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

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ot his having been driven from his country by the Irish Monarch for tUe abduction of
the wife of Tieman O'Euarc, Prince of Breffni, For that act, Roderick O'Connor, the

* A.D. 1186: It was, no doubt, in that year, that, weary of the world and its troubles,
Koderick Connor, the 183rd Monarch of Ireland, retired to a Monastery, where he
died, A.D. 1198. But, see No. 184 on the " Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland since the
Milesian Conquest," and the Note " Brian O'Neill," in connection with that Number.



48 IRISH PEDIGREES. [PART II.

^othena, in the forty-second year of the reign of Ninus ; whereupon,
having continued there with his younger son Niul for twenty years, he
returned home to his kingdom, which, at his death, he left to his eldest
son Nenuall : leaving to Niul no other patrimony than his learning and
the benefit of the said school.

15. Niul, after his father returned to Scythia, continued some time at
^othena, teaching the languages and other laudable sciences, until uj)on
report of his great learning he was invited into Egypt by Pharaoh, the
Kinf' ; who gave him the land of Campus Cyrunt, near the Eed Sea to
inhabit, and his daughter Scota in marriage : from whom their posterity
are ever since called Scots ; but, according to some annalists, the name
" Scots" is derived from the word Scijthia.

It was this Niul that employed Gaodhal [Gael], son of Ethor, a
learned and skilful man, to compose or rather refine and adorn the
lan<^uage, called Bearla Tobbai, which was common to all Niul's posterity,
and afterwards called Gaodhilg (or Gaelic), from the said Gaodhal who
composed or refined it ; and for his sake also Niul called his own eldest son
'' Gaodhal." [The following is a translation of an extract from the
derivation of this proper name, as given in Halliday's Vol. of Keating's
Irish History, page 230 :

" Antiquaries assert that the name of Gaodhal is from the compound word
formed of * gaoith' and ' dil,' which means a lover of learning ; for, ' gaoith' is the
same as loisdom or learning, and 'dil' is the same as loving ox fond J"^

Monarch of Ireland, invaded the territoiy of Dermod, a.d. 1167, and put him to flight.
Kino- Permod was obliged, after many defeats, to leave Ireland, in 1167; throw himself
at the feet of King Henry the Second, and crave his assistance, offering to become his
liegeman. Henry, on receiving Dermod's oath of allegiance, granted by letters patent
a general license to all his English subjects to aid King Dermod in the recovery of his
Kingdom. Dermod then engaged in his cause Richard de Clare or Strongbow, to
whom he afterwards gave his daughter Eva, in marriage ; and through his influence an
army was raised, headed by Robert Fitzstephen, Myler Fitzhenry, Harvey de Monte
Marisco, Maurice Prendergast, Maurice Fitzgerald, and others ; with which, in May,
116S, he landed in Bannow-bay, near Wexford, which they reduced, together with the
adjoining counties — all in the kingdom of Leinster. In 1171, Earl Strongbow landed
at Waterford with a large body of followers and took possession of that city. He then
joined King Dermod's forces, marched for Dublin, entered the city, and made himself
master.

King Dermod died in his castle at Ferns, county Wexford, a.d. 11/5, about the
65th year of his age. Of him Holingshed says — " He was a man of tall stature and of
a large and great body, a valiant and bold warrior in his nation. From his continued
shoutino-, his voice was hoarse ; he rather chose to be feared than to be loved, and was
a great oppressor of his nobility. To his own people he was rough and grievous, and
hateful unto strangers ; his hand was against all men, and all men against him."

10. The Anglo-Saxons or English, also a Tuetonic race, came from the twelfth to
the eio-hteenth century. The Britons or Welsh came in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. These English colonies were located chiefly in Leinster, but also in great
numbers in Munster and Connaught, and partly in Ulster.

11. The Scots, who were chiefly Celts of Irish descent, came in great numbers from
the tenth to the sixteenth century, and settled in Ulster, mostly in Antrim, Down, and
Derry ; but, on the Plantation of Ulster with British colonies, in the seventeenth
century, the new settlers in that province were chiefly Scotch, who were a mixture of
Celts and Saxons. Thus the seven first colonies that settled in Ireland were a mixture
of Scythians, Gaels, and Phoenicians ; but the four last were mostly Teutons, though
mixed with Celts ; and a compound of all these races, in which Celtic blood is predom-
inant, forms the present population of Ireland.



CHAP. I.] THE STEM OF THE IRISH NATION. 49

16. Gaodhal (or Gathelus), the son of Niul. was the ancestor of the
Glan-na-Gael, that is, " the children or descendants of Gaodhal." In his
youth this Gaodhal was stung in the neck by a serpent, and was immedi-
ately brought to Moses, who, laying his rod upon the wounded place,
instantly cured him : whence followed the word " Glas" to be added to
his name, as Gaodhal Glas {glas : Irish, green ; Lat. glaucus ; Gr. glauTcos)^
on account of the green scar which the word signifies, and which, during
his life, remained on his neck after the wound was healed. ^ And Gaodhal
obtained a further blessing, namely — that no venemous beast can live any
time where his posterity should inhabit ; which is verified in Creta or
Candia, Gothia or Getulia, Ireland, etc. The Irish chroniclers affirm that
from this time Gaodhal and his posterity did paint the figures of Beasts,
Birds, etc., on their banners and shields,* to distinguish their tribes and
septs, in imitation of the Israelites; and that a "Thunderbolt" was
the cognizance in their chief standard for many generations after this
Gaodhal.

17. Asruth, after his father's death, continued in Egypt, and governed
his colony in peace during his life.

18. Sruth, soon after his father's death, was (see page 31) set upon
by the Egyptians, on account of their former animosities towards their
predecessors for having taken part with the Israelites against them ;
which animosities until then lay raked up in the embers, and now broke
out in a flame to that degree, that after many battles and conflicts,
wherein most of his colony lost their lives, Sruth was forced with the few
remaining to depart the country ; and, after many traverses at sea, arrived
at the Island of Creta (now called Candia), where he paid his last tribute
to nature.

19. Heber Scut (5cw^ .♦ Irish, a Scot), after his father's death and a
year's stay in Creta, departed thence, leaving some of his people to inhabit
the Island, where some of their posterity likely still remain ; " because
the Island breeds no venemous serpent ever since." He and his people
soon after arrived in Scythia ; where his cousins, the posterity of Nenuall
(eldest son of Fenius Farsa, above mentioned), refusing to allot a place of
habitation for him and his colony, they fought many battles wherein
Heber (with the assistance of some of the natives who were ill-affected
towards their king), being always victor, he at length forced the sovereignty
from the other, and settled himself and his colony in Scythia, who con-
tinued there for four generations. (Hence the epithet Scut^ " a Scot" or
" a Scythian," was applied to this Heber, who is accordingly called Heber
Scot.) Heber Scot was afterwards slain in battle by Noemus the former
king's son.

20. Beouman; 21. Ogaman; and 22. Tait, were each kings of
Scythia, but in constant war with the natives ; so that after Tait's death
his son,

23. Agnon and his followers betook themselves to sea, wandering and
coasting upon the Caspian Sea for several (some say seven) years in which
time he died.

24. Lamhfionn and his fleet remained at sea for some time after his

* Shields : This shows the great antiquity of Gaelic Heraldry.

D



50 IRISH PEDIGREES. [PART II.

father's death, resting and refreshing themselves upon such islands as
they met with. It was then that Cachear, their magician or Druid,
foretold that there would be no end of their peregrinations and travel
until they should arrive at the Western Island of Europe, now called
Ireland, which was the place destined for their future and lasting abode
and settlement ; and that not they but their posterity after three hundred
years should arrive there. After many traverses of fortune at sea, this
little fleet with their leader arrived at last and landed at Gothia or Getulia
—more recently called Lybia, where Carthage was afterwards built j and,
soon after, Lamhfionn died there.

25. Heber Glunfionn was born in Getulia, where he died. His
posterity continued there to the eighth generation ; and were kings or
chief rulers there for one hundred and fifty years — some say three hundred
years.

26. Agnan Fionn ; 27. Febric Glas ; 28. Nenuall; 29. Nuadhad;
30. Alladh ; 31. Arcadh ; and 32. Deag : of these nothing remarkable is
mentioned, but that they lived and died kings in Gothia or Getulia.

33. Brath was born in Gothia. Remembering the Druid's prediction,
and his people having considerably multiplied during their abode in
Getulia, he departed thence with a numerous fleet to seek out the country
destined for their final settlement, by the prophecy of Cachear, the Druid
above mentioned ; and, after some time, he landed upon the coast of Spain,
and by strong hand settled himself and his colony in Galicia, in the north
of that country.

34. Breoghan (or Brigus) was king of Galicia, Andalusia, Murcia,
Castile, and Portugal — all which he conquered. He built Breoghan's
Tower or Brigantia in Galicia, and the city of Brigansa or Braganza in
Portugal — called after him ; and the kingdom of Castile was then also
called after him Brigia. It is considered that " Castile" itself was so
called from the figure of a castle which Brigus bore for his Arms on his
banner. Brigus sent a colony into Britain, who settled in that territory
now known as the counties of York, Lancaster, Durham, Westmoreland,
and Cumberland, and, after him, were called Brigantes ; whose posterity
gave formidable opposition to the Romans, at the time of the Roman
invasion of Britain.

35. Bile was king of those countries after his father's death ; and his
son Galamh [galav] or Milesius succeeded him. This Bile had a brother
named Ithe.

36. Milesius, in his youth and during his father's life-time, went into
Scythia, where he was kindly received by the king of that country, who
gave him his daughter in marriage, and appointed him General of his
forces. In this capacity Milesius defeated the king's enemies, gained
much fame, and the love of all the king's subjects. His growing great-
ness and popularity excited against him the jealousy of the king ; who,
fearing the worst, resolved on privately despatching Milesius out of the
way, for, openly, he dare not attempt it. Admonished of the king's
intentions in his regard, Milesius slew him ; and thereupon quitted
Scythia and retired into Egypt with a fleet of sixty sail. Pharaoh
Nectonibus, then king of Egypt, being informed of his arrival and of his
great valour, wisdom, and conduct in arms, made him General of all his



CHAP. I.] THE STEM OF THE IRISH NATION". 51

forces against the king of Ethiopia then invading his country. Here, as
in Scythia, Milesius was victorious ; he forced the enemy to submit to
the conqueror's own terms of peace. By these exploits Milesius found
great favour with Pharaoh, who gave him, being then a widower, his
daughter Scota in marriage ; and kept him eight years afterwards in
Egypt.

During the sojourn of Milesius in Egypt, he employed the most
ingenious and able persons among his people to be instructed in the several
trades, arts, and sciences used in Egypt ; in order to have them taught to
the rest of his people on his return to Spain.

[The original name of Milesius of Spain was, as already mentioned,
" Galamh" {gall : Irish, a stranger ; amh^ a negative affix), which means, no
stranger : meaning that he was no stranger in Egypt, where he was called
" Milethea Spaine," which was afterwards contracted to " Mil6 Spaine"
(meaning the Spanish Hero), and finally to " Milesius" (mileadh : Irish, a
hero ; Lat. miles, a soldier).]

At length Milesius took leave of his father-in-law, and steered towards
Spain ; where he arrived to the great joy and comfort of his people, who
were much harasssed by the rebellion of the natives and by the intrusion
of other foreign nations that forced in after his father's death, and during
his own long absence from Spain. With these and those he often met ;
and, in fifty-four battles, victoriously fought, he routed, destroyed, and
totally extirpated them out of the country, which he settled in peace and
quietness.

In his reign a great dearth and famine occurred in Spain, of twenty-
six years' continuance, occasioned, as well by reason of the former troubles
which hindered the people from cultivating and manuring the ground, as
for want of rain to moisten the earth; but Milesius superstitiously
believed the famine to have fallen upon him and his people as a judgment
and punishment from their gods, for their negligence in seeking out the
country destined for their final abode, so long before foretold by Cachear
their Druid or magician, as already mentioned — the time limited by the
prophecy for the accomplishment thereof being now nearly, if not fully,
expired. To expiate his fault and to comply with the will of his gods,
Milesius, with the general approbation of his people, sent his uncle Ithe,
with his son Lughaidh [Luy], and one hundred and fifty stout men to
bring them an account of those western islands ; who, accordingly, arriv-
ing at the island since then called Ireland, and landing in that part of it
now called Munster, left his son with fifty of his men to guard the ship,
and with the rest travelled about the island. Informed, among other
things, that the three sons of Cearmad, called Mac-Cuill, MacCeacht, and
MacGreine, did then and for thirty years before rule and govern the
island, each for one year, in his turn ; and that the country was called
after the names of their three queens — Eire, Fodhla, and Banbha, respect-
ively : one year called " Eire," the next " Fodhla," and the next " Banbha,"
as their husbands reigned in their regular turns ; by which names the
island is ever since indifi'erently called, but most commonly "Eire,"*

* Eire : Ancient Irish historians assert that this Queen was granddaughter of
Ogma, who (see ante, page 47, in Note No. 5, under "Tuatha de Danans,") invented



52 IRISH PEDIGREES. [PART II.

because that MacCuill, the husband of Eire, ruled and governed the
country in his turn the year that the Clan-na-Mile (or the sons ofMilesius)
arrived in and conquered Ireland. And being further informed that the
three brothers were then at their palace at Aileach Neid,* in the north
part of the country, engaged in the settlement of some disputes concerning
their family jewels, Ithe directed his course thither ; sending orders to
his son to sail about with his ship and the rest of his men, and meet him
there.

When Ithe arrived where the (Danan) brothers were, he was honour-
ably received and entertained by them ; and, finding him to be a man of
great wisdom and knowledge, they referred their disputes to him for
decision. That decision having met their entire satisfaction, Ithe exhorted
them to mutual love, peace, and forbearance ; adding much in praise of
their delightful, pleasant, and fruitful country ; and then took his leave,
to return to his ship, and go back to Spain.

No sooner was he gone than the brothers began to reflect on the high
commendations which Ithe gave of the Island ; and, suspeeting his design
of bringing others to invade it, resolved to prevent them, and therefore
pursued him with a strong party, overtook him, fought and routed his
men and wounded Jiimself to death (before his son or the rest of his men
left on ship-board could come to his rescue) at a place called, from that
fight and his name, Magh Ithe or "The plain of Ithe" (an extensive plain
in the barony of Raphoe, county Donegal) ; whence his son, having found
him in that condition, brought his dead and mangled body back into Spain,
and there exposed it to public view, thereby to excite his friends and
relations to avenge his murder.

And here I think it not amiss to notify what the Irish chroniclers,
observe upon this matter, viz. — that all the invaders and planters of
Ireland, namely, Partholan, Neimhedh, the Firbolgs, Tuatha-de-Danans,
and Clan-na-Mil^, where originally Scythians, of the line of Japhet, who
had the language called Bearla-Tobbai or Gaoidhilg [Gaelic] common
amongst them all ; and consequently not to be wondered at, that Ithe and
the Tuatha-de-Danans understood one another without an Interpreter —
both speaking the same language, though perhaps with some difference in
the accent.

The exposing of the dead body of Ithe had the desired effect ; for,
thereupon, Milesius made great preparations in order to invade Ireland —
as well to avenge his uncle's death, as also in obedience to the will of
his gods, signified by the prophecy of Cachear, aforesaid. But, before he
could effect that object, he died, leaving the care and charge of that
expedition upon his eight legitimate sons by his two wives before
mentioned.

Milesius was a very valiant champion, a great warrior, and fortunate
and prosperous in all his undertakings : witness his name of " Milesius,"

the Ogham Alphabet ; and that it is after that Queen, that Ireland is always personated
by a Female figure !

* Aileach Neid: This name may be derived from the Irish aileach, a stone horse or
stallioD, or aileachta, jewels ; and Neid, the Mars of the Pagan Irish. In its time it
was one of the most important fortresses in Ireland.



CHAP. I.] THE STEM OF THE IRISH NATION. 53

given him from the many battles (some say a thousand, which the word
" Mile" signifies in Irish as well as in Latin) which he victoriously fought
and won, as well in Spain, as in all the other countries and kingdoms he
traversed in his younger days.

The eight brothers were neither forgetful nor negligent in the execution
of their father's command ; but, soon after his death, with a numerous
fleet well manned and equipped, get forth from Breoghan's Tower or
Brigantia (now Corunna) in Galicia, in Spain, and sailed prosperously to
the coasts of Ireland or Inis-Fail* where they met many difficulties and
various chances before they could land : occasioned by the diabolical arts,
sorceries, and enchantments used by the Tuatha-de-Danans, to obstruct
their landing ; for, by their magic art, they enchanted the island so as
to appear to the Milesians or Clan-na-Mile in the form of a Hog, and no
way to come at it (whence the island, among the many other names
it had before, was called Muc-Inis ov "The Hog Island"); and withal
raised so great a storm, that the Milesian fleet was thereby totally dis-
persed and many of them cast away, wherein five of the eight brothers,
sons of Milesius, lost their lives. That part of the fleet commanded
by Heber, Heremon, and Amergin (the three surviving brothers), and
Heber Donn, son of Ir (one of the brothers lost in the storm), overcame
all opposition, landed safe, fought and routed the three Tuatha-de Danan
Kings at Slieve-Mis, and thence pursued and overtook them at Tailten,
where another bloody battle was fought ; wherein the three (Tuatha-de-
Danan) Kings and their Queens were slain, and their army utterly
routed and destroyed : so that they could never after give any opposi-
tion to the Clan-na-Mild in their new conquest ; who, having thus

* Inis-Fail: Thomas Moore, in his Irish Melodies ^ commemorates this circumstance
in the *' Song of Inisfail "' :

They came from a land heyond the sea

And now o'er the western main
Set sail, in their good ships, gallantly,

From the sunny land of Spain.
" Oh, where's the isle we've seen in dreams,

Our destined home or grave?"
Thus sang thej'-, as by the morning's beam?,

They swept the Atlantic wave.

And lo ! where afar o'er ocean shines

A spark of radiant green,
As though in that deep lay emerald mine?,

Whose light through the wave was seen.
" 'Tis Innisfail — 'tis Innisfail ! "

Kings o'er the echoing sea ;
While, bending to heaven, the warriors hail

That home of the brave and free.

Then turned they unto the Eastern wave,

Where now their Day-god's eye
A look of such sunny omen gave

As lighted up sea and sky.
Nor frown was seen through sky or sea,

Nor tear o'er leaf or sod,
When first on their Isle of Destiny

Our great forefathers trod.



54 IKISH PEDIGREES. [PART II,

sufficiently avenged the death of their ^reat uncle Ithe, gained the pos-
session of the country foretold them by Cachear, some ages past, as already
mentioned.

Heber and Heremon, the chief leading men remaining of the eight
brothers, sons of Milesius aforesaid, divided the kingdom between them
(allotting a proportion of land to their brother Amergin, who was their
Arch-priest, Druid, or magician ; and to their nephew Heber Donn, and
to the rest of their chief commanders), and became jointly the first of one
hundred and eighty-three* Kings or sole Monarchs of the Gaehc, Milesian,
or Scottish Eace, that ruled and governed Ireland, successively, for two
thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years from the first year of their
reign, Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred, to their submission to the
Crown of England in the person of King Henry the Second ; who, being
also of the Milesian Race by Maude, his mother, Avas lineally descended
from Fergus Mor MacEarca, "first King of Scotland, who was descended
from the said Heremon — so that the succession may be truly said to con-
tinue in the Milesian Blood from before Christ one thousand six hundred
and ninety-nine years down to the present time.

Heber and Heremon reigned jointly one year only, when, upon a
difi*erence between their ambitious wives, they quarrelled and fought a
battle at Ardcath or Geshill (Geashill, near TuUamore in the King's
County), where Heber w^as slain by Heremon ; and, soon after, Amergm,
who claimed an equal share in the government, was, in another battle fought
between them, likewise slain by Heremon. Thus, Heremon became sole
Monarch, and made anew division of the land amongst his comrades and
friends, viz. : the south part, now called Munster, he gave to his brother
Heber's four sons, Er, Orba, Feron, and Eergna ; the north part, now
Ulster, he gave to Ir's only son Heber Donn ; the east part or Coigeadh
Galian, now called Leinster, he gave to Criomthann-sciath-bheil, one of
his commanders ; and the west part, now called Connaught, Heremon
gave to Un-Mac-Oigge, another of his commanders ; allotting a part of
Munster to Lughaidh (the son of Ithe, the first Milesian discoverer of Ire-
land), amongst his brother Heber's sons.

From these three brothers, Heber, Ir, and Heremon (Amergin dying
without issue), are descended all the Milesian Irish of Ireland and Scot-
land, viz. : from Heber, the eldest brother, the provincial Kings of Munster
(of whom thirty-eight were sole Monarchs of Ireland), and most of the
nobility and gentry of Munster, and many noble families in Scotland, are
descended.

From Ir, the second brother, all the provincial Kings of Ulster (of
whom twenty-six were sole Monarchs of Ireland), ard all the ancient
nobility and gentry of Ulster, and many noble families in Leinster,
Munster, and Connaught, derive their pedigrees; and, in Scotland, the
Clan-na-Rory — the descendants of an eminent man, named Ruadhri or
Roderick, who was Monarch of Ireland for seventy years (viz., from Before
Christ 288 to 218).

From Heremon, the youngst of the three brothers, were descended one
hundred and fourteen sole Monarchs of Ireland : the provincial Kings and

* Three: We make the numler to be 184 : see p. 62, infra.



CHAP. I.] STEM OF THE IRISH NATION. 55

Hermonian nobility and gentry of Leinster, Connaught, Meath, Orgiall,
Tirowen, Tirconnell, and Clan-na-boy ; the Kings of Dalriada ; all the
Kings of Scotland from Fergus Mor MacEarca down to the Stuarts ; and
the Kings and Queens of England from Henry the Second down to the
present time.

The issue of Ithe is not accounted among the Milesian Irish or Clan-na-
Mile, as not being descended from Milesius, but from his uncle Ithe ; of
whose posterity there were also some Monarchs of Ireland (see EoU of the
Irish Monarchs, infra), and many provincial or half provincial Kings of
Munster : that country upon its first divisioQ being allocated to the sons



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