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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

text/plain (38 lines)

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
    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.
    Anna Slawek
    Faculty of Information Studies
    University of Toronto
    Toronto Canada
    email: [log in to unmask]

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