NAUGHTAN known as the O'Neachtain sept was first located near Loughrea in County Galway, whence it migrated to Athlone barony, County Roscommon in the wake of the Anglo-Norman penetration of Connacht. This was a well known personal name meaning 'one who was bright and pure'. This was the name of the God of water and the sea in Irish mythology. It has been suggested that the name in derived from the Latin NEPTUNAS, after the Roman sea-god. Another O'Neathtain sept was located in Inchiquin barony, County Clare, not far distant from Loughrea, but was of different stock. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. Early records of the name mention Gillecrist Mac Nachtan, who was recorded in 1247, and Alister Naghten was documented in 1480. Most of the families are today found mainly in Ireland, but it seems that only the O'Naughtons are of Irish origin, the McNaughtons having originated in Lochlow, Scotland, and migrated to County Antrim in the 14th century. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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