What's in a Name?

Have you ever wondered where some of the names of our ancestors came from? They can often be clues to our ancestrial origins or just clues as to what they were like. Below is a list of names and their meanings. The information here came from:

Placed here for the
Madaris, Medearis, Medaris, McDaris, McDearis, Medaries
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Abraham (Eng.)

Descended of Abraham (father of a multitude).

This is interesting since our Abraham (5) never married and claimed himself "monastick". 

Bathsheba (f)

Hebrew "daughter of oath". Biblical, O.T. (Bathshua in Chronicles). Shrewd and thoroughly unscrupulous wife of Uriah, who became the nistress, and later the wife, of King David. Much used by the Puritans and survived in popular use to the end of the 19th c. Still occasionally used in it's pet form, Sheba. 

Beamon, Beeman (Eng)

one who kept bees, a beekeeper

Benjamin (Eng)

1 of the founders of the twelve Tribes of Isreal. Younges of 12 sons of Jacob.

Carlos (m)

Spanish and Portuguese form of Charles.

Charles (Eng., Fr)

Irish Gaelic = Searles,
Span, Port. = Carlos
Dutch = Karel
English = Charlie


(credits 18)

Domingo  m   Spanish

Spanish form of DOMINIC

DOMINIC   m   English
Pronounced: DAWM-in-ik
From the Late Latin name Dominicus meaning "of the Lord". This name was traditionally given to a child born on Sunday. Several saints have borne this name, including the 13th-century founder of the Dominican order of friars.

Fletcher (Eng)
Arrow Maker.

English form of Latin Johannes, Hebrew = Johanan "God is Gracious"
(See also Massey)


 Although "Madaris" is a phonetic variation of Maderas, it has several meanings in other contexts that are quite interesting.

Madaris Spears
It was the Celts who gave the word "lance" to the world, their spears being called "lanciae." The Celts also had throwing javelins called "madaris." The spearheads varied in design but were principally designed to create large
entry wounds and tear the flesh when withdrawn. Spears have been found which are over 8 feet in length, the spear shafts being made for the most part of Ash wood.
(The Royal Galloglas  http://members.aol.com/galloglas0/galloglas.html)

Madaris as a Religion:
Naseeb proudly calls himself a Madari, in popular usage the general name for various Muslim castes of street performers, including not only the Maslets, but also Kalakars, Qalandars, and others, names that suggest an alliance with, or origin in, Sufi orders.  Ja'far Sharif's early nineteenth-century attempt to explain India to Europeans includes a discussion of Madaris: "The term is usually applied to any 'unattached' religious beggar who smokes drugs to excess. ... They are by religion half Hindus and half Musalmans. ... Some of them are jugglers. ... {They} place an earthen pot without a bottom on their heads and put fir in it, on which they lay a frying-pan and cook cakes.  They are one of the disreputable Orders of begging Faqirs" (_Islam in India_)....

A nineteenth-century survey of North Indian castes identified the Madaris as "one of the Beshara or unorthdox orders of Muhammadan Faqirs who take their name from the famous saint of Zinda Shah Madar of Makanpur. ... The Madaris of Northern India have no real connection with the genuine Sufi sects. ... The fact seems to be that the Indian Madaris were established in imitation of the Hindu Jogis and Sannyasis. ... They seldom pray or keep fasts, and use *bhang* freely as a beverage."

Madera (Sp)

Medeiros, Medearis (Port) (Madieras is also a variant)

Mederios, Portuguese:

habitation name from any of the various places with a port. Mederio -  "A place where shocks of maize are gathered. (a derivation of Meda - "shock or stalk" )

Massey, Massie (Eng. Fr.)

Narcissus (from Funk and Wagnall)

Oliver, Olivar (Eng. fR.) Olive tree.

I found it interesting all the various spellings with the same meaning.


Rice (m) (Wel.) Descendant of Rhys (see Rhys)

Welsh, "Ardour" A name famous in Welsh history, General use in Wales in early times led to surnames such as Reece, Rees, Rice, Price (ap Rhys son of Rhys.) continues to be steadily used in Wales.

(Remember Rachel Davis is believed to be of Welsh ancestry!)

1. German : topographic name for someone who lived in an overgrown area. undergrowth, brushwood.

2. Jewish (Ashkenazic) Ornametal name Rose, Twig, Branch.

3. Portuguese: nickname meaning King;

See Ray. Variants. Reiss, Reisman.

Talitha (f)

Zacharias (m) variant of Zachary.

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