John O'Hart.

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

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the Druids. This name has been latinized Aedus, Aedanus, Aldus,
Aidanus, Hugo, and Odo ; and is the root of Hughes, MacHugh, Hodson,
Hudson, etc.

Aongus, or ^neas, derived from Aon, excellent, and gus, strength, is
the root of Guinness, MacGuinness, Innes, Ennis, Hennessy, etc.

Ardgal may be derived from ard, exalted, and gal, valour ; and Artgal,
from the proper name Art, and gaol [geel], a relative of.

Art signifies noble, great, generous, etc. j and is the root of CfHart,

Blosgach implies great strength; and is the root of the sirname
MacBlosgaidh, anglicised MacCloskey.

Brandubh, from bran, which here means a raven, and duhh, black.
This name was applied to a person whose hair was of a very dark

Brian is derived from hri, strength, and an, very great, meaning a
warrior of great strength ; or h?'ian may be derived from braii, a mountain
torrent, which implies powerful strength. Bran, in this meaning of the
term, is the root of the sirnames Brain, Brian, Brien, Bryan, Bryant, Byrne,
Byron, O'Brien, O Byrne, etc.

Cairbre, from corb, a chariot, and ri, a king ; signifying the " ruler of
the chariot."

Cathair [cahir], from cath, a battle, and ar, slaughter.

Cathal [cahal] signifies " a great warrior :" and is derived from cath, a
battle, and all, great.

Cafhbhar [cah-war] signifies a " helmeted warrior :" from cathbhar, a
helmet ; but some derive it from cath, a battle, and barr, a chief. This f
was a favourite name with the chiefs of the O'Donnells of Tyrconnell j



because, it is thought, of their lineal descent from Conn of the Hundr^rl
Battles (m Irish called Conn Ceadmtha), the 110th Monarch of Ireland who
lived m the second century It is, hovyever, probable that they assumed
the adhx catli, m commemoration of that illustrious ancestor.

Conall means friendship ; or it may be derived from con, the genitive of
cu, a hound (as applied to a swift-footed warrior), and from all, great, or

Conchohhar signifies the *' helping warrior;" and is derived from cu or
con, as above, and^ cobhair [cowir] aid. The name has been anglicised
Conn, and latmized '' Cornelius" and " Conquovarus ;" and the root of
the sirname Connor, O'Conor and O'Connor. Wherever cu, a hound
commences the name of any chief, it means, figuratively, '' a swift-footed
warrior j" as, Cuchonnacht, Cuchullan {Ulladh fulla], sometimes inflected
Ullazn- Irish "Ulster"), Cumidhe {Midhe [mee] : Irish, "Meath")
Lu- Ulladh : meaning, respectively, " the warrior of Connauc^ht " « thl
warrior of Meath," "the warrior of Ulster," etc. It may be here
observed that Ulladh, meaning the province of Ulster," but now
represented by the counties of Down and Antrim, was so called because
It was the territory into which the ancient Ulla were driven by the three
Uollas, in A.D. 333. The name Cuchonnacht has been anglicised "Connor"
and *' Constantine."

^ Cbnn (latinized " Quintus," and anglicised Quinn) is derived from conn
wrisdom. It is by some derived from cu (genitive con), a hound or swift-
:ooted warrior.

(7or7?mc signifies "the son of the chariot," etc.; and is derived from
mh, a chariot, and mac, a son.

Diarmaid signifies the " god of arms ;" and is derived from dia, a god
ind " armaid (the genitive plural of arm) of arms. As an epithet it was
ipphed to a warrior, and was equivalent to one of Homer's Lvoe^-Dios
Krateros Dwmedes, or "The god-like fighting Diomede." The name ha^
)een anglicised Darby, Dermod, Dermot, and Jeremy or Jeremiah • and
)ecame a sirname, as MacDiarmada, anglicised MacDermott, in Ireland and
\lacDiarmid, m Scotland. '

^ Domhnall [donal] is derived from domhan [dowanl, the world and all

'&:i::L':aBo:ri. "' ''^ ^'™^"" '''''''"'^''' ^^«^^"''"^^^' ^ - ^''

Bonoch, Doncha, or Donchu is the root of MacDonough, and O'Donohm •
nd IS by some considered to be derived from donn, brown, and cu a
^r/X; ^^mZ^^"^^ "l^'^'v P^^f^ly derived from the Clann Domhnaigh
.ee the MacDonough" pedigree , and is anglicised Donogh and Denis,
1 Ireland ; and Duncan, in Scotland. '

.^acWmcA_[oghmarchagh] and Eachmilidh [oghmili] have almost a
milar signification : the former is derived from each, a steed, ^u^marcach,
rider; the latter, from each, a steed, and ''mileadh," a hero.

b^igneachan [enehan] is derived from eigean, force, and neach fnaghl a
3rson ; and may signify " a plundering chief." l 8 j, «*

Eochaidh is derived from each or eoch [och], a steed; and signifies "a
aight or horseman." It is pronounced "Eochy," " Ohy," and "Ahv"
his name has been latinized Achaius. ^'


Eoghan signifies "a young man," or "youthful warrior j" and as a
personal name has been anglicised Eugene and Owen.

Feargal is derived from fear [fhar], a man (lat. vir), and gal, valour;
and signifies " a valiant warrior." This Irish word is the root of the
Latin proper name " Virgil," and of the surnames O'Farrell, O'Ferrall, and
Freel; it also became a Christian name in some families, as "Farrell
O'Kourke," etc.

Feidhlim or Feidhlimidh, signifies "great goodness." It is pronounced
" Felim," and " FeHmy ;" is anglicised Felix, and latinized Fedlimius ; it
is derived from the Irish feile, hospitality.

Fergus signifies " a strong warrior ;" and is derived from fear, a man,
and giis, strength.

Fiacha or FiacJi, is derived from fiacJia, a hunter ; and is a frequent
name of Kings and Chiefs, from the earliest ages : probably from the
occupation or amusement of hunting, so prevalent in early times.

Fionn means fair-haired, and was a favourite adfix to the names of
many Kings and Chiefs. ,

Flaithbheartach [flahertagh] is derived from fiaith, a chief, and hearthachj
cunning ; and means " a clever or cunning chief,"

Flann, blood, signifies " of a red complexion."

Gearrmaide signifies "the chief with the short cudgel;" and is derived
from gearr, short, and maide, a stick.

GioUa means "a servant or disciple;" as GioUorlosa (anglicised Giles,
and latinized Gelasius), "the servant of Jesus;" GioUa-Chriosd, "the
servant of Christ ;" GwlIorMuire, " the servant of Mary ;" GioUa-Faidraig,
"the servant of St. Patrick," etc. This name GioUa is latinized " Guliel-
mus," and anglicised " William."

Guaire signifies " noble or excellent."

Maol was prefixed chiefly to the names of ecclesiastics ; and signifies a
" bald or tonsured person," who became the spiritual servant or devotee of
some saint: as Maol-Iosa, "the servant of Jesus ;'' Maol-Feadair, "the
servant of Peter;" Maol-Foil, "the servant of F&nl -Z' Ilaol-Colum (con-
tracted to " Malcolm,") " the servant of St. Columkille." This word Mad
is the root of the sirname Moyles.

Maolmordlia is derived from mordha, proud, and maol (as above) ; it is
anglicised Myles,

Maolseachlainn, signifying " the servant of St. Seachnal " (or Secun-
dinus), the nephew of St. Patrick, was a name frequent amongst the Chieffl
and Kings of Meath ; it is contracted to Melachlin, which is the Irish for
the Christian name Malachy or "Malachi ;" and has been applied as a sip-
name to the latest Kings of Meath and their descendants — namely,
O'Melaghlin. Muircheartach is derived from muir, the sea, and ceart, a
right ; and may signify " a naval warrior," or a chief who established hia
rights at sea. This name is the root of the sirname Murtagh, Moriarty.
Mortimer, etc.

Muireadhach (the root of the sirname 3Iurdoch), may be derived froDO
muir, the sea, and eadhach, a protector ; it is a name equivalent to that oi
" admiral," and has been anglicised Maurice and Murray.

JSiall (genitive Neill) signifies a " noble knight" or " champion ;" thif
name is the root of the sirname O'Neill, etc.




Ruadhraige or Budhraighe has beea anglicised Rory, Roderick and
Rogers ; and may be derived from madh, valiant, or ruadh, red, and riqh
a king : sigaifying " the valiant, or red-haired king." '

Tadhg (modernized Teige) originally meant "a poet;" it is the root of
the sirnames Teague, MacTague, Tighe, Montague, etc.

Tighearnan [tiarnan] is derived from tighearm, a lord ; and is the root
of Tierney MacTernan, etc.

Toirdhealhhach [torlogh] is derived from tor, a tower, and dealhhach,
shape or form: signifying '^ a man of tower-like stature." This name has
been anglicised Terence, Terrie, Terry, etc.

Tomaltach is derived from tomailt provisions ; and hence came to signify
"a man of hospitality." The root of the word is " iJmte," a measure •
and from 'Homhas,'' by metathesis, comes " Thomas." '

Torloch (from tor, a tower, and leac, a stone) signified a man possessed
af "great strength and stature."

Tuathal [tool] comes from tuatha, territories — meaning one possessed of
=' large landed property;" it is the root of the sirnames Too/g, OToo^g,
Tootal, Tolan, etc.

Ualgarg meant " a famous and fierce warrior ;" it is derived from uaill,
Famous, and garg, fierce.

{a.) Christian Names of Men.

The following are a few of the ancient Irish Christian names of Men,
fvhich have been anglicised :

The Name in Irish.



















Bernard, Barney, Barnaby.
Constantino, Corney, Cornelius.
Constantine, Connor,

Frederic, Frederick, Ferdinand.

Trwin (now nearly obsolete).
Lewy, Lewis.
Malachy, Malachi.
Rory, Roderick, Roger.
Timothy, Thomas.

(&.) Names of Women.

A few ancient Irish names of Women are here given ; but, for fuller
iformation on the subject, the reader is referred to Ban-Seanchus (mean-


ing " History of Remarkable Women") ; which forms a curious tract in the

Book of Leacan, fol. 193—

Name in Irish.






Finola or Finnghuala, meaning " of

Nuala, and Penelop6.

the fair shoulders."

Grain e,




Meadhbh [meave],

Maud, Mab, Mabby.

Mor [more], majestic,

Martha, Mary.

Sadhbh [soyv],

Sabina, Sally.


Sarah, Sally, Lucy, Lucinda,


Winnifred, Winny.


Celia, Sibby.

To these may be added : —

Dear for gall or Dearvorgal^^ which signifies " a purely fair daughter^;" an*
is derived from clear, a daughter, and forgil, purely fair.

JDuhhdeasa or Dudeasa, signifies " a dark-haired beauty ;" and is derive
from dubh [duff], dark, and deas, beautiful. This word is the root of the
sirnames Bcase and Deasy.

Flanna signified " a rosy-complexioned beauty."


The following are some of the leading prefixes and affixes employed in the
formation of Irish proper names : —

Beag or Beg, small.

Cineal or cinel^ signifies " kindred, race, and descendants ;" as Cineal
Eoghain, " the descendants of Owen;" Cineal Connaill" the descendants o\
Connell," etc.

Clann (or Clon) means "children, descendants, race ;" as Clan-na-MiU
[meel], "the descendants of Milesius/' Clan-na-Gael, "the descendants ol
Gaodhal," etc.

Fear [fhear], a man, fltear, the man, fir, feara, men, as feargaol, £
relative ;^V tire, " the men of the country" : from which word " Yartry,'
a river in the county Wicklow, is derived.

Lis, a fort; as, Listowell, "the fort of Tuafhal :" Lisburn, Lisdoonvarna

Mac, the son or descendant of ; as Cormac MacAirt, " Cormac the sor
of Art ; MacDonnell, " the descendants of Donall," etc.

Muintir, the people of. By this word, " Muintir," people, and " Cin,'
kindred, all families in Ireland were known before the introduction o

* Dearvorqal : See No. 112 on the " O'Eourke" pedigree, for Dearvorgal, the wif'
of TierDan O'Euarc, Prince of West Brefni ; to whom, in " The Song of O'Euarc,'
Thomas Moore alludes in his Irish Melodies,


after the Flood ; and also the rest of the colonies* that planted there viz
the Xemedians, who planted Ireland, Anno Mundi three thousand and
forty-six, or three hundred and eighteen years after the birth of Abraham
and two thousand one hundred and fifty-three years before Christ. The
Nemedians continued in Ireland for tvvo hundred and seventeen years •
within which time a colony of theirs went into the northern parts of Scotland*

antiquity : Hence 0;Elalierty has adopted the name " Ogy-gia" for his celebrated work
in Latin, on Irish history and antiquities.) 13. Scotia. 14. Insula Sanctorum

To the Anglo-Saxon as— 15. Eire-land.

To the Danes as— 16. Irlandi, and Irar.

To the Anglo-Normans as— 17. Irelande.

* Colonies : According to some of the ancient Irish Chroniclers, the followino- were
the nations that colonized Ireland : & weie

c< jy 1- ^f ^^°1^^ ^^^, ^^ ^ei^T^''"'' f.^^^^^ ^^ ^"^^ ^^^'"^^^"^ Thartholain, meaning
''Partholan's People." 2. The Nemedians. 3. The Fomorians. 4. The Firholcrs o?
Eirvolgians who were also called Belg^ or Belgians. 5. The Tuatha-de-Danans
6 The Milesians or Gaels. 7. The Cruthneans or Picts. 8. The Danes and
Norwegians (or Scandinavians). 9. The Anglo-Normans. 10. The Anglo-Saxons X
Enghsh). 11. The Scots from North Britain. ^ isaxons (or

1. Partholan and his followers came from Scythia, and were located chiefly in
Ulster at Irm-Saimer, m Donegal, and in Leinster at Ben Eclair (now the Hill of
Howth) in the county Dubhn. After they had been in Ireland some thirty year,
nearly the whole people perished by a plague; thousands of them were buried in a
common tomb in Tallaght, a place near Dublin : the name " TaUaght" meaning Tarn-
Laght or the Plague Sepulchre. ^

m .^" V't p'^^'fT 7°^^ ^om Scythia in Europe, and were located chiefly in
Ulster at Ardmacha (or Armagh), and in Derry and Donegal; and in Leinster at the
wStmeath '"'^^ '^ situated a few miles from MuUingar, in the county

T . ^' f^T''(^"'= According to the Annals of Clonmacnoise, the Fomorians Ifoali-
Irish plundering; muir, the sea) were a *'sept descended from Cham, son of Noah
who hved by pyracie and spoile of other nations, and were in those days very trouble-
some to the whole world ;"_ and, according to O'Donovan's - Four Masters," the name
Fomorians was that given by the ancient Irish to the inhabitants of Finland
Denmark, and IS or way ; but, according to Connellan, those people are considered to
hare come from , the north of Africa, from a place called Lybia or Getulia, and to have
been some of the Femf or Phoenicians, whose descendants afterwards there founded the
city of Carthage ; and m Spam the cities of Gahdir or Gades (now Cadiz), and Kartabah
(now Cordova). As Sidon in Phcemcia was a maritime city in the time of Joshua and
Its people expert navigators; and as the Phoenicians, Sidonians, and Tyrians in tho.P
early ages were celebrated for their commercial intercourse with Greece Italy Gaul
Spam, and Britain there is nothing whatever improbable in a colony of' them having
sailed from Africa to Ireland: whose coming from ^/nca may have led to the belief
thatthey were -descended from Cham (Ham) ; as their commercial intercourse with
other nations may have led to their being considered "pii-ates." Possibly then th^
Fomorians here mentioned were the Erithneans, who were Phoenicians, and a colony
oi whom settled m Ireland at a very early period in the world's history. The Fom
orians are represented as a race of giants, and were celebrated as having been great
builders in stone. They were located principally along the coasts of Ulster and Con-
naught, mostly "i Antrim Derry, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, and Mayo, and had their
chief fortress (called Tor Conamg or Conang's Tower) on Tor Inis or the Island of the
T^Y-fr, now known as ' ' Tory Island," which is ofi" the coast of Donegal ; and another
at the Giants Causeway, which in Irish was called Cloghan-na-Fomoraigh or the
Causeway of the Fomorians, as it was supposed to have been constructed by this peonle
who, from their great strength and stature, were, as above mentioned, called aianfi •
hence the term " Giants' Causeway"-a stupendous natural curiosity of volcanic origin
situated on the sea-coast of Antrim, and consisting of a countless number of basaltic
columns of immense height, which, from the regularity of their formation and arrange-


under the conduct of their leader Briottan Maol,* from whom Britain takes
its name, and not from " Brutus," as some persons believed. From Magog
were also descended the Belgarian, Belgian, Firbolgian or Firvolgian colony
that succeeded the Nemedians, Anno Mundi, three thousand two hundred
and sixty-six, and who first erected Ireland into a Monarchy.f [According
to some writers, the Fomorians invaded Ireland next after the Nemedians.]
This Belgarian or Firvolgian colony continued in Ireland for thirty-six
years, under nine of their Kings ; when they were supplanted by the
Tuatha-de-Danans (which means, according to some authorities, 'Hhe
people of the god Dan," whom they adored), who possessed Ireland for
one hundred and ninety-seven years, during the reigns of nine of their
kings ; and who were then conquered by the Gaelic, Milesian, or Scotic
Nation (the three names by which the Irish people were known), Anno
Mundi three thousand five hundred. This Milesian or Scotic Irish Nation
possessed and enjoyed the Kingdom of Ireland for two thousand eight

ment, have the appearance of a vast work of art ; and hence were supposed to have been
constructed by giants.

After the Fomorians became masters of the country, the Nemedians {neimhedh :
Irish, dirt, filth of any kind), were reduced to slavery, and compelled to pay a great
annual tribute on the first day of winter — consisting of com, cattle, milk, and other
provisions ; and the place where these tributes were received was named Magh Ceitne,
signifying the Plain of Compulsion, and so called from these circumstances. This
plain was situated between the rivers Erne and Drabhois {drabhas : Irish, dirt,
nastiness), between Ballyshannon and Bundrowes, on the borders of Donegal, Leitrim,
and Fermanagh, along the sea-shore. — See Connellan's "Four Masters."

Three bands of the Nemedians emigrated with their respective captains : one party
wandered into the north of Europe ; others made their way to Greece, where they were
enslaved, and obtained the name of " Firbolgs" or bagmen, irom. the leathern bags
which they were compelled to carry ; and the third section took refuge in England,
which obtained its name Britain, from their leader "Briottan Maol." — See Miss Cusack's
*^ History of Ireland.'"

4. The Firholgs or Firvolgians, who were also Scythians, divided Ireland amongst
the five sons of their leader Dela Mac Loich : " Slainge [slane] was he by whom Teamor
(or Tara) was first raised." (Four Masters). One hundred and fifty Monarchs
reigned in Tara from that period until its abandonment in the reign of Diarmod, son of
Fergus Cearrbheoil, who was the 133rd Monarch of Ireland, and King of Meath. The
Firvolgians ruled over Connaught down to the third century, when King Cormac Mac
Art, the llolh Monarch of Ireland, attacked and defeated the forces of Aodh or Hugh,
son of Garadh, King of Connaught, who was the last King of the FLrbolg race in
Ireland ; and the sovereignty of Connaught was then transferred to the Milesians of the
race of Heremon — descendants of King Cormac Mac Art. The Firbolg race never after
acquired any authority in Ireland, being reduced to the ranks of farmers and peasants ;
but they were stii ^ver^- numerous, and to this day a great many of the peasantry,
particularly in Connaught, are considered to be of Firbolg origin.

5. The Tuatha de Danans, also of the Scythian faimly, invaded Ireland thirty-six
years after the plantation by the Firholgs. According to some annalists, they came
originally from Persia, and to others, from Greece ; and were located chiefly at Tara in
Meath, at Croaghan in Connaught, and at Aileach in Donegal. The Danans being
highly skilled in the arts, the Eound Towers of Ireland are supposed to have been buUt
by them. The light, gay, joyous element of the Irish character may be traced to
them. They were a brave and high-spirited race, and famous for their skill in what
was then termed Magic : hence, in after ages, this wonderful people were considered

* Briottan Maol : See No. 19 on " The Pedigree of St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland,"
Part I., c. vi., p. 43.

t Monarchy: Mac Firbis shows that Ireland was a Monarchy, before and after
Christ, for a period of 4,149 (four thousand, one hundred and forty -nine) years !


hundred and eighty-five years, under one hundred and eighty-three
Monarchs j until their submission to King Henry the Second of Enirland
Anno Domini one thousand one hundred and eighty-six.* ^ '

13. Baoth, one of the sons of Magog; to whom Scythia came as his
lot, upon the division of the Earth by Noah amongst his sons, and by
Japhet of his part thereof amongst his sons.

14. Phoeniusa Farsaidh (or Fenius Farsa) was King of Scythia, at the
time that Ninus ruled the Assyrian Empire; and, being a wise man and
desirous to learn the languages that not long before confounded the
builders of the Tower of Babel, employed able and learned men to go
among the dispersed multitude to learn their several languages ; who some-
time after returning well skilled in what they went for, Phoeniusa
Farsaidh erected a school in the valley of Senaar, near the city of

to have continued to live in hills or raths, as the "good people" long so commonly
beheved in as fairies, in Ireland. But their « magic" consisted in the exercise of the
mechanical arts, of which those who had previously invaded Ireland were then ignorant.
It is a remarkable fact, that weapons of warfare found in the cams or gravemounds of
the Firbolgs are of an inferior kind to those found in 'the earns of the Tuatha-de-
Danans : a proof of the superior intelligence of the latter over the former people The
inventor of the Ogham [owam] Alphabet {ogham : Irish, " an occult manner of writing
?^®1iT^*^® ancient Irish") was Ogma, father of one of the Tuatha-de-Danan Kings
In McCartin's Irish Grammar it is stated that there were no less than thirty-five
different modes of writing the Ogham, which has hitherto defied the power of modern
science to unravel its mysteries. But the truth of our ancient history is strangely
confirmed by the fact that the letters of this Alphabet are all denominated by the names
of trees and shrubs indigenous to Ireland! According to the "Book of Leinster " it
was "Get Guimnig, King of Munster, of the royal line of Heber, that was the first 'that
inscribed Ozam[or Ogham] memorials in Erinn." This extract gives a clue to the
period when Off ham stones were first erected, and why the most of them are to be found
in the Province of Munster ; for, according to the Septuagint system of chronologv
that King of Munster reigned about the year 1257 before the birth of Christ !

6. The Milesians invaded Ireland one hundred and ninety-seven years later than
*^^J,"^^^^ ^® Danans ; and were called Clan-na-Mile [meel], signifying the descendants
of Milesius of Spain,

7. The Cruthneans or Ficts were also Scythians, and, according to our ancient '
historians, came from Thrace soon after the arrival of the Milesians ; but, not being
permitted by the Milesians to remain in Ireland, they sailed to Scotland and became the
possessors of that country, but tributary to the Monarchs of Ireland. In after a^-es
colonies of them came over and settled in Ulster; they were located chiefly in the
territories which now form the counties of Down, Antrim, and Derry.

8. The Danes and Norwegians (or Scandinavians), a Teutonic race of Scythian origin
came to Ireland in great numbers, in the ninth and tenth centuries, and were located
chiefly in Lemster and Munster, in many places along the sea-coast : their strono-holds
being the towns of Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick. °

9. The Anglo-Normans came tojreland in the twelfth century, and possessed them-
selves of a great part of the country, under their chief leader, Richard de Clare, who
was also named Strongbow. They were a Teutonic race, descended from the Normans
of France, who were a mixture of Norwegians, Danes, and French, and who conquered
JliUgland in the eleventh century. The English invasion of Ireland was accomplished
ostensibly through the agency of Dermod MacMorough, King of Leinster ;^»n account