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Subject: Proper Form of Gaelic Family Names
From: Anna T Slawek <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Anna T Slawek <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 25 Feb 1995 00:24:48 -0500
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Dear list,
 
    I'm working on a research paper in library science that will
require a rather intensive and thorough discussion of the basic
formation of Scottish and Irish surnames that include the elements
"Mac" and/or "Mc" as beginning elements.  I need to know what is
considered the proper form for these names in current use and if and
how the form differs from the historical presentation.  My question
involves:
 
    1) is there a space between the two components?
        eg. MacIntyre Vs. Mac Intyre
    2) is there consistent capitalization?
        eg. MacFarlane Vs. Macfarlane
    3) in a historical context, I'm finding versions such as
        M'Clymont and M'clintock.  Was this simply a systematic
        Anglicizing and abbreviating of family names?  Does anyone
        know why?  Should they all include "Mac" instead?
 
    My paper involves the proper classification of such names to
establish a succinct name authority database for library use (using
AACR2R & LC guidelines).  I've been referred to Black's _The Surnames
of Scotland_ but would greatly appreciate other definitive works as
well as suggestions on who I could consult with at universities and
libraries in Scotland and Ireland. (sorry, but I'm not handling the
Welsh `ap' at this time!)
 
    Please respond directly as this is a personal query and I don't
want to tie up the line.  Thank you very much for your assistance
in this matter.
 
    Sincerely,
 
    Anna Slawek
    Faculty of Information Studies
    University of Toronto
    Toronto Canada
    email: [log in to unmask]

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