the Registrar General of Births Deaths and Marriages under whom it was produced. It was

published in 1894 with a re-issue in 1909. In addition to a general dissertation on the subject and

some very interesting examples of the vagaries of spelling and even recent translation of Irish

surnames, it lists every name for which five or more births were registered in 1890 and it usually

gives the county or counties in which each name is most prevalent. It is possible to say "is" rather

than "was" in this connexion, because various tests (which will be indicated at the appropriate

places in the book) show that the distribution of surnames in Ireland has not altered materially in

the sixty years which have since elapsed; the revolution in transport, emigration and all the other

disturbing elements of modern life, which might be expected to change the pattern, have not in fact

done so. Matheson, therefore, has been found very useful, especially in the preparation of Part II

of this book. A further bluebook sponsored by Matheson was issued in 1901; this is entitled

Synonymes of Irish Surnames and is of considerable interest”.


A third source for County Antrim, which is not a primary source, but does corroborate the theory

about County Antrim, is the seven "McAninch" records in the LDS IGI (International Genealogical

Index) [6] for Ireland, all in Ulster, County Antrim, dated between 1838 and 1867, individuals

Alexander, Alice, Lydia Ann, Robert, Sinclair, and Susan, locations Ballymena, Brocklemont,

Dirrow, and Londonderry.


Unfortunately, there is no evidence that our surname survives in Ulster today. I have examined the

1969 telephone book [7] for all of Northern Ireland, and there were no McAninch, -Anich, nor McI-'s.


Also, received the following from The Irish Family Names Society [8]:

“McAninch = Inch = Ninch, all from the Scot family MacInnes who came to North Ireland. ....

not currently in the Irish phone books, an indication that the family if still in Ireland is a small one”


Additonally, have met briefly with Dr. Brian Trainor, Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation,

Belfast (part of the Irish Genealogical Project, responsible for Antrim, Down and city of Belfast) [9].

Dr. Trainor appeared to recognize our surname, although he thought it might be from County Down.


III. The Surname MacInnes, Ancestor of our Surname McAninch


As we've already seen above, MacLysaght says McAninch is an Ulster variant of Scottish MacInnes.


The classic reference is Black's The Surnames of Scotland [10], which does not list any spellings

Mc(ac)Aninch(sh), Mc(ac)Insh, nor Mc(ac)Ininch(sh). There are three relevant entries, however:


“MacAngus, 'son of Angus'. This form of the name is not common, as it seems early to have passed 

over to MacInnes”.


“MacInnes, MacKinnes, MacKinness. G [Gaelic] MacAonghais, 'son of Angus', q.v.

 Donald McKynes was tenant in part of the Elryk in 1514 (Cupar-Angus, I, p.295), Duncan

M'Kynnes appears in Lochalsh in 1548 (RMS, IV, 204), and John M'Kynnes witnessed an instrument

of sasine in 1530 (Lamont, p.30; Laing, 381). Allester M'Callen M'Aneiss and John dow M'Aneiss

had assignation of maills, fermes, etc., at Dunoon, 1574 (Notes and Queries, 11 July 1931, p.220).

John dow McInoss in Glenlyon, 1583 (RPC, III, p.589). Ewin M'Inish in Collicheles was denounced

rebel in 1675 (H.P., I, p.300), and four Macinishches were killed and two wounded (Coll., p.199).



McAninch Family History NL, V-2  May, 1997  Copyright Frank McAninch   page 1997-14   


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