Prendergast (surname)

Prendergast is a British and Irish surname.


This toponymic surname may derive from prender from a Germanic word for fire or conflagration (cf. brand) where the b became p due to fortition and gast (cf. geest) from a germanic word for wasteland or dry and infertile land meaning the location could have been a burn-beat area. Others think the name is a Saxonized form of Bryn y Gest from the Welsh bryn meaning hill and gest a lenition of cest which means belly or swelling or a deep glen between two mountains having but one opening. It could also lessly come from Pren-dwr-gwest, the inn by the tree near the water. The right etymology is probably Pen-dre-gast. The suffix ast (cf. gast) is of Welsh origin like the names of the cromlech chamber tomb of Penllech yr Ast (the chief slab of the bitch) or Llech-yr-ast (Bitch's stone), in Llangoedmor, Cardiganshire or Gwâl y Filiast (Lair of the Greyhound Bitch) or Carn Nant-yr-ast or Llety'r Filiast or Twlc y Filiast.[1] Alternatively, the name may come from a lost Flemish settlement near Ghent, known as Brontegeest. Pembrokeshire had a significant Flemish population by the twelfth century.[2]

People with the nameEdit


Variants of Prendergast include: Pender, Pendergast, Prandergast, Brandergast, Pendergrass, Penders, Pendy, Pinder, Pinders, Pindy, Prender, Prendergrast, Prendergest, Prindergast, Pendergist and the (Gaelicised) de Priondargás.

In BritainEdit

The surname may be connected to one or more of three places in Britain: Prendergast, now a suburb of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales;[3] Prendergast, near Solva, also in Pembrokeshire,[4] and; Prenderguest, near Ayton, Berwickshire, Scotland.

In IrelandEdit

In Ireland, Prendergast is regarded as a Hiberno-Norman name and is usually derived from a 12th-century Cambro-Norman knight, Maurice de Prendergast, who was born in Pembrokeshire and came to Ireland with the Earl of Pembroke, Richard "Strongbow" de Clare. Many of Maurice de Prendergast's immediate descendants lived in County Tipperary and southern Mayo. Some assumed the name Fitzmaurice at an early date and some of the Fitzmaurices were later known as MacMorris.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Morgan, Thomas. Handbook of the Origin of Place-Names in Wales and Monmouthshire. ASIN 1150347619.
  2. ^ "Archaeologia Cambrensis (1846-1899) | Third Series No. XLI January 1865 | 1865 | Welsh Journals - The National Library of Wales".
  3. ^ "History of Prendergast in Pembrokeshire - Map and description".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Book of Irish Families, Great & Small by Michael C. O'Laughlin;".