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What's in a Name


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What's in a name?

FLOOD        click here for RATCHFORD

click here for Irish Naming Patterns

1.   English: topographic name for someone who lived by a small stream or an intermittent spring (Old English flōd(e), from flōwan ‘to flow’).

2.   Anglicized form of the Welsh personal name Llwyd (see Lloyd).

3.   Irish: translation of various names correctly or erroneously associated with Gaelic tuile ‘flood’ (see Toole).

Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

Tully O Taicligh or Mac an Tuile, "flood". The family changed their
name to Flood when the English outlawed the Gaelic language. Flood,
Cavan, Connacht, Longford, Westmeath

see http://www.daire.org/names/irishsurs.html

See below for the distribution of the surname Flood by county


The following is an extract from "Irish Families", by Edward MacLysaght



   TULLY, MacAtilla, Flood This name is fairly common in Counties Galway and Cavan but rare elsewhere (except in the city of Dublin where, of course, names from all parts ofIreland are to be found). It was formerly MacTully, and the form MacAtilla is used to-day in some places which suggests that the name in Irish was MacTuile or Mac a'tuile, meaning son of the flood; and it is a fact that the surnames Tully and Flood were at one time interchangeable and that what has been termed a mistranslation may indeed be a translation.

In the Elizabethan Fiants we find Dionysius Flood alias Donogh O'Multilly. O'Multilly, spelt O'Moltolle in another case, is b Maoltuile in Irish. It has been stated by usually reliable authorities that MacTuile is a corr­uption of b Maoltuile and that the latter is the real name of the celebrated medical family, but the form Mac Tuile appears in a seventeenth century manu­script which is a copy by a well-known scribe of a thirteenth century manuscript. The original, written by an eye witness of the inauguration of Cathal O'Connor, last King of Connacht, describes MacTully (Mac Tuile) who was present as O'Connor's physician. The MacTullys were in fact hereditary physicians not only to the O'Connors but also to the O'Reillys of Breffny. This accounts for the modern distribution of the name given above. The place-name Tullystown near Granard is associated with the Breffny branch of the family. The Tullys listed in the 1691 attainders are all of Co. Galway and the leading family whose arms are illustrated on Plate XXVII are of that county. The same arms are used by the Floods of Co. Kilkenny.

Some Floods are of English extraction, but in Ireland they are mainly 0 Maoltuile or Mac Maoltuile, abbrevi­ated to Mac anTuile or MacTuile, anglicized MacAtilla or MacTully as well as Flood. Tuile means flood, but probably it is here for toile-genitive of toil, will, i.e. the will of God.

O'Thina is reported from Co. Galway (Cong district) as entered in a birth registration by a family usually called Flood. The Irish in this case is b Tuine, for b Tuile, which is a colloquial contraction of the orig­inal form. (See above).

     O'Thina has no connexion with the surname Thynne. This Co. Clare name is there pronounced Tyne and was formerly so spelt, e.g. Dermot O'Tine of Kilshanny (the homeland of this Irish sept) whose outlawry as a Jacobite was reversed in 1699. It is b Tiemhin in Irish, and has no connexion with a similar English name pro­nounced Thin. A notable member of the Clare sept was Andrew Joseph Thynne (1847-1927) who as lawyer, politician and soldier was a prominent figure in Queens­land, Australia, for more than forty years.

The most noteworthy of the Tullys was Father Fiacre Tully, O.F.M., who in the years 1625-1631 was extremely active in Rome in the Irish interest. The Floods of Co. Kilkenny are said to be of English ex­traction. To this family belonged two notable politicians:

   Sir Frederick Flood (1741-1824) and Henry Flood (1732-1791), both prominent as Volunteers and opponents of the Union, the latter one of the out­standing personalities of eighteenth century Ireland. The distinguished Rev. Dr. Peter Flood (d. 1803), President of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, on the other hand, give that measure some support. William Henry Grattan Flood (1867-1928), author of the History of Irish Music, was a noted composer of liturgical music.

Tully, alias Tally, is also the anglicized form of the Irish surname b Taithligh borne by a sept located near Omagh, Co. Tyrone, of which, however, little trace remains to-day. They were erenaghs of Devenish.


Following are locations in Ireland where the Flood surname was found in Griffiths Valuation, 1848-1864. Griffiths was a tax list of those who rented or owned land. The numbers are the number of entries for the surname in that location.


Antrim 1

Armagh 3

Belfast City 1

Carlow 17

Cavan 117

Clare 2

Cork 5

Cork City 1

Derry 2

Donegal 16

Down 10

Dublin 54

Dublin City 37

Fermanagh 3

Galway 5

Kerry 1

Kildare 94

Kilkenny 56

Laois 13

Leitrim 17

Limerick 9

Longford 42



Louth 10

Mayo 2

Meath 140

Monaghan 16

Offaly 10

Roscommon 10

Sligo 2

Tipperary 20

Tyrone 2

Westmeath 38

Wexford 30

Wicklow 12




The Anglo-Norman Conquest of Ireland lead by Strongbow introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo-Normans brought some traditions to Ireland that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames. One of the best examples of this is the local surname. Local surnames, such as Rochefort, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England, but were almost non-existent within Ireland previous to the conquest. The earliest surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they often created names in reference to where they actually resided. Therefore, some settlers eventually took names from Irish places. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The Rochefort family originally lived in either of the settlements called Rochford in the English counties of Essex and Worcestershire. The surname Rochefort belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The Rochefort family of county Cork was originally surnamed de Ridlesford. Their name became Rochefort through a mistranslation of the Gaelic form of the name.


Spelling variations include: Rockford, Rockfort, Rochfort, Rochefort, Roakfort, Roakford, Rochford, Rocheford, Roachford, Roachfort, Rockfurd, Rockfurt, Ruckford, Ruckfort, Rucford and many more.

First found in counties Meath and Kilkenny where they had been granted lands by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, during the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172.

Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were:
Denis Rochford, his wife Mary and two children, who settled in Pennsylvania
in 1682; and Peter Rockford, who settled in Philadelphia in 1875.


"As if the cursed Irish naming pattern wasn't enough to cause someone to
drink, they habitually used/use nicknames due to the pattern. Thus we
get Nellie for Ellen, Nora for Honora, Donal for Daniel, etc. Bridget has
several including Biddy, Birdie, Brid, Delia, Della, Del, and according to some Irish,
Margaret is another name for Bridget. Go figure! Now where's my drink . . ."

Above posted by Dan Hogan to NY-IRISH-L@rootsweb.com

 The 1st son was usually named after the father’s father  
The 1st daughter was usually named after the mother’s mother

  the 2nd son was usually named after the mother’s father
the 2nd daughter was usually named after the father’s mother

  the 3rd son was usually named after the father
the 3rd daughter was usually named after the mother

  the 4th son was usually named after the father’s eldest brother
the 4th daughter was usually named after the mother’s eldest sister

  the 5th son was usually named after the mothers eldest brother
the 5th daughter was usually named after the fathers eldest sister.





Holy Cross Cemetary