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Irish pedigrees; or, The origin and stem of the Irish nation (Volume 1) online

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conditions of the Genesis account as to the era of Noah's Flood.


In the Quaternary period the distribution of the three Noetic families
from their respective centres took place over vast portions of the earth ;
formed the second dispersion of the human race from Central Asia ; and
the first great distribution of the Ethnic races, as laid down in the race-
table of the sons of Noah.

The Babel or third dispersion mentioned in Genesis is related of a
people who came from the East to the Plain of Shinar, and dwelt there.
The tower which these people attempted to build was, by them, to be
dedicated to their false god Bel, and called Babel: the narrator in
Genesis stating that the Lord God did at that spot confuse the universal
language, so that Babel (the " gate of Bel") became Balal, the " city of
confusion." That account directly introduces the genealogy of Arphaxad,
who was son of Shem, and ancestor of Eber or Heber a quo the

As Magog, son of Japhet, who was the favourite son of Noah, was the an-
cestor of the Gaels, it is a strange coincidence that the very ten generations
from Adam down to Noah, which are given by the Semitic writers, are the
very ten generations given by the narrators of the early genealogy of the
Gaels !


Even in the matter of the Gaelic System of allotting a portion of land
to each head of a family for the sustenance of himself and those dependent
on him (and which obtained among the Gaels in Ireland down to the
seventeenth century, in the reign of King James I., of England), how

* Eden : The first migration from Eden mentioned in the Genesis accounts, is that
of the Cainites, eastward. The northern portions of the Asiatic, European, and Ameri-
can continents -would seem to have been the area of the first dispersion of mankind ;
which, going on through the Tertiary period, we may suppose, gradually overspread
the then habitable portions of the globe. Remains of the human race belonging to the
Tertiary period have been discovered in North America and in Europe : and announced
as the latest result of modern geological science in respect to the age of Man upon the
earth. Although it is stated that in this period the arts of metallurgy and music were
well advanced at the civilized centre of Eden, it is not to be supposed that the migratory
nomads of the Cainite dispersion would have made use of any other than the rudest
implements of stone and flint in their wanderings to the uttermost parts of the then
habitable globe. — JMacWhorter.


strangely coincident was that Gaelic System with the Land System of the

Hebrews :

" Ye shaU divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families ; to the
more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheri-
tance ; every man shaU be in the place in which his lot falleth." — Numbers xxxiii. 54.
See ako Numbers xxvi. b^-oQ ; and Joshua xi. 23, and xiv. and xvi., etc.

This similarity between the Land System of the Irish Gaels and that
which obtained among the Hebrews is the more extraordinary, when we
consider the intimacy which existed between Moses and Gaodhal [Gael].
But we are unable to say which (if either) of these two ancient peoples
gave their Land System to the other.


Because of recent geological discoveries, some persons imagine that the
Science of Geology conflicts with the Genesis account of the Creation.
Among those discoveries is that of a man whose photograph is given in
the revised edition of Dana's Geolog}^, and who lived in the South of
France, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Quaternary era,
which was the geological period next preceding our own. In its relation,
therefore, to those discoveries the period of Man's existence upon the earth
has become a subject of great interest j for, it must be admitted that the
truths established by geological science are, at least, as worthy of accept-
ance as was the Copernican theory of Astronomy, in its time, as opposed
to the Ptolemaic system.

As a sincere Christian of the Roman Catholic Communion, we enter-
tain profound veneration for the Bible. But. as everywhere throughout
the Sacred Books of the Hebrews and the Writings of the Apostles appear
expressions and conceptions framed upon the standpoint of the Creation,
as recorded in Genesis, which can only be interpreted by the latest results
of geological science, we are satisfied that our readers, who calmly and dis-
passionately consider the subject, will find with us that nothing could be
more absolutely coincident with the Genesis account of the Creation than
are the discoveries of Geology.

The first eleven chapters of Genesis give in brief outline a history of
Man, from the Creation of our First Parents to the time of the migration
of Abraham from the valley of the Euphrates to the shores of the Mediter-
ranean Sea ; and constitute an introduction to the religious history of a
special branch of the Semitic* family. This general introductory history
is composed of a number of separate fragments or statements arranged in
consecutive order, without chronology ; and embodies a selection from the
traditions and records of the ages preceding Abraham of what was con-
sidered in his family to be historic concerning the creation of the Universe
and of the first Man. We may reasonably presume that these records,
carefully selected and carefully preserved, were brought by Abraham
from the valley of the Euphrates into the land of Palestine ; and con-

* Semitic: See the (New York) "Princeton Review," for July, 1880, under the
heading "The Edenic Period of Man": an article written by the late Professor
MacWhorter, one of the most eminent of the Semitic scholars of his day.


stituted his Family Bible — the beginning of the Sacred Books of the


But with the Semitic writers the idea of a Genealogy was not so much
that of a succession of persons or of individual lives, as a period of time ;
to be filled out with a record of the more prominent events of that period,
and the persons connected with them. Great leaps, therefore, often occur
from the record of some historic character to his successor, who is called
his son^ even if a very remote descendant in point of time. This mode of
forming a genealogy has, perhaps, its most striking illustration in the
opening of the Gospel of St. Matthew, beginning : " The book of the
generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham ;" and
the closing of the genealogy, with the statement, that the generations
from Abraham to Christ are three times fourteen or forty-two generations,
whereas St. Luke gives fifty-six generations as covering this period. But
this involves no discrepancy from the point of view of the two narrators ;
for, the three double sevens of St. Matthew are used as indefinite numbers,*
not intended to be taken as literal, but simply as representative of a com-
plete time — of the idea that the full period had arrived for the appearance
of the '• Son of David, the son of Abraham :" seven being a sacred number
with Semitic writers ; and multiples of seven, the highest expression of
completeness of God's time that could be used in connexion with the
advent of the Messiah.

In the filling out of the history in the time between Adam and Noah,
very long periods are attributed to special human lives, and required for
the consistency of the narrative ; but this filling out of an indefinite period
by ten generations is analogous to, and illustrated by, the filling out by
St. Matthew of the period between Abraham and Christ by forty-two

The post-Noetic Sethite succession in the line of Shem filling out the
period from Noah to Abraham with ten lives of decreasing periods in the
length of life assigned to each, is also, no doubt, formed upon the principle

* Numbers : The use of definite numbers as representative of indefinite time is
an oriental mode of presenting Jiistoric events, which does not in the least interfere
with the truthfulness of the record for the purpose held in view by the writers. It
is, however, very difficult for western minds to adapt themselves to the point of view
of such methods of computation. The Christian religion has come to us from the
East, founded upon a series of historical facts, and we must seek those facts through
an understanding of their surroundings, and the methods employed to convey them.
In the time when they took shape their form was adapted, to be understood by all who
heard them. _ It is_ only the lapse of ages and our own ignorance which have obscured
them. The inhabitants of Mesopotamia or the Tigro-Euphrates basin were, from the
earliest period, a mixed population, representing every branch of the human family of
the Noetic dispersion ; who, together, developed and used a common time-notation,
called the ** Chaldean System." It has been customary to consider as mythical the
enormous length assigned in the Chaldean records to the development of the human
race, and the Chaldean early civilization ; but late discoveries and researches show
that the history of the development of the material civilization of the Euphrates
valley goes back to a far earlier period than has ever before been held possible. —


of the pre-Noetic succession of ten ; to convey the same idea of indefinite
time, but of a complete succession of the sacred line.

It is a curious fact that in the Chaldean records the period correspond-
ing to the pre-Noetic era of Man's existence is filled out with ten Kings ;
whose united Eeigns covered a cycle of ten cosmic days. These ten days
were used by the Chaldeans, after the oriental mode, as representative of
a great time-cycle, not of definite but of indefinite length -, which was
thus conceived by them in placing it as an introduction to their historic
annals. And these ten time-periods or cosmic days also appear in the
early histories of all the most ancient civilizations ; including those of
the Eberite branch of the Semitic family. In these Eberite records not
only is no limitation intended to be expressed of the pre-Xoetic period of
Man's existence ; but, on the contrary, the use of the representative
number ten^ as the number of generations of that period, is designed to
convey an idea of indefinite time. In this view, therefore, these early
Semitic records of the house of Eber take their place by the side of the
early histories of all the most ancient peoples of the earth ; and both
explain them and are explained by them. We have then some data of
comparison of the cosmic day of the Book of Genesis with the time-
measures of modern Geology ; especially with those related to the life of
Man upon the earth.


A cosmic day or period with the Chaldeans was a great cycle of forty-
three thousand two hundred years; and of the Chaldeans Lenormant
says :

" They were the first to divide the day into twenty-four hours, the hour into
sixty minutes, and the minute into sixty seconds. Their great periods of time were
calculated on this scale. The great cycle of 43,200 years, regarded by them as the
period of the precession of the Equinoxes, was considered as one day in the life of the

In the Chaldean account of the Creation these cosmic days and years
were used representatively for great periods ; and all the time-divisions of
the Hebrew^s were the same as those in use by the Chaldeans. The
relation of these time-periods or cosmic days of the Chaldeans, to the dis-
coveries of modern geology, is therefore plainly seen.

The Eden narrative, commencing Genesis ii. 4, says :

" These are the generations of the heavens and the earth in the day when they were
created, in the day that the Lord God made the heavens and the earth."

Here is a day spoken of, which shows that the term is there used for
indefinite periods of time.


The chroniclers of Sacred History fix the date of the building of
Kineveh as one hundred and fifteen years after the Flood ; the Tower of
Babel as one hundred and forty years ; and the reign of Belus, son of
Nimrod, in Babylon, as about two hundred and fifteen years.* According

* Years : According to Dr. O'Connor, in his Rerum Hibernicarum Scriptorea
Veterts, the year of the Pagan Irish was luni-solar; consisting, like that of the


to the Four Masters, Partholan was the first planter of Ireland, one hundred
and eighty-five years after the building of Nineveh, or three hundred years
after the Deluge.*


When the Flood had subsided, and that Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham,
and Japhet, had come out of the Ark, God blessed them and said :
"Increase and multiply, and fill the earth." (G-en. ix)

Noah divided the world amongst his three sons : to Shem he gave Asia
within the Euphrates, to the Indian ocean ; to Ham he gave Syria, Arabia,
and Africa ; and to his favourite, Japhet, he gave the rest of Asia, beyond
the Euphrates, together with Europe to Gades (now .Cadiz) : " May God

Phoenicians and Egyptians, of 365 days and six hours. But while it is certain that
the ancient Irish had four seasons in their year, the fact is, that, according to the
"Book of Eights," we cannot yet determine the season with which the Pagan Irish
year commenced.

* The Deluge : According to the Four Masters, a colony reached Ireland before that
of which Partholan was the planter. Ceasair came to Ireland " forty days before the
Deluge," with a colony of fifty damsels and three men — " Bith, Ladhra, and Fintan
their names." On this subject some humorist has written —

" "With fifty damsels in her train,
Came Ceasair o'er the Eastern main;
Three heroes with her crossed the water,
Attendants on Bith's roving daughter,"

Ceasair is reputed to have been a daughter of Bith, who was a son of Noah, and a
half brother of Shem, Ham, and Japhet. Because Bith and Ceasair abandoned the true
God, Noah refused them a place in the Ark ; and the narrative goes on to say that,
thus refused, they, with Ladhra and Fintan consulted together, and by Ceasair's advice
applied to an idol, who told them to build a ship, but the idol could not tell them^ at
what time the Deluge was to take place. They accordingly built a vessel, and having
well stored it with provisions, Bith, Ladhra, and Fintan, together with three ladies,
Ceasair, Barran, and Balva, accompanied by their handmaids, then put to sea ; and,
after some time, on the fifteenth day of the Moon, and forty days before the Deluge,
they landed near Bantry, in the county Cork, and from thence proceeded to where the
rivers Suir, Nore, and Barrow join, below Waterford, where they parted : Fintan
taking Ceasair and seventeen of the damsels ; Bith took Barran and seventeen more ;
and Ladhra took Balva and the remainder of the damsels to Ard-Ladhra {" and from
him it was named"), now the hill of Ardmine, county Wexford, where he died, being
*' the first that died in Ireland." After his death Balva and her handmaids returned
to Ceasair, and Fintan and Bith divided them between them ; but Bith having soon
after died at Sliabh-Beatha (now know as " Slieve Beagh" — a mountain on the con-
fines of the counties of Fermanagh and Monaghan, "and from him the mountain is
named"), Fintan became so alarmed at the prospect of the large family left in his
charge, that he deserted them and fled to the territory of Aradh [Ara], near Loch
Deirgdheire (now " Lough Derg" — an expansion of the river Shannon, between Killa-
loe, in the county Clare, and Portumna in the county Galway), where he died ; and
from Fintan is named Feart Fintain, i.e., " Fintan's Grave." Thus abandoned, Ceasair
and her band of women retired to Cuil Ceasra, where she died of a broken heart, and
was buried in Carn Ceasra, on the banks of the river Boyle, in Connaught, near Cuil

In a poem which some wag has attributed to this Fintan he is made to say that he
survived the Flood ; and that he continued alive till the sixth century of the Christian
era, when he died. No doubt the narrative, that a colony reached Ireland " forty days
before the Deluge," seems very apocryphal; but, as the Four Masters mention the
circumstance, we thought it right to here give the foregoing details.


enlarge Japhet, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan be his
servant." (Gen. ix. 27).

Japhet had fifteen sons ; amonojst whom he divided Europe and the
part of Asia that fell to his lot. The Bible gives the names of seven of
those sons, namely : Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan* (or lauan), Thubal,
Mosoch, and Thiras. The nations descended from these seven sons are
known ; but we know not the names of the other sons, from whom the
Chinese and other nations of Eastern Asia are descended.

The sons of Shem were Cham, Assur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. This
Assur was the founder of Nineveh : from him " Assyria" was so called.
The sons of Ham were Chus (or Cush), Mesram, Phut, and Canaan ; and
Cush begot Ximrod.

From Madai, son of Japhet, came the Madeans, whom the Greeks
called " Medes ;" from Javan, son of Japhet, were descended the Greeks
and lonians ; from Thiras, son of Japhet, came the Thracians ; from
Thogarma, son of Gomer, son of Japhet, came the Phrygians and
Armenians ; from Iber, son of Thubal, son of Japhet, came the Iberians,
who were afterwards called Spaniards.

Javan was the fourth son of Japhet. Although the Hebrews, Chal-
deans, Arabians, and others gave no other appellation than that of
" lonians" to all the Grecian nations, yet from the fact that Alexander the
Great, in the prediction of Daniel (Dan. viii. 21), is mentioned under the
name of ^' Javan," or " Ion," it is evident that Javan was not only the
father of the lonians (who were but one particular Greek nation), but also
the ancestor of all those nations that went under the general denomination
of " Greeks." The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tharsis, Cetthim, and
Dodanin. Elisha : the ancient city of Elis (in Peloponnesus), the Elysian
fields, and the river Elissus contributed to preserve his memory. Tharsis
is believed to have settled in Achaia, or the neighbouring provinces of
Greece, as Elishah did in Peloponnesus. Cetthim (or Chittim) was, accord-
ing to the first book of the Maccabees,! the ancestor of the Macedonians ;
for (I. Mace. i. 1), it is there said that Alexander, the son of Philip the
Macedonian, went out of his country (which was that of Chittim), to make
war against Darius, king of Persia. And Dodanin was, no doubt, the
ancestor of the " Danai " of the Greeks, and of the Tuatha-de-Danans of
ancient Ireland.

Homer calls the Grecians "Hellenes," "Danai," "Argiv^s," and
" Achaians ;" but, from whomsoever the Grecians derive their name, it is
strange that the word G-rcecus is not once used in Virgil. Pliny says that
the Grecians were so called from the name of an ancient king, of whom
they had but a very uncertain tradition.

* Javan : In fol. 3 of O'Clery's Irish Genealogies the lineal descent of King Philip
V. of Spain is carefully traced down from Adam, through this Javan (or lauan), son of

t Maccabees : The derivation of this name seems to be the same as that of the Irish
simame Mac Cabe ; namely caba, which is the Irish for a cape, a cap, or hood ; while
the Hebrew Kaba has the same meaning.

CHAP, l] the ceeation. 9


Magog was the son of Japhet, from whom the Milesian Irish Nation is
descended ; he was contemporary with the building of Nineveh, and his
son Baoth was contemporary with Nimrod.

Upon the division of the earth by Noah amongst his sons, and by
Japhet of his part thereof amongst his sons, Scythia came to Baoth's lot ;
whereof he and his posterity were kings. Thus in Scythia, in Central
Asia, far from the scene of Babel, the Valley of Shinar (the Magh Senaar
of the ancient Irish annalists), it is considered that Baoth and his people
took no part with those of Shem and Ham in their impious attempt at the
building of that Tower ; that therefore, on that head, they did not incur
the displeasure of the Lord; and that, hence, the lasting vitality of the
Celtic language !

According to the Four Masters, the Celtic language was the Scythian ;
which was, from Gaodhal, who " refined and adorned it," afterwards called
Gaodhilg or " Gaelic."

There is reason to believe that the Scythian was the language of our
First Parents. As the Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavonic nations were of
Scythian origin, so was the Scythian language the parent stock of all the
dialects* spoken by those nations. The Celtic or Gaelicf was the language
of Ireland ; in which were written the ancient Irish records, annals, and

Phoeniusa Farsaidh, son of Baoth, son of Magog, son of Japhet, was the
inventor of Letters; after him his descendants were called Phcenicians.
His name is sometimes rendered " Feniusa Farsa;" and his descendants
were called i^eme and Phoen6. The ancient Irish were also called Peine:
a proof of identity of origin between the Phoenicians and the ancient
Irish.J ......

* Dialects : There are at present no less than 3,642 languages and dialects spoken
throughout the world.

t Gaelic : It is to the Gaelic language that the following stanza, translated from a
poem written in the third century by the Irish ]\Ionarch Carbre Liffechar, refers —

Sweet tongue of our Druids and bards of past ages ;
Sweet tongue of our Monarchs, our saints, and our sages ;
Sweet tongue of our heroes, and free-born sires,
When we cease to preserve thee our glory expires.

X Ancient Irish : In Connellan's Four Masters we read — " The great aflSnity between
the Phoenician and Irish language and alphabet has been shown by various learned
antiquaries — as Vallancey, Sir Laurence Parsons, Sir William Betham, Villaneuva, and
others ; and they have likewise pointed out a similarity between the Irish language and
that of the Carthaginians, who were a colony of the Tyrians and Phoenicians. The
Phoenician alphabet was first brought to Greece from Egypt by Cadmus. And Phoenix,
brother of Cadmus the Phoenician who first introduced letters amongst the Greeks and
Phoenicians, is considered by O'Flaherty, Charles O'Connor, and others, to be the same
as the celebrated Fhceniusa (or Feniusa) Farsaidh of the old Irish historians, who state
that he was king of Scythia, and ancestor of the Milesians of Spain who came to
Ireland ; and that, being a man of great learning, he invented the Irish alphabet, which
his Milesian posterity brought to Ireland ; and it may be further observed that the Irish,
in their own language, were, from Phoeniusa or Feniusa, called Feine: a term latinized
Phanit, and signifying Phcenicians, as shown by Charles O'Connor and in O'Brien's


In Asia Minor, the Phoenicians founded the cities of Miletus and
Mycale, in M^eonia, on the shore of the -^gean Sea — the ancient Lake
Gyges (glgas: Greek, a giant). The people of Miletus were called
"Milesians," on account of their heroism (mileadh: Irish, a hero), even
before the time of Milesius of Spain.

According to Mariana and other Spanish historians, the " Brigantes"
(a people so called after Breoghan, or Brigus, the grandfather of Milesius
of Spain), were some of the Erigas or Phrygians of Asia Minor ; and were
the same people as the ancient Trojans ! Brigus sent a colony from Spain
into Britain ; and many of the descendants of that GaeHc colony, who
settled in England and in Ireland since the English Invasion, are
erroneously considered as of Anglo-Saxon, or Anglo-Norman descent.

Brigantia (now Corunna), a city in Galicia (where the Gaels settled),
in the north of Spain, was founded by that Breoghan or Brigus ; and from
Brigantia the Brigantes came to Ireland with the Milesians. According to
Ptolemy's Map of Ancient Ireland, the Brigantes inhabited the territories
in Leinster and Munster, now forming the counties of "Wexford, AVaterford,
Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, and Queen's County ; and the native Irish
of these territories, descended from the Brigantes, were, up to a recent
period, remarkable for their tall or gigantic stature.

Homer,* the most ancient author in the heathen world, names the
" proud Miletus" as among the Trojan forces mentioned in the " Catalogue,"
Bookll. of the//kfZ.•
*' Of those who round Mssonia's realms reside,

Online LibraryJohn O'HartIrish pedigrees; or, The origin and stem of the Irish nation (Volume 1) → online text (page 4 of 109)