproduced with kind permission
of Irish Roots Magazine in which it was first published as part of the feature article, Surnames of County Donegal, in issue
Published by: Belgrave Publications
Year written: 1995
Copyright owned by: Belgrave Publications
The McBride Coat of Arms
illustrated left was drawn by an heraldic artist from information officiaaly recorded in anchient heraldic archives.
Documentation for the
Mc Bride Coat of Arms design can be found in Burke's General
Armory. Heraldic artists of old developed their own unique language to describe an individual Coat of Arms. Intheir
language, the Arms (shield) is as follows:
"Gu. three chevronels betw. as many escallops ar."
Above the shield and helmet is the crest which is described as:
"On a chapeau a salamander in flames ppr."
When translated the blazon also describes the original colors
of the Mc Bride Arms and Crest as it appeared centuries ago.
Family mottos are believed to have originated as battle cries in medevil
times. A motto was not recorded with this Mc Bride Coat
Individual surnames originated for the purpose of more specific identification.
The four primary sources for second names were : occupation, location, father's name, or personal characteristics. The
Surname Mc Bride appears to be patronymical in origin, and is believed to be associated with the
Irish, meaning "son of the servant od Saint Briget."
The supplementary information included with this report is designed to give you
more information to further understanding of the origin of names. Different spellings of the same original surname are
a common occurance. Dictionaries of surnames indicate probable variations of Mc Bride to be
Mac Bride , St. Briget , McBrides , Mac Brides ,
Mc Bryde , Bride , Brides , Bridget , Bridgets ,
Bryget , Briget , Bryde , and Brydes.
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