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Scottish Interchangeable Names

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== Surnames ==

This list is for surnames that were outlawed by royal decree. If a replacement surname is known please add it to the also known as list for any of these surnames.

  • 1604, The Abolition of the Surname "Macgregor" For almost sixty years, the Scottish clan surnames Macgregor or Mcgregor or Gregor were illegal in the United Kingdom, on pain of death. ccording to the Newgate Calendars, the abolition of the surname Macgregor lasted "until the Restoration" (about 1660), some 57 years later.
  • From Clan Gregor Society a list of names associated with the clan and names used during the proscription http://www.clangregor.com/membership/sept-family-names/

Full list in the url. Here are the known names used during the Proscription time period: List B : Documented Aliases of MacGregor from the Proscription Bain / Beachley / Black / Bowers / Bowie/ / Coleman / Comrie / Dochart / Dunn / Lakie / Landless / Leckie / Lockie / Mor / Roy / Skinner / Whyte / Willox / White

  • Henderson seen as Hendry, Hendrie and then McKendrick are actually the same name in Gaelic
  • Dropped leading O like o'Drain became Drain

== Common Names Used Interchangeably in Scotland ==

  • General resources about names in Scotland
http://www.whatsinaname.net/ this was a website created and maintained by my good friend Ray Hennessey. Ray, sadly has passed away, but his hard work lives on. He and I were distant cousins by paper trail but we often worked together on a number of projects. Check out the FAQs for more good info.
  • Scottish Naming Patterns (from What's In A Name Website listed above)

Remember that these are guidelines, not rules!

There are some variations but the principal sequence was:

First Son named after the Father's Father
Second Son named after the Mother's Father
Third Son named after the Father
Other Sons named after Parents' Brothers
First Daughter named after the Mother's Mother
Second Daughter named after the Fathers's Mother
Third Daughter named after the Mother
Other Daughters named after Parents' Sisters
Of course when there were similar names in the forebears, the pattern would not [necessarily] follow. Also if one child died in infancy a later child may then bear the same name in lieu.
Middle Names: Middle names used not to be very common in Scotland. Where they did occur, the most frequent source was the surname of the maternal grandmother. However the mother's surname was often used and, in the case of an unmarried mother, both surnames might be used, the sequence sometimes reflecting with whom the child lived.
Where the middle name had no obvious family connection, it might reflect the name [usually the surname] of a best friend, an employer or landlord, a benefactor, the Minister or other local notable, or a national figure.



  • Agnes seen as Ann / Hannah / Nancy
  • Ann seen as Agnes /Hannah / Nancy



  • Cecilia seen as Celia
  • Celia seen as Cecilia
  • Christian being a female name while in other parts of Europe it is only a male name


  • Damian seen as Damon
  • Damon seen as Damian
  • Daniel seen as David / Donald
  • David seen a Daniel / Donald
  • Donald seen as Daniel / David


  • Elizabeth seen as Isabel / Isobel
  • Ellen seen as Helen (Helen seems to be used more in Scotland while Ellen is more common in Ireland).




  • Hamish seen as James
  • Hannah seen as Agnes / Ann / Nancy
  • Helen seen as Ellen (Helen seems to be used more in Scotland while Ellen is more common in Ireland).


  • Isabel seen as Elizabeth / Isobel
  • Isobel seen as Elizabeth / Isabel


  • James seen as Hamish
  • Jane seen as Janet / Jean / Jessie
  • Janet seen as Jane / Jean / Jessie note prior to 1800 most often spelled Jannet
  • Jean seen as Jane / Janet / Jessie
  • Jenet seen as Janet/Jessie
  • Jessie seen as Jane / Janet / Jean
  • Jockey is a common nickname for John
  • John seen as both a female and a male name
  • John seen as Jockey





  • Nancy seen as Agnes / Ann / Hannah



  • Patrick seen as Peter
  • Peter seen as Patrick








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