Cuindlis Name Variants List


Mac, Mc, Ma’, and M’ (and stranger variants like Mc, M, and M+) were historically all interchangeable, with or without a space, and with or without capitalization of the first letter of both this prefix and the surname proper. However, very few instances of a full Mac are recorded among the Cuindlis families for some reason, with Mc being the most common patronymic. Black (1962)3 considered the Mac spelling extinct for this name and its variants (though modern databases prove this to not quite be true24). In the examples below, all spellings have been normalized to Mc versions (when any Mac-based patronymic is used at all), except in the case of pre-anglicization Gaelic, and Irish O’-based versions, or where there is no evidence or likelihood of any kind of Mc/Mac usage.

See the “Summary of Gaelic Patronymics” section below for details on Mac/Mc and Ó/O’ naming, other Gaelic conventions, and their eventual transition into surnames.

Names Clearly Derived from Cuind[i]lis/Cuindleas

Candlish and Candless themselves may in rare cases possibly be derived from Candler and similar names, by confusion between the two. At least one case is known of a McAndrews lineage becoming McCandless. There has also occasionally been English–Scottish confusion between Cavendish and Cand[l]ish. The lesson being, just because the surname’s the same doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all related.

That said, the vast majority of Candlishes and Candlesses, and close variants of these names, are from Cuindlis (or Cuindlaes or some other spelling of the same Gaelic name).

Gaelic, Ancient and Medieval to Modern

Gaelic (also Goidelic or Q-Celtic), is the Celtic language subfamily native to Ireland, parts of Scotland (since medieval times), and the Isle of Man which lies between them. The surviving Gaelic languages are Irish Gaelic (called simply Irish in Ireland), Scottish Gaelic (called simply Gaelic in Scotland), and Manx (which died out by the 1970s but has been revived by enthusiasts). They were at least somewhat mutually intelligible until the 18th century. In Irish and Scottish Gaelic, a c is always pronounced [k], and an s is pronounced [ʃ] (the /sh/ sound in fish) before or after a slender vowel (e or i, with or without any accent marks).

Known Gaelic Variants

  • Cuindles 19, 70 (early), grammatically lenited as Chuindles, a change which would also apply to the following entries
  • Cuindless 57 (early)
  • Coinndles 19 (early)
  • Coinnindles 19 (early)
  • Mac Cuindilis 3, 11, 14
  • Mac Cuindlaes
  • Mac Cuindleas 3, 11, 14, 50, 51
  • Mac Cuindlis 3, 5, 11, 14
  • Mac Cuinlis
  • Ó Coinleisc 12, 14 (late); Ó Coinleisg under Middle Irish grammatical eclipsis73
  • Ó Coinlis 13 (late)
  • Ó Coinlisc 12, 14 (late); Ó Coinlisg under Middle Irish grammatical eclipsis
  • Ó Cuindilis
  • Ó Cuindleas
  • Ó Cuindlis 12, 14
  • Ó Cuinnlis 13 (late)
  • Ó Cunlis 25 (late)
  • Cinnlis, Cinn-lis, Cin-lis, Cinn Lis, Cinn Leis, Ceann Lios (sometimes grammatically lenited as Chinnlis, etc.), as an element in place-names41

For certainty that Coinleisc and the like are in fact variants of Cuin[d]lis/Cuin[d]leas, see Woulfe (1922): “The same person is called Ó Cuindlis by Annalists of Loch Cé and Ó Coinleisc by the Four Masters”12.

There may have been other versions such as *Cuinleas, *Cuindis, etc. (though they are not attested in any known surviving materials). Spelling of even words much less names did not begin to standardize in earnest until the late 18th century. The oldest known version is Cuindles, also appearing as Cuindless, Coinndles, or Coinnindles, a given name dating to 8th-century Ireland.

Since the late 19th century, and more so since the rise of the Internet, native Irish (and to a lesser extent Scottish Gaelic) names are seeing a resurgence, and some people with anglicized names such as McCandless, Conlisk, or Quinlisk have returned to Cuindlis, Mac Cuindlis, Ó Cuindlis, or another Gaelic spelling today.23 Woulfe (1922) reported that Ó Coinleisc was still in use in Irish in Co. Mayo in his time12.

Anglicized, Late Medieval to Present

Anglicization of Gaelic names – their conversion to weakly-approximate phonetic spellings in English orthography, and sometimes assimilation to or toward pre-existing English names – began in Ireland, in piecemeal fashion, as early as the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. In Scotland, it happened later and slower. In both countries, the practice really took off in the 17th century, though spellings, even within the same family, did not stabilize until the 19th40.

Mc is optional in all cases unless noted, and may appear as Mac, Ma’, or M’ in older records. (While Mac is generally more common in Scotland, for this set of names in particular, Mc seems to dominate, so this is the spelling used in the list below). A modern revival of the feminine Nic, Nc, or N’ is making a small comeback (mostly in the Western hemisphere), but without lenition. E.g., one might encounter a name like NcCandless in modern social media. Irish versions with O’, which has often since been dropped, appear in their own shorter list below.

Counting versions with and without M[a]c or O’, there are around 100 spellings. However, most of the variations in the table below have probably been extinct since at least the 19th century.

Anglicized name Likely Gaelic source Notes
McAndlass Cuindleas Attested in Tyrone (at the Derry/Londonderry border) in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
McAndles Cuindleas 1, 2 Attested in N. Ireland17, including in Down in the 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
McAndless Cuindleas 1, 2, 12, 14, 21, 51 Attested in Down, Derry/Londonderry, and Antrim in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
McAndlis Cuindleas 1, 2 Attested in N. Ireland17
McAndlish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes Recorded 1684, Wigtownshire31; also attested on the island of Arran (administrative county of Argyll and Bute) in 1901 Scottish census34; and in Antrim in 1901 Irish census35, 45. Attested as just Andlish without M[a]c in 1853.
McAndliss Cuindlis/Cuindlaes 27
McAndloss Cuindlis/Cuindlaes Attested in Antrim (bordering Down) in the 1901 Irish census35, 45.
McAnlis Cuinlis Attested (rarely) in the Armagh–Down area, N. Ireland17; attested in Armagh in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
McAnlish Cuinlis Attested in N. Ireland17, literally as “Macanlish”, which is ambiguous; normalized to a Mc spelling, it could be rendered McAnlish or McCanlish. Found as both McAnlish and M’Anlish (for the same person) in 1687 court record in South Ayrshire76.
McAnliss Cuinlis 14, 21
McCanalass Cuindilis > *Cuindileas Attested in Port of New York immigration record, 1849.
McCanalish Cuindilis
McCandaleishe Cuindilis Attested in Glasgow, 160828
McCandeil Cuindlis 36 But possibly from a Candle[r] occupational name.
McCandeils Cuindlis 36 But possibly from a Candle[r] occupational name.
McCandelich Cuindilis 1
McCandells Cuindlis 36 But possibly from a Candle[r] occupational name.
McCandeless Cuindleas/*Cuindileas Attested in the United States (only, so far).64
McCandelish Cuindilis 1
McCandess Cuindleas > *Cuindeas One family attested in Down in 1901 Irish census45.
McCandish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes > *Cuindis 2 Also Can[d]ycht-related10. Without Mc, usually Cavendish-derived, though some possibly from French Candice/Candace
McCandlash Cuindlis/Cuindlaes 1
McCandlas Cuindleas 1 Attested in N. Ireland17
McCandlass Cuindleas 1, 21 Attested in N. Ireland17 (including in Derry/Londonderry in 1831 Irish census45); in Renfrewshire in 1901 Scottish census34; and in Port of New York immigration record, 1849.
McCandleis Cuindleas 1, 3 Recorded as Candleis 1684, Wigtownshire31.
McCandleish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes 1, 21
McCandles Cuindleas 1, 64 Attested in N. Ireland17, including: in Derry/Londonderry in 1831 Irish census45; in Down, Atrim, and Derry/Londonderry as well as Donegal, in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45. Also attested in Port of New York immigration records, 1848.
McCandlesh Cuindlis/Cuindlaes Attested in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, and Edinburgh in the 1901 Scottish census34. Attested (1 individual) as Candlesh without Mc in Ayrshire in 1901 Scottish census34.
McCandless Cuindleas 1, 2, 11, 12, 14, 51 Attested in Derry/Londonderry in 1831 Irish census45. Widely attested in Armagh, Down, Antrim, Derry/Londonderry, and Tyrone, as well as Donegal (all in Ulster). Every McCandless (and variant spelling) birth in 1890 Irish records was in Ulster48, but small numbers of people by this name were recorded in Roscommon, Wexford, Louth, Clare, Leitrim, and Dublin in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45. Attested (1 individual) without Mc in Donegal in 1901 Irish census35, 45. Attested in Renfrewshire, Glasgow, and Edinburgh in 1901 Scottish census34.
McCandleys Cuindleas Attested in Derry/Londonderry in 1831 Irish census45, 51. See also McCanlies, McCandley/McCandly, McCanlay/McCanley/McCanlie/McCanly.
McCandlich Cuindlis/Cuindlaes Attested in the United States (only, so far).64
McCandlis Cuindleas 1, 12, 14, 51, 64 Attested in N. Ireland17, including in Antrim and Down (bordering Antrim) in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45. Candlis without Mc attested in Port of New York immigration record, 1850; however, in some cases it could derive from the unrelated French Candilis
McCandlish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes 1, 3, 11 Recorded as both McCandlish and Candlish in 1684, Wigtownshire31, and (sometimes as M’Candlish) throughout the 18th century in Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire, rarely in Dumfriesshire3, 29, 52. Attested in 1901 Scottish census comparatively commonly in Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Ayrshire, and Renfrewshire, more sparsely in Stirlingshire, Western Callander (Perthshire), northern Lanarkshire, and southeast Argyllshire, with a few also in Perth and East Lothian34, 52. Attested in Antrim and Armagh in 1901 Irish census35, 45. Attested as Candlish without Mc frequently in 1901 Scottish census in Ayrshire, Kircudbrightshire, and Dumfriesshire, less often in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Stirlingshire, Edinburgh and nearby Midlothian, Fifeshire, and Clackmannan34. Attested twice without Mc, in Dublin and at the Kilkenny–Waterford border, in 1901 Irish census35, 45; both were Anglican, so almost certainly British immigrants. Also attested as just Candlish in Down in the 1911 Irish census45.
McCandliss Cuindleas 1, 21 Attested in N. Ireland17, including in Antrim (bordering Down) in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
McCandloss Cuindleas 1
McCandls Cuindleas 4 Surely an error for McCandles[s]; attested in Port of New York immigration record, 1847.
McCanleis Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Recorded as M’Canleis and Canleis, 1684, Wigtownshire3, 31.
McCanles Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Attested in Derry/Londonderry in 1831 Irish census45. Canles by itself (at least outside of Scotland and Northern Ireland) is more often apt to be a variant of Canlas, typically of Spanish or Filipino derivation.
McCanless Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 64 Attested (single individual) in Kildare in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
McCanlies Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Rare or non-existent without Mc; spelling may have arisen in the US. See also McCandleys, McCandley/McCandly, McCanlay/McCanley/McCanlie/McCanly.
McCanlis Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 12, 14, 21 Attested in N. Ireland17 Attested in Antrim (in one case spaced as Mc Canlis) in 1901 Irish census35, 45. Without Mc, probalby often unrelated (e.g. variant of Spanish/Filipino Canlas).
McCanlish Cuindlis > Cuinlis Attested in N. Ireland17
McCanliss Cuindleas > *Cuinleas
McCanlos Cuindleas > *Cuinleas
McCaudless Cuindleas > *Cuidleas Attested in N. Ireland17; this may be a printing error for McCandless (u = n upside-down)
McCaundish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes > *Cuindis 2 Without Mc it is Cavendish-related
McCaundlish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes Attested in Wigtownshire, 179329
McCaundysh Cuindlis/Cuindlaes > *Cuindis 2 Without Mc it is Cavendish-related
McCaunles Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 5 Recorded 1684, Wigtownshire31. A McCaundles[s] variant is also likely.
McCaunless Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 27
Chandless Cuindleas 1 Attested in Edinburgh in 1901 Scottish census34. Fairly common in New Jersey. Rare with Mc, but actually attested that way (4 individuals) in Edinburgh in 1901 Scottish census34.
Chandlish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes 1, 3, 11 Attested in Dumfriesshire in 1901 Scottish census34. Rare or non-existent with Mc.
Chandliss Cuindleas 27 Rare or non-existent with Mc.
Chanles Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Rare or non-existent with Mc, but one M’Chanles might have been attested in Ireland ca. 1295–1303 (though it may, however, have been the unrelated and otherwise unattested M’Chaules)52.
McCilandich Cuindilis Probably pronounced with /k/ not /s/ sound.
McClandish, McClandlish, McClendlish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes > *Cluindis, *Cluindlis 4, 20 McClandish is a common typographical error (from confusion with “clan”); e.g., it appears as certainly an error in Scots Kith & Kin37. McClendlish is actually attested in Wigtownshire in the 1901 Scottish census34 (but this is no guarantee the census taker spelled it correctly).
McClandless Cuindleas > *Cluindleas 4 Like the above, this is probably a typo.
McCoinlus Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas Attested in/around Glasgow in the 1901 Scottish census34.
McCunlish Cuinlis Attested in N. Ireland17, literally as “Macunlish”, which is ambiguous; normalized to a Mc spelling, this might be rendered McCunlish or McUnlish
McInless Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Attested (1 individual) in Dublin in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
McKanlas Cuindleas Attested only in the US, and only as M’Kanlas in an 1867 Harper’s Magazine story about David Colbert McCanles and son (exaggerated as “the M’Kanlas Gang”) in a story about “Wild Bill” Hickok and his killing of them55. (See entries in the “Notables” page for details.) It is unlikely anyone ever used this M[c]Kanlas spelling as their actual name.
McKanless Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Recorded 1684 (under the strange spelling Makkanless), Wigtownshire and/or Kirkcudbrightshire3; attested in Renfrewshire in 1910 Scottish census34. Also attested in the US64.
McKenlis Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 2 Attested in N. Ireland17
McKindleish Cuindlis Attested as Kindleish without Mc in Dunbartonshire in 1901 Scottish census34.
McKindles Cuindleas Attested in the United States (only, so far).64
McKindless Cuindleas Attested (rarely) in Derry/Londonderry, N. Ireland17
McKinlas Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Attested (1 individual) in Derry/Londonderry in 1901 Irish census35, 45; also possibly McKinley- or Kinloss/Kinloch-related.
McKinlass Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 2 Attested in N. Ireland17; also possibly McKinley- or Kinloss/Kinloch-related.
McKinles Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 2 Attested in N. Ireland17, including 1 individual at the Antrim–Down border in 1911 Irish census35, 45; also possibly McKinley- or Kinloss/Kinloch-related.
McKinless Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 2 Attested in N. Ireland17; attested in Derry/Londonderr and Antrim, and at the Antim–Down border, in 1901 Irish census35, 45 also possibly McKinley- or Kinloss/Kinloch-related.
McKinlis Cuindleas > *Cuinleas 2 Attested in N. Ireland17; also possibly McKinley- or Kinloss/Kinloch-related.
McKinlish Cuinlis 2 Also possibly McKinley- or Kinloss/Kinloch-related.
McKinliss Cuindleas > *Cuinleas Attested (1 individual) in Lanarkshire in 1901 Scottish census34; also possibly McKinley- or Kinloss/Kinloch-related.
McUnlish Cuinlis Attested in N. Ireland17, literally as “Macunlish”, which is ambiguous; normalized to a Mc spelling, this might be rendered McUnlish or McCunlish.

It will not have been impossible for some unusual variants like *McQuindlish/McQuinless and the like to have developed, and even some further digressions like *McWhindlish/McWinless, so records should also be searched for such variations.

Another complication is the f-like “long s“, which was used by many writers and printers until well into the 19th century, and which could take various shapes, such as ſ, ʃ, ∫, and ⌠, sometimes with decorative flourishes. This was typically used in the middle of words/names and at the end, but often only for the first s of a -ss ending. Thus, text could read something like “Joſeph M’Candleiſh in the Pariſh of Kelſs”. OCR of scanned old books will not always recognize this character properly (frequently mistaking it for f), so when searching a book that old, try substrings like “Candl”. This will also have the benefit of finding variants like “McCandliss”, “McCandlesh”, etc. It is also possible for those working on the textual digitization of old records (a challenging job, called paleography, of interpreting obsolete handwriting) to make the same mistake and mis-record a name as, e.g., “McCanlifs” (especially given that unrelated names like McCanliff, McConliffe, Cunliffe, and McCauliffe/McAuliffe are well-attested).

Exclusively Irish Forms

Any of these may (rarely) appear preceded by O’, as in O’Quinlish. Historically, Mac or Mc forms could have occurred, but appear to now be extinct spellings. “Exclusively Irish” here means “not historically found in Scotland”; the names do of course occur among the world-wide Irish diaspora.

Anglicized name Likely Gaelic source Notes
Conles Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas 18 Attested in Dublin in 1911 Irish census35, 45.
Conless Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas 18
Conlis Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas 18
Conlice Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas Attested (1 individual) in Armagh in 1911 Irish census35, 45.
Conlish Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinlis 18 Attested in Port of New York immigration record, 1850; attested in Galway (bordering Mayo) in 1911 Irish census35, 45. Also found as an element in a place-name41.
Conlisk Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc 18 Attested in Galway (bordering Mayo) and in Roscommon (bordering Sligo) in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45. A single Conlisk was counted in the 1901 Scottish census, in Glasgow34 (probably an immigrant Irish worker).
Conliske Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc 14 Probably others too, like Caunliske, Caunless, etc.
Conliss Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas 18 Attested in small numbers in Fermanagh, Tipperary, and Waterford (bordering Tipperary and Kilkenny) in 1911 Irish census35, 45.
Conloss Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas A single Conloss was counted in the 1901 Scottish census, in Glasgow34 (probably an immigrant Irish worker).
Counliss Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Coinleas A single Counliss was counted in the 1901 Scottish census, in Banffshire34 (probably an immigrant Irish worker).
Connalych Cuindilis > *Coinileisc Recorded in the exact form “Oconnalych” (i.e. O’Connalych by later convention) in 1458 in the now-extinct Parish of Rossa (probably modern Tyross), Co. Armagh, in what today is Northern Ireland93. This is the most northerly example found yet of a probably-Cuindlis-derived name other than the McCandless, McCandless, etc., variants imported back from Scotland during and after the Plantation of Ulster. However, it cannot be entirely ruled out that was not just a weird spelling of Connolly.
Coynliske Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc 14 Probably others, too, like Coinlish, Coinlisk, etc.
Cundlish Cuindlis/Cuindlaes 12, 14
Cunlick Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc 21 Attested (1 individual) in Sligo in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
Cunlis Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes 26
Cunlish Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes 12, 14, 18
Cunlisk Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc 12, 14, 18 Attested in Galway (bordering Mayo) and in Roscommon and Sligo in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45. Five Cunlisks were counted in the 1901 Scottish census, in Glasgow34 (probably an immigrant Irish worker and family). There are or were probably other similar variants too, like Cunless, etc.
Kenlish Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes As an element in a place-name41.
Kenlyshe Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes Middle English anglicization, as an element in a place-name41.
Kinleshe Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes Middle English anglicization, as an element in a place-name41.
Kinlish Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes As an element in a place-name41.
Queenlisk Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc Attested (1 individual) in Tipperary in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
Quenlisk Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc Attested in Tipperary and Offaly in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
Quinlass Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc Attested in Dublin in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
Quinles Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Cuinleas
Quinlesk Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc Attested (1 individual) in Tipperary in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
Quinless Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Cuinleas 18 Attested in Dublin in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
Quinlis Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Cuinleas
Quinlish Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes 12, 14, 18, 21 A few found in Offally in 1821 Irish census45. Attested in Port of New York immigration records, 1848. Attested in Tipperary in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
Quinlisk Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc 12, 14, 18, 21, 51 Fairly numerous in Offally in 1821 Irish census45. Attested in Port of New York immigration records, 1848. Attested in Tipperary (comparatively frequently), Galway, Offaly, and Dublin in 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
Quinlist Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > Coinleisc/Coinlisc
Quinlos Cuinlis/*Cuinlaes > *Cuinleas

Many expected Irish variants (especially with d) have yet to be attested in records and other sources examined so far, e.g. *Condless, *Cundliss, *Quindlish, etc. A rendering of Ó Coinleisc as “O’Coinleisg” was given in one translation of Annals of the Four Masters74, but there is no evidence anyone ever actually used that spelling as their name, and it is very unlikely. Some “deviant” anglicizations of Ó names into odd forms (e.g. Ua Néill, Ó Néill into not just O’Neill but also Inell, Ynell, perhaps others80, e.g. , and even Hy-Neil following a once-common Hy- anglicizing convention) indicate that lists and databases of larger numbers of Irish surnames should be checked for unusual forms like *Iconliss and *Ycunlish and perhaps stranger possibilities like *Aquinlisk, *Hycanlist, etc., just in case.

Assimilated, Merged, Converged, Possibly Related, and Similar but Unrelated Names

The majority of people with the names below may not be related to Cuindlis if any of them are at all. It is possible that some few people of Cuindlis descent have borne or still bear any of the following similar, but in many cases differently-derived, names. Such names could have been arrived at by Cuindlises through various means, that would range from ignorant immigration officials mangling the spelling, through assimilation of a similar but more common local name, to a shift in pronunciation and/or spelling to avoid political or other troubles.

Some of these names probably are derived directly from Cuindlis but also and more often derived from other sources. These are examples of merging or convergence. Candles is a good example – it obviously derives from Cuindlis > Candless > Candles, but also equally obviously derives from C[h]andler > Candle > Candles.

There are also names in this section for which the present author has no idea of derivation, but which might, or might very well not, be related in any way, but seem to be “likely suspects”. And lastly there are few (e.g. Quinlak) that look suspiciously like typos for more common spellings, but which could represent genuine variants, or even entirely unrelated names.

Some may appear with Mc/Mac, most do not (many are not Scottish at all) except where noted.

  • Andes, Andis – Probably from Anders/Andrews; unlikely to be related to [Mc[C]]And[l]ish/[Mc[C]]And[l]ess names, except possibly in a few isolated incidences. Andis appears in the 1851 UK census in Oxfordshire, and Andison in Roxburghshire, Scotland (gaelicized, that could resolve to *McAndis, but it is unattested). Andeson/Andison is more likely a variant of Anderson. Both spellings (likely from a root unrelated to the British versions) are also an Illyrian name found in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Andis (Hindi: अन्दीस) unrelatedly also found in India.
  • Andle, Andles – While conceivably derivable from Mc[C]Andle[s[s]], most if not all are probably no relation. It seems to be primarily an English, German, and Russian name (not necessarily from the same etymology); attested at least once in Scotland, though. Also found in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea; it seems to have arisen independently in these places.
  • Andless – Derivable from McAndless, which is attested; but *Andless by itself seems not to be, and could be a variant of Andles even if it were.
  • Auchinlish, Auchinless, Auchinlace, Auchinles, Auchinlos, Auchinloss, Auchinlosse, Aunchinlece, Auchineloss; Auchinlach, Auchinlack, Aunchinlaik, Auchinleak, Aunchinlech, Aunchinleck, Auchinlecke, Aunchinlect, Aunchinleek, Auchinleik, Auchinlek, Auchinlick, Auchinloch, Auchinlusk, etc. – From the place name Auchinlish, in parish of Balquhidder, Dunblane, in the Stirling council area (the part that’s technically within historical Perthshire instead of Stirlingshire). Mentioned several times in the The Commissariot Record of Dunblane. Name spelling may have changed; there today is an Auchinlay in Dunblane. We can’t yet find a definitive origin of the name, though the first element is from Achadh ‘field’; this may mean ‘enclosed field’, ‘field of the enclosure’ from Achadh Lios/Lise. There is also an Auchinloss in the parish of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire; it is the site of a medieval tower, and today is sometimes rendered as Assloss.
  • Aunchincless, Auchingcloss, Auchingloss, Auchinkloss, Aunchinle, Auchinchlos, Auchinchloss, Auchinclass, Auchinclaus, Auchinclek, Auchinclo, Auchincloff, Auchinclors, Auchinclos, Auchinclosa, Auchinclose, Auchincloss, Auchinclosse, Auchinclosz, Auchincoloss, Auchincolss, Auchincioss, Auchincoss, Auchinccoss, etc. – From the place-name Auchincloich (Achadh Clach ‘field of stone’) in Ayrshire.
  • Cairdlish – Probably unrelated; attested in Renfrewshire in 1901 Scottish census34.
  • Candal, Candale, de Candal, de Candale – Norman (and sometimes Spanish) name attested in Britain and Ireland, probably from a place-name and/or a word meaning ‘candle’.
  • Candeias 6 – Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Candel 6 – This has been attested in Scotland, but as an Anglo-Norman import from de Candela, de Chaundel, de la Chaundel, de Candyl 3.
  • Candela, Candelas 6 – Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Candeland, Candelane, Candelaine, Candelland, Candieland[s], Candlan[d], Combland, etc. 6 – Has been attested in Scotland, but is of English origin. It looks at first like a place-name, but seems to be from Gandelin, Gandeleyn, probably from earlier Gamelyn, Gameling3. Another etymology gives it as derived ultimately from Norman French Cundel, and possibly related to the placename Cundall in Yorkshire where the surname seemed concentrated, or Caundle in Dorset. See Cundall for details.
  • Candelat 6 – French.
  • Candeler 6
  • Candeles 6 – Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Candeley 6 – French.
  • Candelin, Candeline 6 – Mostly Swedish (from Finnish Kandolin), but some French.
  • Candelora, Candelori, Candeloro 6 – Italian.
  • Candell 6
  • Candeller 6
  • Candels 6
  • Candery, Candry, Candray, Condrey – Probably from McAndrews in some cases, McHenry in others; see McCandery for details.
  • Candes – Probably mostly from French Candice/Candace.
  • Candess – Probably mostly from French Candice/Candace.
  • Candiales 6 – Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Candich 10 – Usually a version of occupational name Candych but in one case from Norman name Candois16.
  • Candilis – a “false friend”, this rare French name is ultimately of Greek origin. Its existence, however, means that some named Candlis and possibly Candliss and some other spellings are potentially from this name from not from Cuindlis.
  • Candillian, Candillion – A sept of Douglas.
  • Candis – Probably mostly from French Candice/Candace. Appears in 1880 US census a few times in New York, including an immigrant from England.
  • Candish, Candishe – Derived from Cavendish in most cases, but found as both Candish and Kentish (‘from Kent’) in the same family in Australia in the 19th century. As McCandish was (rarely) attested, a handful from this derivation cannot be ruled out.
  • Candith 10
  • Candlan, Candland 6 – Variant of Candeland.
  • Candle 6
  • Candlen 6
  • Candler 6
  • Candles 6
  • Candley, Candly, Candlie 6 – See also Cantley/Cantly.
  • Candlin, Candline 6
  • Candlir 6
  • Candos, Candoes, Cando, Candow Candows, Candoes – Norman French; Originally a place-name, Candos, in Eure, Normandy. See also Chandos for Anglo-Norman variations.
  • Candry, Candray, Condrey – See Candery.
  • Candy, Condy, Cundy, Candie, Condie, Cundie – From multiple different origins. One of them is Norman French Condit, Conduit referring to someone who lived near a water channel47.
  • Candych 10
  • Candysh, Candyshe – Derived from Cavendish.
  • Candyth 10
  • Canglish, Kanglish – Probably unrelated Irish name (probably from MacEnglish, MacInglis, i.e. son/descendant of an Englishman); attested as Kanglish in Dublin in 1911 Irish census35, 45.
  • Canlas – Filipino
  • Canle, Canley, Canli, Canly 8
  • Canler, Canlers 6 – English, derived from Candler[s]; also separately French, found in Picardie, and from a similar etymology.
  • Canliffe, Canliff, etc. – Generally unrelated to Candlish, Canless, etc.; see Conliffe and McCanliffe.
  • Canlis – probably related in a few cases, from McCanlis[s], but otherwise not (e.g. variant of Spanish or Filipino Canlas).
  • Canloup – A Breton name.
  • Canlow, Canlou
  • Cannabich, Kannabich – German.
  • Cannel, Cannell
  • Cannuill, de Cannuill, Camnuyl, Camnuill, Cannuyl, Cannyle – Attested in Ireland during the reign of Edward I of England; the de in front of suggests a Norman origin, but it looks Gaelic. Some similar names that have appeared later are Cannuel and Caneill.
  • Cantis – English name from (and probably etymologically related to) Canterbury.
  • Cantley, Cantly – Though attested in Scotland, it is originally from the English toponym Cantley, name of villages in both Norfolk and Yorkshire. Some instances of Candl[e]y, etc., probably derive from this.
  • Carlish – Unrelated Irish name.
  • Cauler, Caulers – French, variant of Canler[s].
  • Caundis, Caundish, Caundishe, Caundyshe, Caundysch22 – Derived from Cavendish.
  • Chandebois – French, found in Anjou.
  • Chandee – French, from Chandée.
  • Chandel 6 – rare or non-existent with Mc.
  • Chandeler 6 – rare or non-existent with Mc.
  • Chandell 6 – rare or non-existent with Mc.
  • Chandeller 6 – rare or non-existent with Mc.
  • Chandelon, Chandellon – French.
  • Chandels 6 – rare or non-existent with Mc.
  • Chandieu – French.
  • Chandle 6 – rare or non-existent with Mc.
  • Chandler 6 – Rare or non-existent with Mc.
  • Chandles 6 – Rare or non-existent with Mc; attested (1 individual) in Offaly in 1901 Irish census35, 45.
  • Chandley, Chandly – Probably from multiple origins, including Chandler, McCandl[e]y, McCand[e]ry, etc.
  • Chandon – French (found in Lyonnais, Champagne, and Bourgogne).
  • Chandos, Chandoz, Chandoys, de Chandos, de Chaundos, Chaundos, Chaundows, Chandoes – Anglo-Norman, found in Suffolk, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, Gouchestershire, and Middlesex where there was a barony and later dukedom. See Candos for origin. Chandoz also occurs in Cornwall, and is conceivably of separate Cornish derivation there.
  • Chaules – Seems to be attested only in one 1295–1303 record, as M’Chaules, but this could be a typo for M’Chanles52 (see also Cauler as a variant of Canler). If it really is M’Chaules, it probably would be unrelated and entirely unclear as to derivation; perhaps a variant of Charles, but this seems unlikely in a Gaelic name (it is usually gaelicized as Cathal, Cathel, Cahil). One possibility is Irish Gaelic coill, an obscure term for ‘wood, woods’, mostly surviving in place-names; the word also appeared as c[h]aule.
  • Conaldy – Variant of Connelly.
  • Condall, Condal, Condell, Condel, Condill, etc. – variants of Cundall.
  • Condley, Condlie, Condly 8
  • Conland, Conlan, Conlane – Scottish place-name (Conland, Fife); Conlan may also appear separately as an anglicized Irish surname (possibly from Connellan); probably unrelated.
  • Conley, Conly, Conlie, Conlee, Conlay – Probably unrelated; typically a variant of Connolly.
  • Conliffe, Conliff, Condliffe, Condliff, Condlyffe, etc. – Generally unrelated to Cunlish, Conliss, etc.; instead usually derives from an English placename in Lancashire. However, the Conliffe spelling in particular was found in Ireland, in Antrim in the 1911 Irish census45, which puts it in proximity with [Mc]Can[d]less families, so a few cases of convergence can’t be ruled out. However, it is more likely in that case to be a variant of the Irish name McCanliffe/McAnliffe.
  • Conylesh – English name recorded in Lacashire, 1780.33
  • Cramlish, Cremlish, Crimlish, Cromlish, Crumlish, Crumblish – Unrelated Irish name.
  • Cundall, Cundal, Cundell, Cundel, Cundill, Cundil, Cundale – from Yorkshire place-name Cundall (earlier Cundel) and/or Dorset place-name Caundle47. Heraldry vendor House of Names/Hall of Names (Swyrich Corp.), a weak source, contradictorily says that Cundel was the name of the place in Yorkshire before the Norman Invasion but also that Cundel was a Norman name that arrived with the conquest, and asserts that it is (either way) the origin of Candeland and related names, for which Black (1962) gives a different origin (English Gamelyn)3. Regardless, they are unrelated to Cuindlis.
  • Cunliffe, Cundliffe, etc. – Generally unrelated to Cunlish, Conliss, etc.; see Conliffe and McCanliffe.
  • Kandel, Kandell, Kandelbinder, Kandler/Kaendler 6 – German.
  • Kandes – Probably mostly from French Candice/Candace.
  • Kandess – Probably mostly from French Candice/Candace.
  • Kanlay, Kanley, Kanly 8
  • Kendis, Kentis, Kentish – English, meaning ‘from Kent’.
  • Kenlis, Kenles, Kenlys – An early and rather loose anglicization of the name of Kells, the famous abbey in Kilkenny; in Irish it is Ceannanas, Cheannanais ‘head fort/seat/residence’, though Kells itself is from Na Cealla ‘The Cells’ i.e. a reference to the monastic dormitories.
  • Kindich, Kindisch – German.
  • Kinloch – Occasionally appears as a surname (also as Kinloche, Kinlock), but usually a Scottish place-name, of several places. From Gaelic Ceann Loch[a] ‘Head Lake’, ‘Head of the Lake’.
  • Kinloss, Kinlos – Appears in Armorial Families (Arthur C. Fox-Davies; 1895 and 1929-30); from another Scottish place-name (village and barony in Moray). From Gaelic Cinn Lois, Ceann Lois ‘Head [of] Fire’.
  • Kundale – Variant of Cundall, or of Kendall.
  • McAinish, McAinsh – variant of McCansh 3, 7.
  • McAndery, McAndry – Probably from McAndrews
  • McAndie, McAndy – Variants of McCandie.
  • McAndle 6
  • McAndler 6
  • McAndley, McAndly – Probably variants of McCandley or MacAndrews; attested in Monaghan in 1911 Irish census35, 45.
  • McAndreis – A variant of MacAndrews.
  • McAndress – A variant of MacAndrews, though could conceivably derive from McAndless in a few cases; attested in N. Ireland17.
  • McAnish – variant of McCansh 3, 7.
  • McAnley, McAnlly – Variant of McCanley/McCanly, etc.
  • McAnliffe, McAnliff, etc. – Variant of McCanliffe, probably from McAuliffe; attested in Edinburgh in 1901 Scottish census34 and found in southern Ireland (Cork, Limerick) in 1901 Irish census35, 45, away from Cuindlis-derived names. See also Canliffe, Conliffe, Cunliffe, often English and derived from a place-name.
  • McAnsh, McAnce 7 – variants of McCance, from McAngus<3
  • McAudlesh – Probably from McCaundlish, but conceivably of separate derivation. Attested in Stirlingshire in the 1901 Scottish census34. However, this may just be a printing error for McAndlesh (a u is an upside down n). Also possibly derived from McAuliffe.
  • McAuliffe, McAuliff, McAulay, McCawley, McCauley, Cowley, etc. – Usually from Mac Amhlaibh, from Norse Óláf. Might sometimes be derived, by convergence, from native Gaelilc Mac Amhlaidh or Mac Amhalghaidh
  • McAulis – Attested in N. Ireland17; probably from McAuliff[e]/McAulay.
  • McCainish, McCainsh – Variant of McCansh3, 7
  • McCamish – Variant of MacHamish and sometimes of MacTavish.
  • McCamsish 4 – Probably census typo for McCamish but possibly for McCandish.
  • McCance, McCans, McCanse, McKance – From McAngus3, 7. See also McCanich, McCanish.
  • McCanch (diminutive McCanchie) 3 – Likely a variant of any of McCance, McCanish3, McCanich, or McCandycht.
  • McCand, McCande – Probably a variant of MacCann.
  • McCandery, McCandry, McCandray, McCondrey, McCan[d]rie – Probably from McAndrews in some cases, McHenry in others; in the latter cases, it is essentially the same as McHen[d]ry, McKendrick, and other ‘son of Henry’ names.
  • McCandie, McCandy, McAndie, McAndy, McAndee, McKandy, McHandie, McKande, etc. – Probably usually variants of MacAndrew[s]. For two specific lineages, there are other origins: Gaelic Mac[Sh]anndai, a Lowland name often anglicized Sandy; and MacAnndaidh or MacAnndai, a Norse-Gaelic name from the isle of Bernera, ultimately from the Old Norse given name Andi (Black 1962, p. 452).
  • McCanders – Probably a McAndrews variant, unless a Candler one.
  • McCandla 6 – See also McCanla.
  • McCandle 6 – Attested in Port of New York immigration record, 1847; attested (1 individual) in Armagh in the 1911 Irish census35, 45.
  • McCandler, McCandlers 6 – Attested (both spellings, but spaced, e.g. Mc Candler) in Antrim in the 1911 Irish census35, 45.
  • McCandley, McCandly 9 – See also McCandleys, McCanlies, McCanlay/McCanley/McCanlie/McCanly.
  • McCandry, McCandray, McCondrey – See McCandery.
  • McCandycht or McIncandycht – Unrelated occupational name10.
  • McCanich – also Caninch/Cananich/Cananach; A sept of MacPherson. See also McCanish.
  • McCanis 7
  • McCanish – A sept of Clan Atholl, ultimately derived from MacNish, though a few families may be from MacAngus or MacInnes/MacInish3, 7, but see also McCanich; not of any known relationship to McCandlish, regardless.
  • McCaniss – Variant of McCanis7 or of McCanish3.
  • McCanla – Could be from McCan[d]lass, or from McCanlay probably in turn from McKinley or something similar8. Attested in Derry/Londonderry in the 1831 Irish census45. See also McCandla.
  • McCanlay, McCanley, McCanlie, McCanly, McCanloy 8 – Some also show up without M[a]c. See also McCandley/McCandly, McCandleys, McCanlies.
  • McCanle 6 – Could derive from Candle or from a name like Connonly.
  • McCanlick – Conceivably a variant of or typo for McCanlish/McCanliss.
  • McCanliffe, McCanliff, etc. – Variant of McAnliffe; probably from McAuliffe, and found in Limerick in 1901 Irish census35, 45, and in Clare and Cork in 1911 Irish census35, 45, away from Cuindlis-derived names. See also Canliffe, Conliffe, Cunliffe, often English and derived from a place-name.
  • McCannel, McCannell, McCanell, McCanel – Probably variants of McConnel[l]. 3
  • McCansh – Variant of McCance from McAngus3, 7.
  • McCants – Variant of McCance from McAngus3.
  • McCanys 7 – Variant of McCanis.
  • McCarlish, McCarlich, McKarlich, McCarlycht, McCarliche, McKerlich, McCarlach, McCarly, etc. – variants of MacCharles (Gaelic MacChearlaich, MacThearlaich); versions like McHerlich and McTarlich also exist (Black 1962, p. 465). The T is a convergence on the native Gaelic name Turlach, Turlaich (often anglicized Turlough, ultimately from Old Irish Toirdelbach ‘instigator, abettor’).
  • McCauliffe, McCaulay, McCawley, etc. – Variants of McAuliffe/McAulay; ultimately Norse.
  • McCavis, McCavish – Variants of McTavish in both Ireland5 and Scotland32.
  • McChandyt – Unrelated occupational name10.
  • McCombish – Highly unlikely to be related.
  • McConliffe, McConliff, McCondliffe, McCondliff, McCondlyffe, etc. – See McCanliffe and Conliff[e].
  • McCornish – No reason to think this is related; on it’s face, it seems to be ‘Cornish, from Cornwall’, but could be anglicized in that direction from some other source, possibly a variant of McCormick, of McCorish, or of McComish (from MacHamish or MacThomhais).
  • McCrandal, McCrandell, McCrandle, McCrandles, McGrandle, McGrandles, McGrandlis, McGrindle, McCrindel, McRandall, Crandall, etc. – Unrelated, from Randal[l]; attested in various forms in 1901 Scottish census34 and 1901–1911 Irish censuses35, 45.
  • McCunliffe – Unattested so far; if encountered, see McCanliffe, Cunliffe.
  • McGrenless, McGreenless – Conceivably derived from McCandless, etc., but probably unrelated (variant of McCrandle/McGrandles?); attested as McGrenless in Armagh in 1911 Irish census35, 45; and as McGreenless in Kintyre (administrative county of Argyll and Bute) in 1901 Scottish census34.
  • McIndles – conceivably a variant of McCandles but much more likely another spelling of McIndol; both are attested in small numbers (in East Lothian and Lanarkshire, respectively) in the 1901 Scottish census34; or of McKindle.
  • McKamish, McKamis – Variants of MacHamish and/or MacAmos.
  • McKance, McKants – Variants of McCance (from McAngus)3, 7.
  • McKanis 7 – Variant of McCanis.
  • McKanlay 8
  • McKanley 8
  • McKanly 8
  • McKendry – probably from McHenry or some other origin.
  • McKendy
  • McKennish 7
  • McKinday
  • McKindle – Likely unrelated; probably a variant of Kendall; attested in Roxburghshire in 1901 Scottish census34. See also McIndol.
  • McKindrey, McKindry
  • McOnliffe – Unattested so far; if encountered, see McConliffe.
  • McRinles[s], McRinlis[s] – Almost certainly unrelated; attested as McRinles at the Atrim–Down border in 1911 Irish census35, 45; and as McRinlis in Midlothian in the 1901 Scottish census34.
  • McUnliffe – Unattested so far; if encountered, see McCunliffe.
  • Scanlass – Possibly derived from Canlass but probably unrelated (more likely related to Scanlan, Scanlon, etc., from Scannlain from a root scannal ‘contention’). Scanlass attested in Edinburgh in 1901 Scottish census34.

Presumably Irish-only

  • Conlishan – Possibly derived from Conlish but possibly unrelated. It could be a diminutive, from *Cuinlisín ‘Little Conlish’; *Cuinlis-sean (or in Old Irish *Cuindlis-sen) ‘Old/Elder Conlish’ is also conceivable. But these are both speculative.
  • Cornlish – Possibly derived from Conlish but probably unrelated (e.g. from Cornelius or Cornish); A single Cornlish was counted in the 1901 Scottish census, in Glasgow34 (possibly an immigrant Irish worker).
  • Cuinchy, Quinchy – Norman, from de Cuinchy, variant of [de] Quincy
  • Quindish – Possibly from Cuindlis after dropping of the l (as in McCandish), but likely unrelated or an error; attested in Port of New York immigration record, 1850.
  • Quindley, Quindly, Quindlie – may be a diminutive of Quinlen/Quinlan/Quinlon in most cases, but in a few conceivably derived from Quindless/Quindlish/etc.
  • Quinlak 4 – Probably from Quinlisk, but conceivably of separate derivation, if not just a typo.
  • Quinlick – Probably from Quinlisk, but conceivably of separate derivation; attested (1 individual) in 1911 Irish census35, 45.

Summary of Gaelic Patronymics

Mac, literally ‘son of’ in Gaelic but also used later to mean ‘descendant of’ or ‘from the family of’, is an optional prefix for most of these names and was originally written as a separate word and often lower-case, mac. Earlier it was sometimes spelled Macc, Maic, or Maicc; occasionally Mag before a vowel; and in some 16th-century works sometimes Mak or Mack. The Mac (or other spelling) could be replaced by Ó (‘descendant of’, more literally ‘grandson of’, anglicized as O’ or rarely run-together, e.g. OConlisk), though this fell out of practice in Scotland. In most cases, a family using Mac did not switch to Ó or vice versa. The Ó (originally Ua) names were mostly Irish (exclusively so by the Late Middle Ages), while Mac and Ó naming continued side-by-side in Ireland to the present (a 17th-century list of prominent Irish families shows the usages about neck-and-neck, with either or both sometimes being dropped by then49).

The Irish clan or sept (fine, plural finte) version would hypothetically be Uí Cuindlis ‘Descendants/Scions of Cuindlis’. For some larger families and dynasties, other words than  – sometimes Hui or Húi in Middle Irish – could be prefixed, such as Meic[c] (plural of Mac90), Clann, Dál, Cinel/Cenél, Corca, Tir, or Teallach39. But these forms are all unattested for these specific Cuindlis-related names in any period materials that have survived (the later Ó and anglicized O’ forms are thinly attested in western Ireland, along with Mac (and its variants) in Scotland and Ulster). The plural of Mac in Modern Irish is Mhac, and in Scottish Gaelic is Mic or Mhic depending on role in the grammar; both cause lenited aspiration of the initial C: Mhac Chuindlis, Mic Chuindlis, if referring literally a ‘son of [the man personally named] Cuindlis’, rather than using a family name conventionalized as MacCuindlis.

The Mac variants (principally Scottish and Ulster Scots in suriving materials) could be rendered with Mhic (sometimes anglicized as Vic or abbreviated Vc or V’) to indicate a grandparental or earlier patronymic relationship; sometimes it was used in series, e.g. Dòmhnall Mac Aonghus Vic Goraidh, meaning ‘Donald son of Angus son in turn of Godfrey/Geoffrey’. It was sometimes also used for granddaughters as well as grandsons. In older works, Meic[c] (usually a plural ‘sons’) could be used instead of Mhic as a grandparental indicator in series, as in a case of a Garban mac Ronáin meic righ Ulaid ‘Garban son of Ronan [in turn] son of the king of Ulaid’ 91.

In Middle Irish (possibly more widely), a patronymic Mac could be prepended to a dynastic/familial Uí/Ó name to form a Mac Uí combination indicating ‘son of O'[FamilyName]’; in old manuscripts this could be rendered Mac Húi, Mac Hui, Macc Hui, Maic Húi, Meic Húi (plural), Mac Ú, Macu, Macú, Maccu, etc.88 No instances of this involving Cuindlis-related names have been found so far.

In the feminine, a Scottish patronymic name could have Nic or Nich, which could be abbreviated Nc or N’; sometimes found with lenition of C to Ch. This is a contraction of Nighean Mhic (not always capitalized, and sometimes in turn anglicized (or “scotsicized”) and shortented to Nein, Neyn, or Neen), literally ‘daughter of the son of’. So, Nic Cuindlis or Nic Chuindlis, strictly speaking, indicates ‘daughter of Mac Cuindlis’ not ‘daughter of Cuindlis’. (This is why a Nighean Mhic name has Mhic not Mac in it, because it was originally a patronymic series as in the Dòmhnall … masculine example above.) But Nic (and Neyn, etc.) eventually came to be taken as ‘daughter of’. N[i]c still survives with use as a feminine equivalent of M[a]c (e.g., the Gaelic scholar Catrìona NicÌomhair Parsons, whose maiden name NicÌomhair is equivalent to anglicized MacIver/MacIvor). This usage has even been taught in Scottish schools in the Highlands and Islands from at least the late 20th century to present, which helps explain its modern resurgence. A more straightforward ‘daughter of’ form like Nighean C[h]uindlis seems not to have been much used in Scotland for some reason. Nighean‘s equivalent in Irish is Inghean and earlier Iníon, also Nighean or Níon in Ulster (Yny was also encountered there in a Middle Irish document94), Inghin or Inín in Connacht; all from Old Irish Ingen, Middle Irish Inghen, plural Inghena.78, 92 More rarely, a name might be followed with Scots dochter or the abbrevated, hyphenated suffix -dr to indicate a daughter. An Irish female patronymic occasionally encountered in old documents is Inghean Uí, originally indicating a grandparental relationship, but after Ó names developed into surnames, an Inghean Uí Cuindlis could be interpreted as ‘Miss O’Cuindlis’.77 A shorter Inghean Cuindlis would indicate ‘Daughter of Cuindlis’ (given name), later ‘Miss Cuindlis’ (surname). The shorter Irish (semi-anglicized sometimes as Ni without the diacritic) means simply ‘daughter of’, and could be substituted for either Mac or Ó. This often involves lenition on the initial consonant, e.g. Ó Cuindlis > Ní Chuindlis. If the married-name form Bean Uí Cuindlis were encountered, that would indicate ‘Woman/Wife of O’Cuindlis’, later ‘Mrs. O’Cuindlis’, and Bean Cuindlis or more properly Bean Chuindlis would mean ‘Wife of Cuindlis’, later ‘Mrs. Cuindlis’ 79. (The longer of these could sometimes shorten to simply without the Bean, in recorded Irish Gaelic naming conventions.) As with Mac, any of these might appear as separate words or fused to the name, and could occur with upper or lower case.

Gaelic lenition effects are not generally applied to anglicized names. For more on patronymic usage, see footnote30.

Both Meic[c] and Maccu (even a seemingly backwards Húi Meic) could also be used in place-names, to indicate ‘of the sons/folk of’, as in Inis Maccu Cuinn ‘Island of the MacQuinns’, today Inchiquin, in Lough Corrib, Co. Galway.89 So, not every occurrence of a “[Something1] Maccu [Something2]” sort of pattern in period materials is a personal name. The most famous example is the monastery of Clonmacnoise (from Clúana Meic Nóis, Cluain-Maccu-Nois, etc., Modern Irish Cluain Mhic Nóis, ‘Meadow of the Sons of Nós’). This is incidentally where the earliest known Cuindles or Coinndles was abbot in 713–724 AD.

Patronymics into Family Names

By the 14th century, most Ó names had become hereditary, while many Mac (and Hiberno-Norman Fitz) names had not and were “emphemeral”, representing just a single-generational relationship to a father’s given name95. In 15th-century Irish works, Ó and M[a]c names were both in frequent use, and some of the M[a]c names seem to have had a surname rather than literally patronymic character, though it it difficult to be certain, as few of the names of either form that appear are ones that survive to the present97. Ó was almost never prepended to a name with an occupational origin95, so this is good evidence against Ó Cuindlis having anything to do with candle-makers. None of these prefixes were much used with names derived from place-names95. In a small number of cases, a later O’ name derived from an earlier Mac name by dropping of the M and eventually the c96, but there is no evidence of this happening among the Cuindlis names. Nevertheless, English-speaking officials in Ireland often confused Mac and O’96, so old records are worth searching for forms we might not expect, such as *MacConlisk, *McCunlish, *M’Quinless, and *Ó Canles, O’Candless, *O’Chanless, etc.

While some surnames appear to have developed in Ireland by the 14th century (and Ó Cuindlis was used as a family name that early15), surnames came later to Scotland, mostly in the 17th century and after, first in the cities, and sooner in the Lowlands and Borders than in the Highlands and Islands, where truly patronymic naming held out longer – in the Orkneys and Shetlands until the 19th century. (A handful of family names in Scotland were in use as early as the 12th century, but this was limited to a portion of the gentry.)54

According to Black (1962)3, a family name like Candlish would have come into use as a surname after, and shortened from, the M[a]cCandlish patronymic-derived form. The early Gaelic true patronymic, like the given name, dates back to Ireland and did not originally arise in Scotland, though in Ireland the Mac forms in these families were eclipsed by Ó forms, except in the north of Ireland. (However, census data strongly indicates that the Mac/Mc versions of this name found there had not survived there the entire time, but rather were re-imported from Scotland during the Plantation of Ulster.) Starting in the 17th century, O’ and Mac were dropped wholesale from most Irish family names, in response to increasing anglicization pressure, though this began to reverse itself in the 20th century39, and there was much less of that going on in Scotland.

This yields the following derivation pattern: Cuindlis given name > Mac or Ó Cuindlis patronymic > MacCandlish and O’Quinless (etc.) anglicized patronymics and family names > Candlish and Quinless (etc.) truncated anglicized surnames.



[Image: Excerpt from Woulfe showing an r-like letter s]
Excerpt from Woulfe, showing something
in Gaelic type that is easily
misread as “Cuindilir” and “Cuindlir”
[Image: Drawing of early medieval tombstone showing an r-like letter s, and n-like letter r]
Drawing of 724 AD tombstone reading
Or. ar Chuindless” but easy to
misread as “On. an Chuindlerr“.
It uses Insular ꞅ (s) and ꞃ (r).

It has been alleged in amateur genealogy circles that Cuindlir was also an ancient Gaelic name, possibly simply a variant of Cuindlis. If this were correct, then any number of Candler/Chandler names could conceivably be derived from Cuindlir in various cases rather than from the candle-making occupation or religious candle use. To date, no reliable sources have ever been found for Cuindlir (so it should be properly rendered *Cuindlir to indicate that it is unattested).

It is most probable that *Cuindlir is simply a misreading of Woulfe (1922)12, in which Irish Gaelic names are given in Gaelic print (a special typeface in use in the 19th century and early 20th), and anglicized names in a more familiar typeface. The Gaelic letterform of a lower-case s in the looks quite similar to a lower-case r in both Gaelic and English print but with a longer descender or “tail”. It is derived from the Insular s, covered below. (It probably has much to do with why Gaelic print did not catch on, and it is related to ſ, the “long s“, that looks much like f, which was still in use in English until the early 19th century.

Even-earlier sources may have also contributed to the confusion, as the Old Irish form of letter s often looked more like a modern r. This is the Insular s of Medieval uncial script: capital Ꞅ and minuscule ꞅ. The actual r had a much longer “arm” or “ear” (the top part that sticks out to the right), looking almost like an n, but with a curved “arm” instead of straight. This is the Insular r: capital Ꞃ, and minuscule ꞃ.

The Cavendish Confusion

Evidence from a couple of English sources indicates that, at least from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, Scottish [Mc]Cand[l]ish and English Ca[ve]ndish (of Suffolk, later of Devonshire and Cheshire, and prominent since the early 16th century) were confused – at least in the minds of the writers of the materials in question. See the “Cavendish Confusion” section at the “Heraldry” page for details.

Cavendish definitely has a different (Anglo-Saxon) derivation from McCandlish (Gaelic). The name Caundish[e] (remember that u and v were largely interchangeable in writing for a very long time), and later Candish[e], appear in English records as offshoots of Cavendish – e.g. Thomas Candish (1564–1593) English (not Scottish) navigator. Meanwhile, in Scotland we see the name Candlish coincidentally also shortened (albeit very rarely) to the same Candish. One has to wonder whether a handful of Cavendishes were originally Candlishes, and vice versa, e.g. because a family moved and changed their name to something more locally familiar. There is simply no way to sort this out in the 21st century with what little remains of pre-modern records.

Fortunately, the confusion between the two groups of names appears to have been confined to a pair of old heraldry publications (one cannibalizing from the other), and did not spread further.

Interestingly, Cavendish ultimately comes from Anglo-Saxon (Old English) roots meaning ‘bold/daring’ + ‘enclosed pasture’ 11, which is strangely similar to the translation of Cuindlis as ‘head of the enclosure’. This is surely coincidental, though it could potentially have something to do with their confusion.

Hanks & Hodges (1989) firmly consider Candish a contraction of Cavendish11 (and heraldic sources strongly agree), though this does not at all rule out McCandlish > McCandish > Candish derivation in some cases, because McCandish is an attested name, but *McCavendish is not (and logically wouldn’t be), so the former is obviously unlikely to derive from the hypothetical latter.

See also the footnotes10 for further derivation of Candith and similar names from the occupational name Canycht, unrelated to either Cuindlis or Cavendish. To complicate matters further, McCavish is not related to either Cavendish or McCandlish, but MacTavish.

Again, one should not presume a genetic/familial linkage for certain simply because of surname similarities. An anecdotal further example: At the close of one of the incessant continental wars in Europe’s post-medieval history, a number of Scottish soldiers ended up remaining in Spain, either preferring the climate or lacking the funds to return home. Among them were a number of MacDonalds, and they decided to settle there. Within that first generation, and ever since, they were known by the pre-existing Spanish name Maldonado, the closest the locals were inclined to get to pronouncing MacDonald. Today, any given Maldonado may be of part-Scottish descent and no relation to the original Spanish Maldonados, and there’s no way to tell other than serious genealogical research.

Grimes of West Mayo

Grimes is a surname occuring throughout the British Isles and having multiple unrelated etymological origins. In the case of the west County Mayo family of this name, they are known to have originally been Ó Coinleisc.12, 14

It is unclear why the family adopted an apparently etymologically unrelated name, but in the centuries before the modern era of “official ID”, Irish families often had multiple names, such as a patronymic Mac name, a broader descent-related Ó name, and sometimes one or more other names commemorating a place (e.g. a named estate), an occupation, an event, etc. Grimes for Ó Coinleisc likely came about that way.

It is vaguely possible that Grimes actually did derive directly from Coinleisc, following well-understood phonetic sound-change processes over time. This might have looked like: Coinleisc > *Guinles > *Grinles > *Grimles > Grimes (the last shifting from an orginal pronunciation not too far from the English word grimace eventually to the fully anglicized modern grymz sound). However, such alterations could happen in any order, and this is quite speculative anyway.

Grimes elsewhere in Ireland more often derives from Ó Greachain (in turn more often anglicized as Grehan)40.

O’Ricalis? How Could That Relate?

Various rather antique works on the Irish clergy have very brief entries on Cornelius Ó Cuinnlis (also Ó Cunlis or O’Cunlis), Bishop of Emly and Clonfert 1444–63, and a few of them (all seemingly based on the same 1860 work) have him also going by the name “O’Ricalis”81, which so far has not been an attested name otherwise, and of completely unclear derivation. If he used a name like this, it could have been something like Grimes, above: an unrelated name that existed side-by-side, perhaps derived from another family line, a place name, a family monicker, or some other source. There does not appear to be any etymological connection between Cu[in]nlis and Ricalis.

However, Ricali[s] survives as an uncommon surname today (not in Ireland) and appears to be of Latinate (Italian, Spanish, etc.) families. There are some indications that Bishop O’Cunlis/O’Ricalis may have been consecrated in Rome and sent to Ireland, and not necessarily having originally been from there. So it is possible that Ricalis was his original name (with no O’ properly attached to it) and O’Cunlis/Ó Cuinnlis one that he adopted. With the scarce materials available about this fifteenth-century figure, there is no way to be certain.

Hiberno-Latin Conindrus, Coindrus

The latinized name Conindrus (also Conindricus, Conindri, Conderium, Conderius, Coindrus, etc.), was that of a semi-legendary mid-5th-century Christian missionary and bishop, Saint Condindrus, on the Isle of Man. Conindrus looks suspiciously like a rendition of Coinnindles, and Coindrus of Coinndles (l and r being often interchangeable, especially to Latin writers). If these did prove to be versions of Cuindlis/Coinnindles/Coinndles, then it would push the earliest known date of such variants back from the 8th century right to the 5th!

St. Conindrus along with another named St. Rumilus (or Romuil, Romulus, Romailum) are said to have preceded St. Macutus (or Maccaldus, Old Irish Macc Cuill, early-anglicized Macaille, modern Manx Maughold) as bishops on the island, are usually credited with its conversion (by Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, for both of whom they are saints since they pre-date the schism), and were claimed to be disciples of St. Patrick. Conindrus, like Macutus, may have been Irish, or could along with Rumilus have been originally from Britain.56, 65, 66 Morris (1966) claims that they were British and that Conindrus is a British name, but provides no evidence or sources, and all of the original material is very early hagiography that Morris himself says is “appreciably devolved” from straightforward history. A supporting argument Morris makes is that there is no proof of other bishops in Ireland in Patrick’s time, and it took three bishops to consecrate a new one, so this pair on the Isle of Man had to come from somewhere else.67 However, Patrick himself was British, not Irish; missionaries move around. And a British or even continental bishop who became (allegedly) a disciple of Patrick could certainly have taken on or been referred to by an Irish name and Hiberno-Latin variants of it. Nevertheless, potential Brittonic origins of the name Conindrus should be sought. (That probable cognates can be found is almost certain, but that would not amount to proof of origin. It is unclear whether there could ever be any, in either direction, given the antiquity of the source material.)

On the other hand, the Old Irish name Conin is also attested, probably meaning ‘little dog’ or ‘wolf pup’ (cognate with Latin canis). Or Conindrus could just be a latinization of Connor/Coinnir/Conchubhair (discussed in more detail in a section below, and also believed to be a canine reference). Nevertheless, a reasonable argument against Conindrus being a ‘dog’ name exists: namely, that it is a latinization by scribes usually familiar with both Latin and Gaelic. In latinizing a Gaelic (or Brittonic, for that matter) name that they understood to involve a canine reference, they would likely have rendered it with Latin Can-, yet this person’s name was given consistently with Co[i]n- despite nothing else in the spellings being the same from writer to writer.

Welsh Cynlas, -canlas

Cynlas is a Welsh name that is potentially (though unlikely) etymologically related to Cuindlis. While the most direct cognate of Old Irish cuin[d]/cen[d]/con[d] in Old Welsh (and in Middle and Modern Welsh) would be pen, some versions with a c might have survived or might have been reintroduced by the periodic Irish invasions of the Welsh coastal areas (starting perhaps as early as the 1st century BC and continuing into at least the 5th century AD).

The most famous bearer of the name was Cynlas Goch (‘Cynlas the Red’), a prince of Rhos, in Gwynedd, Wales, in the late 5th or early 6th century. Sometimes anglicized as Cinglas, the name was latinized as Cuneglasus by Gildas in De Excidio Britanniae, which denounced Cynlas as a sinner and tyrant. (Various Welsh genealogies and hagiographies have Cynlas as son of Owain Danwyn, king of Rhos, and as sibling to the saints Einion Frenin, Seiriol, and Meirion, and in some sources, Hawystl Gloff.) However, Cuneglasus would seem to suggest an old Common Brittonic (proto-Welsh) name along the lines of Cunoglassus from cuno (Modern Welsh ci) ‘dog, hound’ (cf. Latin canis) and glassus (Modern Welsh glas) ‘blue, grey’.42 A Late Brittonic or Old Welsh version Cuneglase is also attested43.

There have been some suggestions (in not-such-good sources so far), that cyn here actually means ‘chief’ (i.e., that it is cognate with the Gaelic cuin[d], etc.), and that the -las element is not a contraction of glassus. One not-very-credible idea was that it is from llyn ‘lake’. A somewhat more probable notion is llys ‘court, palace, manor, hall, rich habitation; courtyard, enclosed space’, clearly related to Gaelic lis, leas.

But all of this is highly speculative, and the better sources so far seem to accept the ‘grey dog’ meaning.

Cynlas is not today typically found as a personal or family name, but is still attested in the place-names Cynlas (Llanfor Parish, Merionethshire), Tre Gynlas (‘Cynlas Town’, also in Llanfor), Cynlas township (now part of Llandderfel, Penllyn Parish, Gwynedd), and Parish of Coedcanlas (‘Forest of Cynlas’), Pembrokeshire. In older source materials (Edwardian and earlier), Coedcanlas was occasionally rendered “Coedcandless”, which is how it came to our attention.

Ó Cuind, Cuin[d]-

This section is a fairly detailed exploration of Gaelic Cuin[d]/Con[n][d]/Cean[d] names in general – from our root meaning ‘head, headland, leader, or reasoning’ but also some false positives with meanings like ‘dog, wolf’, ‘company, soliders’, ‘straighten, guide, reprove’, and ‘yoke, bond, harness’. It will be primarily of interest to linguistics mavens.

Another name (originally a given name Cuin[d], lenited Chuin[d]68, considered eqivalent to Con[n]71 ‘head, leader, chief’ 5) already commonly in use as a family name by the 13th century, is Ó Cuind15 also appearing as Uí Chuind69, Uí Chuinn83, and Ó Cuinn. This typically anglicizes to [O’]Quin[n]72, the most common surname in Co. Tyrone. Ó Cuin[d] seems clearly related, etymologically, to Ó Cuindlis (in the same way that Hunt and Hunting are to Huntingdon). But there is no evidence of a familial connection between the Ó Cuind and Ó Cuindlis families (any more than people surnamed Hunt are closely related to those named Huntingdon).

The same element seems to appear in a quite a number of other names, probably the most prominent of which is Kennedy, from Cennéitig, Cendétig (later Ceannaideach, Cinneididh, Cinneide, Cinneidig[h]) ‘ugly/grim head’ or possibly ‘helmeted head’ 75. Another is Ó or Uí  or Clann Coinleghain (anglicized as [O’]Cuinlevan, [O’]Quinlevan, and other spellings, and of which the more common Irish surname Quinlan, Quinlen, Quinlon, Quinlin may be a contraction)38. Another prominent example is Ó Cuinneagáin, Ó Connagáin, Ó Connacháin ‘descendant of Cuinneagán/Connagán/Connacán‘ a personal name from a double-diminutive of, again, the personal name Conn ‘head, chief’. It has been anglicized various ways, such as Cuinghem, Connachan, Conneg[h]an, Cunihan, Cunnahan, Kennigan, Kinnagan, Kin[a]ghen, Kinnighan, Kinahan, etc. It has sometimes confusingly been scotticized to the prominent Scottish name Cunningham – originally a place-name in north Ayrshire, Cunninghame or modern Gaelic Coineagan, in earlier Scots Cunegan; of uncertain derivation, but perhaps a combination of Gaelic coineanach ‘coney, rabbit’ or cuinneag ‘milk pail’, or Anglo-Saxon (Old English) cyning, cuning ‘king’, followed by the Scots and Middle English -ham[e] < Anglo-Saxon hām ‘village, home’, though this element may have been added later through assimilation44, 47. A Middle Irish given name of potential interest is Cuinnine86.

The uncommon anglicized Irish name Quen could also be from the cean[d]/cuin[d]/con[d] root, probably a variation of Quin/Quinn/Quine/Quinne. See also Quinnan/Queenan, Quingley, Cundelan/Cundelin/Cundolin, Conlar, Canlow/Conlow, Conlahan, Conloy, etc. Another likely suspect is Canlan/Canlen/Canlin/Canlon/Conlan/Conland/Conlane/Conlen/Conlin/Conlon/Cunlin/Cunleen (also O’Canlin, O’Conlon, etc.), found in Ireland seemingly independent of the Scottish placename Conland; some Irish Gaelic spellings still in use in 1911 included Ó Conláin, Ó Conloin, Ua Conláinn, and Ní Conláinn45. Candow in Scotland seems to at least sometimes be from Ceanndubh ‘black head’, but may have other origins in some cases, and also shows up as Kendow, Kendo3. Candvane is from Ceannbhàn ‘white head’, and Canmore from Ceannmhòr ‘big-headed’.3 More are Conligan from Coinliogáin; and Coinleagha or Conlegha which may be versions of that same name. Various Mc/Mac names are also suggestive of such cean[d]/cuin[d]/con[d] origin: McCanner, McCanivay, McCanux, McCant, McCana/McCanna (but possibly from a root Cano meaning ‘wolf cub’), McCanon, McCaney, McCan/McCann/McCanne, McCane, McConlogue, etc. However, the name De Conla also occurs in Waterford; such a name would have a Norman origin, and could possibly have given rise to some anglicizations along the lines of Conl[e]y in some cases.

Some place-names may provide some additional things to look at. Kilconly in Co. Galway is from Cill Chonla ‘Church of Conla’, a minor saint said to have built the first church in the area. The name is probably the same as Connla, earlier Connlaoch, Conláech ‘chief/head warrior’ (though sometimes instead said to derive from , thus ‘hound/wolf warrior’), a legendary hero of the Ulster Cycle (son of Cú Chulainn and Aoife), and also the name of Connla Cáem (Connla Cruaidchelgach), a semi-lengendary high king of Ireland. Another Kilconly in Co. Kerry is also from Cill Chonla. Various places in Ireland (Bonniconlon or Bunnyconnellan, Carrowconlaun, Drumconlan, Gortconnellan) are from the surname Ó Conalláin (anglicized O’Connellane, O’Conlan, Connellan, Conlan etc., from Conallán, diminutive of Conall, for which see next paragraph. Quinaltagh in Galway is from Cuingealtach which may mean ‘wild/crazy head/hill’ (gealtach is ‘wild; crazed, insane; panicked’). Drumcondra in Dublin is from Droim C[h]onrach ‘Conra’s Ridge’ (and Drumconra in Cavan probably is also, but could be from Droim Conradh ‘Ridge of the Contract’). Conra, Conrach, Conrai is an Old Irish name, of uncertain meaning, but the first element in it is probably con[d]/cen[d]/cuin[d], though an origin from can’t be ruled out. Liscannor in Clare is from Lios Ceannúir ‘Ring-fort of Ceannúr’; the first element is the same ‘enclosure, fort’ that is the second element in Cuindlis, and the rest, Ceannúr, of uncertain meaning, looks to be partly derived from ce[a]n[d]/con[d]/cuin[d], making it almost an inverse of Cuindlis, except for the -úr element. One theory is that Ceannúr is a version of Connor (Conchobhar ‘lover of hounds/wolves’), but another is that it is from ceann + uir/or thus ‘head[land] of slaughter’. To confuse matters further, a place-name Connor in Co. Antrim, Ulster, is derived from Coinnire, said to mean ‘dog’ + ‘oak-wood’ 98.

There are a number of names that seem from anglicizations that they might in this ‘head’ group, but which generally are regarded as “false friends”. Kilconry in Co. Clare is from Cill Chomhraí; this is clearly unrelated, earlier was Comhraidhe, and is a name more often anglicized as Curry. Dunquin is not from cuin[d] but from Dún Chaoin, ‘pleasant/fair fort’. Quin in Clare is from Cuinche (of uncertain meaning, either ‘five ways’ or ‘arbutus’, a type of flower). Quinagh is from Cuinneach a variant of Coinneach, Ceanaidh ‘handsome’ (Old Irish Cainnech from caín, caoin ‘handsome, beautiful, good’), angicized as Kenneth though that can also come from Cináed (possibly meaning ‘born of fire’ or possibly from the Pictish/Brittonic Ciniod, of unknown meaning). Canoch (and variants like Caynoch, Cayneoch, Canochsoun, Cannochston, etc.) are from Cathanach, Gaelic name of Clan Chattan and ultimately from Catan ‘little cat’. Duncannon in Wexford is from Dún Canann ‘Fort of Canann’, a variant of Conán, Canán, Conann probably meaning ‘little wolf/hound’, from Cano ‘wolf cub’, also accounting for Irish and Scottish surnames O’Cannon, Cannon, Cannan (though Conan also occurred independently in Brittany from a root meaning ‘high, mighty’). Concannon (1690: Conceanain49) would seem to be from the same source, but the earlier use of -cean- suggests otherwise and a derivation from cean[d]/con[d]/cuin[d]. Conor/Connor/Conner/Connors (from Irish Conchobhar/Conchobar/Conchobair/Conchubhair usually translated as ‘lover of hounds/wolves’, though Conner is also independently Anglo-Norman for ‘inspector, agent’ 47). [O’]Connor/Connors/Conners and Conroy are sometimes not from Conchobhar but from Ó Conaire (and diminutives like [O’]Conoran/Coneran/Condron/Condrin from Ó Conaráin), said to mean ‘Keeper of the Hound’. [O’]Connell, [O’]Connolly and McConnel[l]/McCannel[l] (from Connail, Conghalaigh, Coingheallaigh, Conghalle, ultimately from personal name Conal[l]) is likewise usually given meanings along the lines of ‘valourous hound’ and ‘strong [as a] wolf’, though has also been taken as ‘high, powerful’ 51 perhaps from the ‘head, chief’ root.

This ‘head’ versus ‘dog’ confusion and overlap seems to stem in part from the fact that could be rendered in Old Irish as coin (sometimes con), when the position in the material’s grammar (genitive, or dative singular) required such a shift.63 E.g., an early medieval grave marker is inscribed “Or[oit] do Coinmursce“, ‘Pray for Cúmuirsce‘,59 a personal name meaning ‘Dog-coast’ or ‘Wolf-shore’. This coin could probably also be rendered cuin, conn, etc., due to lack of consistent spelling in the era. However, this does not entirely explain why various names that allegedly mean ‘dog-[something]’ are so consistently later rended with Con[n]-, since most usages of them would not have been dative or genitive and subject to such a change.

Many of the etymologies of such names as coming from ‘hound/dog or wolf’ seem very assumptive (especially on the part of Patrick Woulfe in 1922, on whom so many later writers draw). An argument against them is that quite a number appear in Con- form in the same early works as the name Cú Chuallain/Cúchuallain ‘Cullan’s Hound’, yet are not rendered [something], nor is that name often rendered Con[d] Chullain, except in genitive constructions, until much later writers. Why the inconsistency if had already mutated into con? It seems more plausible, at least in cases where a sensible translation can result, that the Con- in these names is from the con[d]/cuin[d]/ce[a]n[d] that meant ‘head’, ‘chief’, ‘reason’, or ‘headland’. E.g., while Conchobhar might make little sense as ‘lover of heads/chiefs/hilltops’ (though perhaps some sense as ‘lover of wisdom/reason’) and it does makes sense as ‘lover of hounds’, the name Connail and its derivatives arguably make more sense as ‘valourous/strong chieftain’ or ‘strong head/will/mind’ than any sort of canine reference.

As a word or prefix, con[-] (also found as cuin[-] in a participle or verbal noun), from an earlier form com[-], could have other meanings, such as being a verbal particle indicating imperfect, conditional, or relative. Thus the verb dírgid (among other spellings), ‘straightens, makes straight; directs, aims, guides, leads; becomes straight’ can be compounded into con-dírig, con[-]dírgedar ‘reproves, holds in check, controls; adjusts, defines’, mutating further into cuinn[d]rigedh, cuindrigther ‘to be compelled; to be adjusted’, condírgebadar ‘about to correct, preparing to reprove’, and further forms such as cuindrigud, cuindrigthea, cuindrigthighe, cuindrigthe.60 This is just one verb example; another is con-dïeig ‘asks, demands, seeks’, with dozens of forms like condieig, connaigid, cuindig, cuindgid. It is entirely possible that some Con[d]- and Cuin[d]- names were derived from such compounds. It is also important that not every word in Old Irish that just starts with the letters “coin” or “con[d]” is related; e.g. coinnem ‘guests, company, band of people’ is from a different root, and has resulted in derived terms like c[h]oinnmhibh, condmaib, coinnme, c[h]onme, cuinnibh, coinnmhe, coindmed with meanings (mostly related to bands of soliders) like ‘soldiery, hosts of war’, ‘billetting’, ‘march or array against’, etc.62 Some are clearly related, though, such as cuindmid ‘hospitality’, from the ‘head’ root’s side meaning of ‘sense, reason’ + an element meaning ‘sweet’ 85. See also cundla, cúndla, cunnla, cúnnla, connla, cundil ‘prudent; prudence, wisdom’ 85.

There is another word cuing, dating back to Middle Irish and with numerous meanings that could be the origin of some names that look like they are from cuin[d]/cen[d]/con[d]. Some of the meanings are ‘yoke’, ‘bond or obligation’, ‘tie or beam’, ‘isthmus or strip of land between two lakes’, ‘harness’, and ‘armour’.46

Cuing also had a meaning of ‘champion’46, with the derived word cuingid, cuinged, cuinnid meaning ‘champion, warrior’ 84. This seems more likely to derive from the ‘head, leader, chieftain’ root than anything to do with ‘tie, strip, yoke’. However the ‘soldiery’-related words above, from originally a ‘host or company’ sense, could also be the source. The Middle Irish name Cuindig[h] is attested and believed to be a poetic variant of cuingid84.

Medieval Irish scribes, aside from changing letters or moving them around for alliterative or rhyming purposes87, were not above “normalizing” foreign names to Gaelic orthography, including the cuind element, whether it made what we would today call linguistic sense or not. E.g., the Thuringian-Frankish name of St. Radegund (from Germanic elements meaning ‘counsel’ or ‘decision’ and ‘war’ or ‘fight’) was latinized as Radegundis, Radigundis, and from there gaelicized into Radicuind. Similarly the common Latin appellation Secundus ‘Second[-born]’ became Irish Secuind without much regard for meaning.83

To come back to Cuindlis, the spelling of its mostly later variants like Coinleisc is somewhat suggestive of confusion on the part of scribes as to the signification of the name, such that the ‘dog/wolf’ root was simply assumed in some cases and swapped in for the ‘head/hill/leader/reason’ element. It is even possible that by the later medieval period, people actually using the name, like Cornelius Ó Cuinnlis of Clonfert in the 1450s, thought that it had something to do with canines. Maybe even stubborn dogs, since le[i]sc by itself was also a word (unrelated to lis/leas) for ‘reluctant, unwilling; sluggish, lazy’ 61.

An investigation similar to the above section, but in relation to other names ending in -lish, -less, -liss, -lisk, etc. – such as Cromlish/Creemlish/Crumlish, Dalgliesh/Dalglish, and so on – has yet to be done. There are also some place-names that look like they may have the lis/leas element in them, such as Lisquinlan, Co. Cork.


*: A term preceded by “*” is linguistic markup for ‘a speculative reconstruction that is not attested in any surviving original source material’. In all of the cases above, the alterations most likely happened after anglicization, and these Gaelic reconstructions are thus highly speculative.

1: It is likely that most bearers of this name are from Cuindlis lines, but that others from different families have converged on this name, from Chandler, Candles and other candle-maker surnames (or names that refer to Christian religious use of candles).

2: It is likely that most bearers of this name are from Cuindlis lines, but that others from different families have converged on this name, from other surnames, noted at each entry.

3: Black, George F.; The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning, and History; New York Public Library; 1962 [1946]; pp. 131, 464; (URL access: free registration). Black seems certain that Candlish, Chandlish, Candleis, Canleis, McAndlish, McCandlish, McCaunles, etc. were all essentially the same name, despite other possible derivations for some of them. He places them all in Wigtownshire and neighbouring Kirkcudbrightshire (which is supporting evidence), and this has been backed up consistently in modern databases of early Scottish records that are now available and searchable. In various cases the same person shows up in the same records under mutiple spellings (which ever one was preferred by the writer). Black considers the Gaelic patronymic form to have originally been Irish, and specifically mentions the Gaelic variations [Mac] Cuindlis, Cuindilis, and Cuindleas (however, support for the third of these in surviving records has actually proved elusive11). Hanks & Hodges (1989) agree with Black on these three variations11

4: Unknown if this really exists/existed, other than as a spelling error in a record.

5: MacLysaght, Edward; The Surnames of Ireland, 6th ed.; Dublin: Irish Academic Press; 1997 [1957]; pp. 35, 36, 41, 252. According to MacLysaght, the C forms like Cunlish appeared earlier, found in the province of Connacht (especially Galway as we learn from other sources, though MacLysaght does not say so himself), and the Qu forms arose later, in North Tipperary (Munster province), which borders on Galway. He accounts for the spellings Conliss, Cunlish, Quinlish, and Quinlisk (all with or without O’), but not other variants such Conlisk or Quinlist that are well-attested among the diaspora, e.g. in the United States, but perhaps not so common in Ireland itself. Unlike Black (1962), he only addresses the Gaelic form Mac Cuindlis and makes no mention of variants like Cuindilis or Cuindleas. For MacCandless he found six variants in Ulster, where it is “fairly numerous”, but only specifically listed MacAndles and MacCanliss. He uses the Mac spelling for all such names throughout his book (i.e., he is not really contradicting Black that this spelling verges on extinct among these families.)

6: The vast majority of people by these names are not related to the Cuindlis lines, but are descended from candlemakers (chandlers in the original, narrow sense of that word) or from religious candle usage.

7: The vast majority of the McCainsh, McCansh, McAinish, etc., names are probably no relation at all to Cuindlis, though most are probably related to each other. Black (1962) quotes MacNish (1925, see below) in tracing them to Neish/MacNish of Atholl, not to Candlish. Some instead trace to MacInnes or MacAngus. Black (1962) especially favours the latter for many of them.

For the etymologies of these Cuindlis-unrelated names see:

  • Black, George F.; The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning, and History; New York Public Library; 1962 [1946]; pp. 131, 464; (URL access: free registration). Various entries (they are in alphabetical order).
  • MacNish, David; Tod, William A.; MacKenzie, W. C. (fwd.); The History of the Clan Neish or MacNish of Perthshire and Galloway; Edinburgh/London: William Blackwood & Sons; 1925. .
    Also covers some connections of McNish/McNess/etc. families to some McNaught/McKnight ones. The copy linked to here includes a full scan of the original book, followed by:
    Rorer, David Richard; “Clan MacNab – Clan MacNeish: The Great Feud”; Cincinatti: self-published via; 2015.
    The latter provides additional information; it also includes an early version of the work immediately below.
  • Rorer, David Richard; Clans of the Brea d’Alban: History of Clan Neish or MacNish; Cincinatti: self-published via; 2019; format: Microsoft Word .DOCX; .
    This is a plain-text rip of the MacNish & Tod book, with extensive added footnotes by Rorer; with distinction between quoted original documents and those authors’ own material (a separation they did not originally make, and which resulted in their work being confusing); and with introductory material providing background on and analysis of the McNish & Tod book, the sources it relied upon, the claims it makes, and the implications of sources not used by the original authors. While it is of little interest to McCandlish/McCandless/etc. family history, it will be of considerable value to Neish/McNish/McNess/McNiece genealogists. NB: If your word processor does not handle this file properly (as OpenOffice did not as of 2024-04), there are numerous free online DOCX to PDF converters.

Mac Naois[e] itself is often said to be a modification of Mac Aonghas/Aonghus[a] (which makes some sense if you understand that in Gaelic Aonghas/Aonghus is pronounced approximately as [əˈnu.ɪs], /uh-NOO-iss/, and gentive Aonghais/Aonghuis as [əˈnu.ɪʃ], /uh-NOO-ish/). However, Mac Neasa[n] is not so derived, and is a patronymic of an old Gaelic personal name going back to Ireland, just as with Mac Cuindlis, though there is otherwise no connection between them. It is unlikely there is any reliable way to separate the Mac Aonghas/Aonghus[a] versus Mac Neasa[n] MacNeish/MacNess/etc. families at this late a remove. (And a few may instead be derived from the place-name Ness, as in Loch Ness and Inverness (Gaelic Nis, probably from Pictish *Nessa, thought to be a river goddess; however, some believe it does derive from Old–Middle Irish Neasa[n]). Regardless, these names are from regions not associated with McCandless/McCandlish families, anyway, and clearly are not etymologically related to them.

8: The vast majority of the Candley, McCanley, McCannel, McKanly, etc., names are probably no relation at all to Cuindlis. Most of them are probably variants of McKinley/McKinlay, McCann, Kinelly, Connolly, and other names with similar pronounciations

9: Could be of McKinley/MaKinlay, McCann, Kinelly, etc. derivation, or from candlemaker names.

10: Black (1962, pp. 132, 464) considers all of these to be variants of Canycht, from Gaelic Ceannaiche, an occupational name meaning ‘merchant’, dating to ca. 1500, and which was sometimes spelled Candych, Candyth, or Candith. As with Cavendish becoming confused with Candish, this calls into question whether many McCandish, McCandiss, etc. names are actually derived from Cuind[l]is.

11: Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia; A Dictionary of Surnames, 2nd ed.; Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press; 1989; pp. 100, 356. This work, a very general volume on surnames of all derivations, mistakenly has McCandlish, Candlish, and Chandlish as variants of McCandless, though it is provably later than McCandlish, and believes them all to be of native Irish derivation, which is of course demonstrably wrong. But a work of such scope is bound to contain a few such errors, especially with regard to obscure names.

12: Woulfe, Patrick; Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall – Irish Names and Surnames, Volume II; Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son; 1922; pp. 68, 91, 93. Woulfe specifically lists Cundlish, Cunlish, Cunlisk, MacAndless, MacCandless, MacCandlis, MacCanlis (he normalizes all Mc spellings throughout his book to Mac), Mac Cuindilis, MacCuindlis, Ó Coinleisc, Ó Coinlisc, Ó Cuindlis, Quinlish, and Quinlisk. He also suggests that Ó Coinleisc was sometimes anglicized to the unrelated name Grimes.

13: Plummer, Charles; “Irish Litanies”; CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; University College, Cork; 2010; Provides the Coinlis, Cuindlis, and Cuinnlis spellings.

14: “Irish Names and Surnames: Advanced Search”;; (retreived 31 December 2021). See entries for “Mac Cuindilis”, “Ó Cuindlis”, and “Ó Coinleisc”. Based on the 1923 edition of Woulfe. Coinleisc and its derivatives are thought to be confined to County Mayo, and the odd Grimes anglicisation seems to be unique to west Mayo.

15: Annála Connacht (Annals of Connacht); attributed to anonymous 15th- and 16th-century scribes of the Ó Duibhgeannáin; translated by A. Martin Freeman; School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies; 1944. Online version edited by Pádraig Bambury and Ciara Hogan; CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; University College, Cork; 2008; Records the following historical personages: Domnall Ó Cuindlis (d. 1342), Leth Cuind Chetchathaig (fl. 1255), Dub Themrach daughter of Ó Cuind (d. 1231), Diarmait Ó Cuind and Amlaib his son (d. 1255), Gilla Beraig Ó Cuind (d. 1260), Cairpre Ó Cuind chieftain of the Muinter Gillgain (d. 1362). Quite a few persons named Cuind or Ó Cuind (also úa Cuind, ua Cuinn) are mentioned in original Old Irish manuscripts, as recorded and annotated here: “Search results: Cuind”, eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language; 2019; Dublin: Royal Irish Academy;, accessed 2022-05-13.

16: Berry, William; Encyclopædia Heraldica, or Complete Dictionary of Heraldry, Vol. II: Dictionary of Arms; London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper; 1828–1840 [exact year uncertain]; p. 238.

17: Grenham, John (Eoin); “MacCandless births between 1864 and 1913”; Irish Ancestors; 2022;; accessed 2022-05-23. This is a self-published database, but from census and other data and by an arguably expert author, of the Irish Roots: Irish Genealogy and Heritage blog, at since 2016.

18: Grenham, John (Eoin); “Conlisk births between 1864 and 1913”; Irish Ancestors; 2022;; accessed 2022-05-23.

19: Duggan, Eugene; “Duggans of Galway – Their Ancient Origin”; Galway Roots, Vol. 5; 1998. (Citing the medieval manuscript Calendar of Oengus.) Reprinted 2006 at,, accessed 2022-05-23 via Internet Archive.

20: For an example of “McClandlish” observed in the wild, see: This is probably just an error, and the coat of arms and crest shown are very much in error, belonging to Cavendish not McCandlish or any name related to McCandlish.

21: Matheson, Robert E.; Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland; Dublin: HM Stationery Office; 1901; pp. 50, 58. Matheson puts the McCandless-related names in Loughbrickland district, Banbridge union, Co. Down. He recorded Cunlick, Quinlish, and Quinlisk but without a location. A 1990s genealogy database claimed that Matheson put the M’Candless and related spelling as far back as 1242 AD, and in Glen[n]amaddy, Galway. But an examination of this book shows that “1242” is just the index number of the entry for this name, and that while Glen[n]amaddy is mentioned in the book, it is not in association with any of these names, including the ones we might expect for Galway, Cunlick/Quinlish/Quinlisk.

22: Cooke, Robert; Foster, Joseph; Two Tudor Books of Arms, Harleian Mss. Nos. 2169 & 6163; London: The De Walden Library; 1904; p. 84.

23: For an example of Ó Cuindlis observed in use by a living person, see: (accessed 2022-06-01; this page went away some time in 2023 or 2024, and unfortunately was not captured by Internet Archive or any other Web archiver). A Cuindlis case is who now goes by Sky Cuindlis (accessed 2023-09-22). Another is Morgan Anais Cuindlis: (accessed 2024-04-29).

24: There are a handful of MacCandlesses and MacCandlishes left, almost exclusively in Canada:, (accessed 2022-06-01).

25: This spelling has so far only been found in materials prepared by a heraldry products vendor, House of Names / Hall of Names (Swyrich Corp.), which is not a reliable source: (accessed 2022-06-01).

26: Cheney, David M.; “Bishop Cornelius O’Cunlis, O.F.M. †”;; 2020; (accessed 2022-06-01).

27: The Most Distinguished Surname McCandlish; House of Names / Hall of Names / Swyrich Corp.; 2022. This is a short dossier from a heraldic products vendor. Not a reliable source but arguably better than nothing.

28: Grant, Francis J. (ed.); The Commissariot Record of Glasgow: Register of Testaments, 1547–1800; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society; 1901; p. 144.

29: Grant, Francis J. (ed.); The Commissariot Record of Wigtown: Testaments, 1700–1800; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society; 1904; pp. 9, 10, 14.

30: The commissariot records interestingly illustrate the declining usage of patronymics in 17th-century Scotland. The records for Glasgow and Edinburgh from the 16th century onward do not record patronymics (probably indicating that recordkeeping authorities in the cities were imposing surname usage, or recording patronymics as if surnames, since it is unlikely that all use of patronymics had entirely died out there yet). Highlands records from Inverness and Argyle, however, provide many examples that show the use of nein, neyn, neen, nic, or N’ for ‘daughter of’; mac or M’ for ‘son of’; and vic, vick, or V’ (from mhic) to indicate a grandparental or older relationship; plus some examples of mac or M’ being used for the latter (i.e., abandonment of the vic convention by some). Some examples:

  • Alexander Roy M’Hucheon M’Allane in Correbroch; 13 Nov. 1630.
  • Margaret neyn Ean vic Rorie, spouse to Angus M’Unochie, skinner, indweller in Inverness; 7 Dec. 1632.
  • Gradoch nic Comie, in Bolladern; 30 Aug. 1666.
  • Katherine nein Allan, in Leaald; 5 Sept. 1666.
  • John Dow M’Andrew vic William of Durris; 12 June 1667.
  • N’Donochie, Janet, spouse to John M’Dougall, in Kailaig, par. of Kilchrene; 24 Sept 1676.
  • Anna nein Ilespick V’Donald V’Ean, spouse to Neill M’Colduy V’Ilory, in Auchatey, in Killchoan; 17 Sept. 1686.

Grant, Francis J. (ed.); The Commissariot Record of Inverness: Register of Testaments, 1630–1800; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society; 1897; pp. 25–32.
Grant, Francis J.; The Commissariot Record of Argyle: Register of Testaments, 1674–1800; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society; 1902; pp. 37, 47–48.

31: Scot, William (ed.); Parish Lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society; 1916; pp. 7–9, 23, 28–30, 45–46, 54–56, 63–70, 75–76, 88.

32: Lamont of Knockdow, Norman (ed.); An Inventory of Lamont Papers (1231–1897); Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society; 1914; pp. 469, 475

33: Edmondson, Joseph; A Complete Body of Heraldry, Vol. II; London: T. Spilsbury; 1780; at alphabetical entry (pages unnumbered).

34: Griffin, Barry; Scottish Surname Maps for the 1901 Census of Scotland, (accessed 2023-03-09).

35: Griffin, Barry; Irish Surname Maps for the 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland, (accessed 2023-03-09).

36: Smith, Philip D., Jr.; Tartan for Me!: Suggested Tartans for Scottish, Scotch-Irish, Irish, and North American Surnames with Lists of Clan, Family and District Tartans; Expanded 9th Ed.; Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Books; 2011; ISBN: 9780788452703; pp. 68, 136. This is not necessarily the most reliable of sources. The author’s certainty that MacCandeil, McCandeils, and McCandells are definitely cognate with McCandless/McCandlish may not be shared by everyone; a derivation from a Candle[r] occupational name cannot be ruled out. However, his placing of them in Galloway is supporting evidence.

37: Scots Kith & Kin; 4th ed.; Edinburgh: Clan House / Collins; 2014; ISBN: 9780788452703. The same “MacClandish” typo appears in the 1963 2nd ed., and probably dates back to the 1953 original. On p. 10, it reads: “CANDLISH: from MACCLANDISH”, but there is no entry for that spelling; instead, there is a p. 28 entry: “MACCANDLISH: Galloway 17th c.”

38: Burke, Bernard; The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; 1884; London: Harrison & Sons; pp. 42, 250, 760, 834.

39: MacLysaght, Edward; Irish Families: Their Names, Arms, and Origins; 4th ed.; 1985 [1957]; Dublin: Irish Academic Press; pp. 15–17.

Also: McInerney, Luke; “Lettermoylan of Clann Bhruaideadha: A résumé of their landholding, topography & history”; North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Vol. 52; 2012; p. 81; (accessed 2023-10-08).

40: MacLysaght, Edward; Irish Families: Their Names, Arms, and Origins; 4th ed.; 1985 [1957]; Dublin: Irish Academic Press; p. 22.

41: “Cathair Chinn Lis”, at “Archival Records”; Placenames Database of Ireland; 2023; (accessed 2023-09-08).

42: “Rhos / Lleyn (Romano-Britons) (Wales)”, part of “Celtic Kingdoms of the British Isles: Celts of Cyrmu”; The History Files; 2023; Kessler Associates; (accessed 2023-09-11).

43: “glas1“; Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru: A Dictionary of the Welsh Language; 2023 [1968]; University of Wales; (accessed 2023-09-11). Unless you’re fluent in Welsh, you’ll want to click the “English” button at top right, which turns on some short English translations in the text and in the pop-ups over various abbreviations, etc. A number of other entries in this work besides “glas1” were used in preparing this section, including “ci” and “llys1“.

44: See:
“Cunningham Family History”;; 2023; (accessed 2023-09-12). Based on Dictionary of American Family Names; 2nd ed.; 2022.
“Cunninghame”; Wikipedia; 2023; (accessed 2023-09-12).
“Cunningham Surname Meaning, History & Origin”; Select Surnames; 2023; (accessed 2023-09-12).

45: “Search”;; 2023; Dublin: National Archives of Ireland; (accessed 2023-09-12). Individual searches on terms like “Quinlisk” do not produce URLs that are practical to cite here separately.

46: This section made heavy use of many entries in: Placenames Database of Ireland. Also of great use were various entries in online Irish and Scottish Gaelic dictionaries. As the entire section is trivia about other cuin[d]/con[d]/cen[d] names, I have not bothered to cite them name-by-name.

  • Placenames Database of Ireland; 2023;
  • Focló New English-Irish Dictionary; 2013–2023; IDM / Foras na Gaeilge;
  • Ó Dónaill, Niall; Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla; online edition; 2003 [1977]; Foras na Gaeilge; .
  • LearnGaelic: Dictionary; 2023; Bòrd na Gàidhlig / MG ALBA / BBC ALBA / Bòrd na Ceiltis (Alba) / Sàbhal Mòr Ostai;
  • Various Wikipedia articles on places were also used, along with Hanks & Hodges (1989), for which see next footnote.

47: Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia; A Dictionary of Surnames, 2nd ed.; Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press; 1989; pp. 120, 134.

48: Matheson, Robert E.; Special Report on Surnames in Ireland, with Notes as to Numerical Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution; Dublin: HM Stationery Office; 1909; p. 60. Based on Birth Indexes of 1890. Variant spellings were not specified for this name, nor were counties of birth.

49: Terry, James; “Addendum: List of the Names of Irish Septs contained in the Book of Arms compiled by Sir James Terry, Athlone Herald (1690), now preserved in the British Museum”; in: Matheson, Robert E.; Special Report on Surnames in Ireland, with Notes as to Numerical Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution; Dublin: HM Stationery Office; 1909; pp. 76–78.

50: The authority for the spelling Cuindleas is in some doubt. In our available sources, it first appears in Black (1946)3 who cited Woulfe (1922)12 – but it does not in fact appear in Woulfe at all. Many later sources, including various name-encyclopedia books (e.g. Hanks & Hodges 198911, Smith 197351) and Wikipedia, have followed Black in treating it as if it were the primary spelling, but no pre-20th-century materials using it have yet been identified at all.

51: Smith; Elsdon C.; New Dictionary of American Family Names; New York: Harper & Row; 1973 [1956]; ISBN: 9780060139339; pp. 92, 93, 324, 413

52: Grant, Francis J.; The Commissariot Record of Dumfries: Register of Testaments, 1624–1800; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society; 1902; pp. 54, 57.

53: Mills, James (ed.); Calendar of the Justiciary Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office of Ireland, XXIII to XXXI Years of Edward I; Dublin: HM Stationery Office; 1905; pp. 3, 526. Originally (1295–1303) documents of the English government of Ireland. Mentions one Malachlyn M’Chaules (or M’Chanles – Text seems to say M’Chaules, but this is a name not otherwise attested, and u was a fairly common typo in the movable type era for n (same character, upside down). It is tantalizing to have information on a patronymic form that could be of this name at so early a date, but there is no way to verify it except with expert examination of the hand-written 1295–1303 originals.

54: “Surnames”; at “Surnames in Scotland”; Scotland’s People; 2023; National Records of Scotland; (accessed 2023-09-22).

55: Nichols; George Ward; “Wild Bill”; Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, vol. 34, issue 201; February 1867; pp. 273–286;; via Hathi Trust.

56: Koch, John T.; “Macutus, Monastery of St”, “Sodor”; Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia; 2006; ABC-CLIO; ISBN: 9781851094400; vol. 4, pp. 1233–1234, 1618–1619. Warning: Do not order this series of books from Amazon! Their inventory system is messed up with regard to it, and they will charge you full price but only send one of the five volumes. We tried four different times, had to keep returning single books, and ultimately ordered it from another vendor (for a better price anyway, despite trans-Atlantic shipping).

57: Stokes, Whitley; Strachan, John (eds.); Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus: A Collection of Old-Irish Glosses, Scholia, Prose, and Verse, Vol. II; 1903; Cambridge University Press; pp. 286, 382.
Petrie, George; Stokes, M. (ed.); Christian Inscriptions in the Irish Language, Vol. I; 1872; Dublin: Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland; pp. 12, 18, 85, plate IV.
Cuindless appears (in lenited form Chuindless because of its position in the grammar) on a tomb inscription reading “Or[ait] ar Chuindless” or “Or[oit] ar Chuindless“, ‘A prayer for Cuindless’ or ‘Pray for Cuindless’. This was the 724 AD grave of the Abbot of Clonmacnoise, whose name has also been spelled Cuindles, Coinndles, and Coinnindles. Of the grave-stone, Petrie wrote that “On this stone we meet with the first perfect example of the Irish cross – the Latin [cross] engrafted on the so-called Greek cross, or cross within the circle, which was the earlier form in Italy, as well as here.”

58: Petrie, George; Stokes, M. (ed.); Christian Inscriptions in the Irish Language, Vol. I; 1872; Dublin: Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland; plate IV.

59: Stokes, Whitley; Strachan, John (eds.); Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus: A collection of Old-Irish Glosses, Scholia, Prose, and Verse, Vol. II; 1903; Cambridge University Press; pp. 286, 382.

60: “Search results: dírgid“, eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language; 2019; Dublin: Royal Irish Academy;írgid, accessed 2022-09-24. Other entries consulted include: “5 con-“, “con-dírig“, “con-dírgedar“, “cuindrigud“, and “cuindig“.

61: “Search results: leisc“, eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language; 2019; Dublin: Royal Irish Academy;, accessed 2022-09-25. See entry “1 lesc“, far down the page.

62: “Search results: coinnem“, eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language; 2019; Dublin: Royal Irish Academy;, accessed 2022-09-25. See entry “1 lesc“, far down the page.

63: Stokes, Whitley (ed.); Goidelica: Old and Early-Middle Irish Glosses, Prose and Verse, 2nd ed.; 1872; London: Trübner & Co.; pp. 116, at ““.

64: Genealogies Cataloged by the Library of Congress Since 1986 – With a List of Established Forms of Family Names and a List of Genealogies Converted to Microform Since 1983; 1991; Washington DC: Library of Congress Catalog Distribution Services; pp. 964, 971.

65: Moore, A. W.; “The Early Connexion of the Isle of Man with Ireland”; The English Historical Review; Vol. 4, No. 16; October 1889; pp. 716–717; (subscription or institutional access required).

66: Lanigan, John; An Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, Vol. I; 1822; Dublin: D. Graisberry; pp. 302–303, 305–307 (long footnote 119).

67: Morris, John; “The Dates of the Celtic Saints”; Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2; October 1966; p. 362; (subscription or institutional access required).

68: O’Donovan, John; Ryan, Emma (eds.); “Annal M1506.2”; Annals of the Four Masters; 2002 [1632–1636]; p. 1286; via CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; language: Middle Irish;

69: O’Donovan, John; Ryan, Emma (eds.); “Annal M1506.7”; Annals of the Four Masters; 2002 [1632–1636]; p. 1286; via CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; language: Middle Irish;

70: O’Donovan, John; Ryan, Emma (eds.); “Annal M720.3”; Annals of the Four Masters; 2002 [1632–1636]; p. 318; via CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; language: English;

71: O’Donovan, John; Ryan, Emma (eds.); “Annal M1506.2”; Annals of the Four Masters; 2002 [1632–1636]; p. 1286; via CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; language: English;

72: O’Donovan, John; Ryan, Emma (eds.); “Annal M1506.7”; Annals of the Four Masters; 2002 [1632–1636]; p. 1286; via CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; language: English;

73: O’Donovan, John; Ryan, Emma (eds.); “Annal M1342.18”; Annals of the Four Masters; 2002 [1632–1636]; p. 578; via CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; language: Middle Irish; The eclipsis renders Ó Coinleisc as Ó Coinleisg. In Modern Irish, eclipsis only happens at the beginning of words/names.

74: O’Donovan, John; Ryan, Emma (eds.); “Annal M1342.18”; Annals of the Four Masters; 2002 [1632–1636]; p. 579; via CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; language: English

75: Kennedy, Iain; “The etymology of ‘Cennétig‘: An historical perspective”; Kennedy One-name Study; 27 June 2012; (accessed 2023-09-27).

76: “Retornatus Quinquennalis Terrarum de Delvenna, &c. Cennétigin Favorem Magistri Rodorici McKenzie Advocati, Nov. 22 1687″; Inquisitionum ad Capellam Domini Regis Retornatarum quae in Publicis Archivis Scotiae adhuc Servantur, Abbreviatio, Vol. II; at “Inquisitiones de Possessione Quinquenalli” section, pp. 18–19; Records Commission; 1835 [1816]; (via Google Books). The fastest way to get to the applicable material is to keyword search the PDF for “McAnlish”. The summary of the Latin material is that a John (“Joannem“) McAnlish, also indexed as M’Anlish, was a juror in a dispute about land forfeited by John Binning (who turns out to have been the son of famous Covenanter and Protester Rev. Hugh Binning) in Dalvennan, Straiton, to baillie Roderick MacKenzie of Carrick; the case went in favor of MacKenzie. Mc[C]an[d]lishes remain associated with Straiton; it is the location of McCandlish Hall, built in 1912 (see the “Notables” page, under “Namesakes”).

77: MacLysaght, Edward; More Irish Families; new, revised and enlarged ed.; 1996; Irish Academic Press; p. 11. This is a combined version of the original More Irish Families (1960) and Supplment to Irish Families (1964), with additional revisions.

78: “inghean“, “inghin“, “inín“, “iníon“, “nighean“, “níon“; Wiktionary; 2023; etc. (accessed 2023-10-04).

79: An outright famous example of this convention for women’s married naming (and the lenition it usually causes) is the traditional Irish folk song “Bean Pháidín” ‘Woman of Páidín’ or ‘Páidín’s Wife’; here the Bean is prefixed to a man’s given name, Páidín ‘Paddy’, a diminutive of Pádraig ‘Patrick’. The best-known recording of the song is on the 1973 album The Well Below the Valley by Planxty (sung by Donal Lunny, though the narrator of the song is a jealous neighbor woman).

80: MacLysaght, Edward; More Irish Families; new, revised and enlarged ed.; 1996; Irish Academic Press; p. 11. This is a combined version of the original More Irish Families (1960) and Supplment to Irish Families (1964), with additional revisions.

81: Cotton, Henry; Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ: The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies in Ireland, Vol. I, p. 89; Vol. III, p. 202; Vol. IV, p. 164; 1860; Dublin: Hodges, Smith, and Co.
This alternative “O’Ricalis” name was repeated in various later works:

  • Phillips, Lawrence B.; The Dictionary of Biographical Reference; 1871; London: Sampson Low, Son, & Marston; p. 701.
  • Seymour, St. John D.; The Diocese of Emly; 1913; Dublin: Church of Ireland Printing & Publishing Co.; p. 114.
  • Gleeson, John; Cashel of the Kings: A History of the Ancient Capital of Munster from the date of its foundation until the present day; 1927; Dublin: James Duffy & Co.; p. 180.
  • O’Mullally, Dennis Patrick; History of O’Mullally and Lally Clann; or, The history of an Irish family through the ages entertwined with that of the Irish nation; 1942; Chicago: self-published; p. 116.

It seemed that the ultimate source for this “O’Ricalis” name could have been:
Wadding, Luke; Annales Minorum [Annals of the Minorities], Vol. V.; 1733; Rome: Typis Rochi Bernabò.
However, nothing like this name has been found in this Latin work, so it is either in a different volume, or not in Wadding at all. So far, it is traceable back only to the word of Cotton in 1860.

82: McInerney, Luke; “Lettermoylan of Clann Bhruaideadha: A résumé of their landholding, topography & history”; North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Vol. 52; 2012; p. 83; (accessed 2023-10-08).

83: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman – From a manuscript in the Royal Library, Brussels, with a preface, translation, notes and indices; 1895; London: Harrison & Sons; (accessed 2023-10-09); via Internet Archive; pp. xli, xliv, 156, 164, 390, 393. This is a translation of a 1630 work by Mícheál Ó Cléirigh (Michael O’Cleary), one of “the Four Masters”.

84: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; pp. 170–171, 257, 266, 350.

85: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; p. 266.

86: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; pp. 90, 91, 350.

87: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; pp. xxviii–xxxviii, xxxix, 266, 269, 277, 279, 338, 350, 374, 405.

88: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; pp. xxxii, xlviiii, 82, 113, 117, 164, 194, 207, 215, 227, 245, 280, 328, 334, 343, 344, 346, 349–350, 361, 363–364, 374, 376–378, 383, 385–387, 391, 393, 400–401.

89: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; pp. 29, 33, 101, 119, 124, 135, 149, 182, 203, 229, 294–295, 300, 316, 325, 348, 350, 375, 383.

90: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; pp. 32, 54, 100, 148–149, 156, 208, 216, 218, 228, 382–383, 405.

91: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; p. 96.

92: Stokes, Whitley; Félire Húi Gormáin: The Martyrology of Gorman; 1895; pp. 10, 18, 32, 40, 42, 48, 60, 82, 84, 88, 102, 106, 122, 126, 128, 132, 148, 154, 162, 170, 174, 176, 204, 208, 212, 214, 218, 240, 369, 371. Not producing lenition. The plural once occurs as hInghena, p. 54. Many of these examples show that the barer Old Irish form Ingen[a] survived commonly into the Middle Irish period alongside Inghen[a].

93: Lynch, Anthony; “A Calendar of the Reassembled Register of John Bole, Archbishop of Armagh, 1457–71”; 1992; Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society‘ Vol. 15, No. 1; DOI: 10.2307/29742537; p. 117, at entry “Cal Prene, 16(19), S.typescript.pp.34–7, fo. 94-v, 21 June 1458″. This is a translation of 15th-century manuscript materials. Quote: “Mandate of Archbishop John [Bole] addressed to Roger [Mag Uidhir (Ross Maguire)], bishop of Clogher, and others, revoking the letters tuitory granted by the dean and chapter of Armagh, sede vacante, to Patrick Oconnalych [O’Connalych], who obtained a papal rescript under false pretences, and has failed to prosecute his appeal and is therefore an intruder in the benefice of Rossa. Obedience is demanded to Donald Ofedegan [O’Fedegan] as the rightful perpetual vicar of the parish church of Rossa.” The Rossa (perhaps originally Ross) parish in Armagh has long since merged away, and it is unclear exactly where this was located in Co. Armagh. A reasonable bet is the townland of Toigh Rossa, anglicized Tyross, in the barony of Armagh.

94: Lynch, Anthony; “A Calendar of the Reassembled Register of John Bole, Archbishop of Armagh, 1457–71”; 1992; Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society‘ Vol. 15, No. 1; DOI: 10.2307/29742537; p. 167, at entry “Oct. No. 409”. Quote: “dispensation to permit [Chief Henry] O Neill to marry Johanna yny McMahown”.

95: MacLysaght, Edward; More Irish Families; new, revised and enlarged ed.; 1996; Irish Academic Press; p. 12.

96: MacLysaght, Edward; More Irish Families; new, revised and enlarged ed.; 1996; Irish Academic Press; p. 13. Gives an example of: Mac Sheoinin‘Ac Sheoinin‘AcHeoneen‘AcKeoneenO’Keonneen; → Keonneen. Says Costigan and Gannon arose similarly.

97: Lynch, Anthony; “A Calendar of the Reassembled Register of John Bole, Archbishop of Armagh, 1457–71”; 1992; Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society‘ Vol. 15, No. 1; DOI: 10.2307/29742537; throughout.

98: “Connor, County Antrim” (redirects to “Kells, County Antrim” as of this writing); Wikipedia; 2023;,_County_Antrim (accessed 2023-10-12).

Help with Display Problems (Missing Characters)

If any of the characters used above don’t display properly for you (e.g. missing, as an empty little box, as obviously the wrong character, or as a string of multiple junk characters) it means you lack a font with updated Unicode support. Some good free ones to install (on Windows, Mac, or Linux) are:

If you install those, you’ll be able to render characters in nearly every current and extinct language, plus lots of other symbols. In most modern operating systems, you can simply unzip the download and double-click on a font file (.ttf, .otf) to be presented with a dialog box to install the font. After installing the new fonts, you’ll need to restart your browser, PDF viewer, word processor, or whatever other application isn’t displaying the text properly, to induce it to re-load the available fonts.

Last modified 2024-04-29 by SMcCandlish.