MacElligott family genealogy

County Kerry

Arms: Az. a tower triple-towered ar.

THE earliest anglicised forms of this family name that we meet with were McEllycudd, McEllycuddy,[1] McKelgol, McEillgodd, McLeod, McKelgol, McEllcole, McEligot, McEligott; and more lately MacElligott, Elliott, and Archdeacon.

In 1259, the forces of Mary McEllycudd, of Galey, co. Kerry, invaded Scotland with the Army of Edward the First. She brought to Maurice Fitzmaurice, the Second Lord of Kerry, five Knight's fees, about Listowel and Tralee. Most of those Estates were confiscated about 1559 and 1613.

In 1653, Edmund McElligott, of Galey parish, of Coolceragh, was transplanted with four of his household. This Edmund was the grandfather of:

1. John McElligott, of Limerick, who (see the "Evans" pedigree) m. Elizabeth, grandaunt of the late Sir de Lacy Evans, and granddaughter to Colonel Griffiths Evans, and had:

2. Richard Pierce McElligott (1756), of Limerick, who was twice married: first, to Miss Loftus (a descendant of Loftus, Mayor of Limerick, in 1425, and "Bailiff" of Limerick, in 1422—31—41—44), and by her had three sons and four daughters:

I. John.

II. Richard.

III. Pierce.

I. Alice.

II. Elizabeth.

III. Mary.

IV. Another Alice.

Richard Pierce MacElligott's second wife was Jane, daughter of Captain William Craig, of Cork, 2nd Foot Regiment; the issue of the second marriage were two sons and two daughters:

I. Charles.

II. Ulysses.

I. Anne.

II. Jane, who (see the "Ryding" pedigree),[2] m. Stephen Nathaniel Ryding, L.D.S., and had issue.

This Richard Pierce MacElligott was a scholar of great eminence; his MSS, were full of interest to the soldier, the mathematician, and the linguist. Some of those MSS. have since his death been deposited in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy, and other places, in Dublin and elsewhere; some taken by friends; and some borrowed by others' who, without any acknowledgment, have published their contents as their own work. Even in fortifications and Military Art our newest systems were to him already old. As a Tribute to the memory of Mr. MacElligott, the following poem on him, by one of his descendants, the elder brother of the late Sir de Lacy Evans, is here worthy of record:

"Where are those days as beauteous and sublime

As those of the original Paradise,

When angels missioned from above came down,

To teach the Deity's infinite wisdom, love

And all His glorious attributes to man!

Where are those days of beauty, gifted man?

When, in the original power of genius, thou

Led'st forth thy pupil through the blooming fields

Of Art, of Science, and of Classic lore!

Then Archimides' self and Euclid taught,

From thy clear brain, and fire-touched eloquent lips.

There Homer sped his music of the soul.

Demosthenes again sent forth, through Greece

Those thunders which struck tyrants pale, of you;

Whose very echoes in our modern day

Have taught the Turkish despot wretch to bend

His recreant knee to mind, and own the power

Which from on high rebukes the tyrant, and

In blushes paints the visage of the slave!

To reach, to feel, to teach those nobler points

In morals, wisdom, in eternal truth,

In Art, in Science, or in Classic lore:

All this was thine. But higher, nobler, still,

'Twas thine to teach the youthful mind to rise

Above the sordid level of the crowd,

To build its own foundations deep and strong,

And raise the superstructure to the stars!

To scorn each petty tyrant, as he crawls

In reptile slime on the dishonour'd earth—

To cherish in the heart each worthy man—

And court assiduously that converse pure,

Which is the prototype, foretaste, of Heaven!

Where are those days? Yes, yes, they yet will live

Immortal e'en on earth, for they belong

To Heaven's own atmosphere; and the rich seed

Of glorious mind, cultured by thee, shall bloom

And fructify throughout th'embellished land!

Oh! may thy sons, and theirs, ascend to that

High and immortal tone of sentiment,

That vigour made of fire and sprung from Heaven!

"Ollis est ignea vigor et celestis origo.

"GLIN (co. Limerick), 11th May, 1844."

Richard Pierce MacElligott, the subject of the foregoing Poem, having been a political prisoner in Limerick Jail, in 1798, the following is an extract from a letter by him sent out, pasted with a piece of potato to the bottom of a plate:

"What shall I suffer walking up and down this dismal place from light to light, with no companion but a man, who (three times flogged) lies dying in a corner a still breathing corpse; and legions of rats of all ages, which have forgotten the timidity of their species, and lord it here with hereditary sway:

"Hail! solitude, all gloomy horrors hail!

For Truth has led me to thy dismal shrine.

In her bright face all earthly glories pale;

Thy darkest den is filled with light divine.

"What shall I suffer?

After this, Nothing.

"There were three happy fellows on every lamp on the bridge, as I was crossing here; the lantern hoops were breaking; so I must wait till some kind friend drops off. They nearly took up (or occupied) all the little footpath, and the toes of some of them were touching it.

"As I passed, I thought what a splendid and economical plan for lamp-lighting; for, by its piercing rays, the whole earth could see into the dark hearts of a distant people, and follow its each individual to the world's ends while he carries one grain of pride. In the glory of such bright eternal light, who would not wish to burn? Not Typhus, not Smallpox; No! No!"

Mr. MacElligott was, however, reprieved.


[1] MacEllicuddy or MacGillicuddy: Some Irish scholars derive these names from "MacGillgocuddy," which they say means the devotee of the saintly. For our derivation of "MacGillicuddy," see that family genealogy infra.

According to Miss Hickson's "Kerry Records," the blood of the MacElligotts is inherited by nearly every respectable family in the counties of Cork, Kerry, and Limerick; and is also to be found in almost every Court in Europe.

The Motto of the MacElligotts was:

"Nulla manus tam liberalis et generalis

Atque universalis quam Sullevanus."

In connexion with the foregoing Motto, it may be observed that the families of MacElligott and MacGillicuddy were branches of the O'Sullivan Mor family.

Some of the Castles and places of the MacElligotts were: Carriganess, Dunboy, Reendeshart, Ardea, Dunkerron, Carrnebeg, Cappanacuss, Dunloa, Bodenesmeen, Castlecurrig, Ballymaceligott, Carrignafeela, Ardballa, Ballynagrillagh, O'Brennan, Tullygaron (now "Chute Hall,") Lisardbouly, Glandovellane, Tourreagh, Carrick. Glogbanmackin, Rathanny, Glaunageenta, Galey parish, Coolceragh; and Ballyelegot, co. Waterford.

In 1590 were lost, in the barony of Trughanacmy (or Trughenacking), parish of Ballymacelligott, the following four castles: 1. Ballyrnacelligott; 2. Carrignafeala; 3. Ardballa; 4. Ballnagrillagh.

In 1595, the Lord of the Reeks of Bodevysmine was slain in the Desmond Wars.

In 1598, his territory was given to Barrett; but some of it was restored.

In 1604 John MacElligott was pardoned by King James the First, who, in 1605, gave Theobald Bourk of Castleconnell a parcel of the estates of MacDermott O'Sullivan, otherwise called "MacGillicuddie," who died in rebellion.

In 1613 the lands of Ulic MacElligott were given to Sir T. Roper.

In 1624 an Inquisition on Maurice MacElligott's Estates.

In 1625 he was pardoned and allowed to grant to his nephew and heir, John MacGillicuddy, Tullygaron, Lisardbouly, Glandovellane, and Toureagh, all of which passed per a Miss MacElligott to the "Chute" family.

In 1630, Connor MacGillicuddy, of Carrig Castle, co. Kerry, drowned (shipwrecked)—MSS. Trinity College, Dublin.

In 1631, Inquisition on John MacGillicuddy's Estates.

In 1645, Miss MacGillicuddy, in the Castle of Ballingarry in Clanmorris when taken from the Parliamentary party.

In 1646, two cousins, namely, Colonel MacGillicuddy and Colonel MacElligott, at the Seige of Ballybriggan Castle, near Tralee.

In 1652, MacGillicuddy, taken prisoner at the battle of Knocknicloghy.

In 1653, Edmund MacElligott above-mentioned was transplanted, and in the same year Maurice (or "Morrice") MacElligott forfeited O'Brennan Castle.

In 1656 he forfeited Ballymacelligott, Rathanny, and Glaunageenta, and was transplanted. In the same year Richard MacElligott was in Donoghue's Regiment and taken prisoner at the then siege of Limerick.

In 1673, Colonel MacElligott and Teige MacElligott lost part of Culenagh and Garrinagh, which was given to Robert Marshall.

In 1687 Colonel MacGillicuddy, called Denis, was Sheriff of the county Kerry, and got estates under an assumed name.

In 1688 Colonel Roger MacElligott with his Regiment was in Hampton Court, and in Chester; and with it returned to Ireland.

In 1689 Col. Roger MacElligott and his cousin Col. Cornelius MacGillicuddy, of the Reeks (who was Governor of Kinsale), were both in Parliament as Members for Ardfert. Two MacGillicuddys, one of whom was an Ensign, and the other a Lieutenant, were both in Lord Kenmare's Regiment.

In 1690 Col. MacGillicuddy war Governor of Cork when it was taken by the future Duke of Marlborough.

In 1697 Col. Roger MacElligott was released from the Tower of London, after four years' incarceration therein. He then joined the Irish Brigade in France, as Colonel, with three of the MacGillicuddys.

In 1733 we find James Mason, grandfather of Robert Emmett, in Ballymacelligot; and, in 1778, his descendant a general in Austria.

Like the DeLacys and other Irish families, the history of Europe at that period is full of the exploits of the MacElligotts.

[2] [ note] We have been unable to find the Ryding Pedigree.