O'Donovan (No.1) family genealogy

Lords of Clancahill

Arms: Ar. issuing from the sinister side of the shield a cubit dexter arm vested gu. cuffed of the first, the hand grasping a skein or old Irish sword in pale, the blade entwined with a serpent all ppr. Crest: On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a falcon alighting ar. tips of wings and tail sa. Motto: Vir super hostem.

OLIOLL Flann-beag, who is No. 87 on the "Line of Heber," ante, was the ancestor of O'Donamhain; anglicised O'Donovan, Donovan, and MacDonovan.

87. Olioll Flann-beag: son of Fiacha Muilleathan; was King of Munster.

88. Daire Cearb: his second son; ancestor of O'Connell.

89. Fiachra Finnghinte (or Fiacha Fidhgeinte): his son.

90. Brian: his son; was contemporary with Niall of the Nine Hostages.

91. Cairbre Aedhbha: his son; had a brother named Conn, who was the ancestor of Keely.

92. Erc: son of Cairbre Aedhbha.

93. Olioll Ceannfhada: his son; living A.D. 489.

94. Laipe: his son; had a brother named Caoinealadh, who was the ancestor of Trasey and Tracey. of Munster, and of Kenealy.

95. Aongus: son of Laipe.

96. Aodh (or Hugh): his son.

97. Cruinnmhaol: his son.

98. Eoghan (or Owen): his son: living A.D. 667.

99. Roin: his son.

100. Hugh (2): his son.

101. Dubhd'abhoireann: his son; a quo, according to some genealogists, Davoren.

102. Ceannfaola: his son.

103. Cathal: his son.

104. Uamhach: his son.

105. Cathal (2): his son.

106. Amhailgadh: his son.

107. Donamhan: his son; a quo MacDonamhain;[1] but for euphony sake anglicised O'Donovan; m. a dau. of Ivor, King of the Danes of Limerick; was defeated in a battle fought A.D. 977, between his own forces assisted by Amhlaff, the Dane, and the Dal-Cais, commanded by Brian Boroimhe and his two elder brothers. He was afterwards slain at the battle of Croma, by Donchuan, son of Cineadh, and brother of Brian. Collins of Myross relates:—"Mahon, son of Cineadh, brother of Brian Boroihme, and Maolmoradh, son of Bran, son of Cian, of the Eugenian line, and ancestor of O'Mahony, were candidates for the throne of Munster. Mahon defeated Maolmoradh in two different battles, and Maolmoradh despairing to succeed by open force, had recourse to treachery; the Bishop of Cork and the other principal clergy of the province interposed, in consequence of which it was agreed that both princes should meet with a few friends at both sides at Donamhan's house in Kerry. Mahon came there on the appointed day accompanied by only 12 of his nobles. In the interim Maolmoradh tampered with Donamhan, and came to his house with a strong party of horse, on which Mahon was made prisoner, hurried off to the county of Cork, and there basely murdered at a place called Leacht Mahon near Macroom. Maolmoradh was thereon proclaimed King of Munster, and Donamhan for his services received nine score townlands in Carbery, in the south of the county of Cork, afterwards as it happened by the law of gavel-kind, divided among his descendants, as follows—Glean-na-Chroim, or the parish of Fanlobish; Clan Loghlin, or the parish of Kilfoghmabeg; Gleana-Mhuilin, or the parish of Kilmeen; Garruidhe-O'Gearbe, or the parish of Myross; Clancathail, or the parish of Drimoleague, and part of the parish of Drinagh."

108. Cathal O'Donovan:[2] his son; was the first who assumed this sirname.

109. Amhailgadh (2): his son; fought at Clontarf in the division commanded by Cian, Prince of Kinalmeaky, and husbandof Sadhbh, dau. of Brian Boroimhe.

110. Murcha: his son; lord of Hy-Fidginte.

111. Aneisleis [3] ("aneis:" Irish, a hide; "leis," with him): his son; from whom the family of MacAneslis derive their descent and sirname. This chieftain assisted Donogh, son of Brian, to obtain possession of the government of Leath-Mogha, and defeated the Danes of Limerick in several engagements.

112. Raghnall (Randal, Ranulf or Reginald): his son. (This name "Reginald" bespeaks a Danish alliance). This Raghnall was the ancestor (according to MacFirbis) of the MacRaghnalls, or Reynolds of Carbery and Kinalea, in the county of Cork.

113. Maolruanaidh: his son.

114. Crom: his son; built the Castle of Crom, on the river Maigue, in the county of Limerick, in which he received and entertained Torlogh O'Connor, King of Conacht, in 1146. It is from this Crom that the territory of Glean-na-Chroim, in the parish of Fanlobush, in Carbery, has its name; which his descendants held down to the year 1290, when they were dispossessed by the MacCarthys, whereupon the then O'Donovan gave them a district in the parish of Kilmacabea, containing seven townlands; which they held till the time of Oliver Cromwell; the title Mac-an-Croim was hereditary in this branch of the family. According to the Annals of Innisfallen, Crom was killed in, or immediately before, the year 1254, at Inis-an-bheil (now "Pheale") near Iniskean, to the west of Bandon in the county of Cork, by O'Mahony's people. This Crom was ancestor of all the septs of the O'Donovan family in the baronies of Carbery, in the county of Cork, and of several others in Leinster.

115. Cathal: the eldest son of Crom; in his father's lifetime held the entire of his lands in the county of Cork; settled in the parish of Drimoleague, in Carbery, which from him and his posterity was called Clan Cathail, which is defined by an Inquisition taken at Cork on the 6th of October, 1607, as containing two manors, viz., "the manor of Castell O'Donyvane containing twenty and one plough-lands, and the manor of Rahyne." The territory of Clancahill contained, in all, three score and seven ploughlands, and extended "from the sea on the south to the river Myalagh, and was bounded on the north with the lands of Clandonell Roe, and the lands of Glean-na Chroim, and with the lands of Clandoghlin on the east, and the lands of Clandermodie and Clanteige revoe on the west." This Cathal lived to a very great age, and his principality in the county of Limerick which was overrun, and his strong Castle of Crom were wrested from him by Maurice Fitzgerald, second Lord Offaly, who was the first of that family who came to Munster, and was made Lord Justice of Ireland in the year 1229, in the reign of Henry III. of England. Hence the said family of Fitzgerald took the motto "Crom-a-bu" (Crom Aboo), from the victory obtained at Crom.

Cathal never had any possessions in the original territory (see No. 89 on this genealogy), of Ui-Fidhgeinte, or (see No. 91) Ui-Cairbre Aedhbha, in the present county Limerick; but he had acquired a large tract of mountain territory in Corca Luighe, the original principality of the O'Driscolls, etc.; to which newly acquired district he transferred the tribe-name of his family, viz., "Cairbre"—a name which, by a strange whim of custom, was afterwards applied to a vast territory now forming four baronies in the county of Cork. This extension of name looks strange, as it was transferred since the year 1200, and as the race who transferred it did not remain the dominant family in the district. The fact seems to have been that when MacCarthy Reagh got possession of a part of this territory in the latter end of the thirteenth century, the Ui-Cairbre Mór were the most important tribe within it; and that he and his descendants applied the name to the O'Donovan territory and to all the minor cantreds annexed by him from time to time.

Cathal left two sons, viz., Ivar of Castle Ivor, now Castle Ire, in the parish of Myross, which he erected in 1220, and of which his descendants kept possession down to the time of Donal na-g-Croiceainn, and Tadhg.

116. Tadhg (or Teige): son of Cathal; had two sons, Murcha; and Lochlin, sirnamed "Tancuste," who obtained from his father, 36 ploughlands between the river Roury and Glandore harbour; and who became the ancestor of the Clan Loghlin O'Donovans, who held their possessions down to the time of Oliver Cromwell.

117. Murcha (Morogh or Morgan): his son; had a second son Aongus, who possessed 28 ploughlands of Gleanamhullin, which are comprised in the parish of Kilmeen, and who had his residence at Clais-a-Rusheen, of which extensive ruins remain.

118. Concobhar (Conor, or Cornelius): his son.

119. Raghnal (or Randal): his son; had a son named Dermod, who was ancestor of the subsequent chiefs of the O'Donovans; and another named Tioboid (or Toby), the ancestor of a sept of the O'Donovans, called Sliochd Tioboid, who possessed a tract of land near the town of Skibbereen, where they built the castle of Gortnaclogh—the ruins of which still remain, and are shown on the Ordnance Map on a detached portion of the parish of Creagh.

120. Dermod: son of Raghnall; lord of Clan-Cathal, was nominated "Prince of Carbery," by MacCarthy Reagh.

121. Teige, of Dromasta: his son; m. Ellen, the daughter of Denis O'Donovan, of Meeny, in the parish of Drimoleague; he was slain by the O'Donovans of Meeny at a place called, from the circumstance, Deereen Tadhg, on the bank of the river Ilen, which separates Meeny from Dromasta; and his murderers on the same night killed the inhabitants of thirteen houses (the O'Donovans of Gurteen Flur), to the east of Meeny, only one man, Timothy O'Donovan, escaped.

122. Donal, called Na-g-Croiceainn (or of the hides), from his having been wrapped up in a cow-hide when an infant by his mother, to hide him from the claimants to the chieftainship of Clan-Cathal, who had conspired to murder him: son of Teige and Ellen, his wife; was made chief of Clan Cahill by MacCarthy Reagh, about 1560; was fostered by O'Leary, of Carrigacurra (now called Castle Masters), parish of Inchageelah, in Ibh-Leary, having, with his mother, taken refuge there when his father was murdered; with the assistance of O'Leary, Denis Meeny O'Donovan, MacConnolly, and their followers, he slew Diarmaid (Dermod) an-Bhairc (or of the bark, from being bred at sea), at Rosscarbery, in presence of MacCarthy Reagh, when the straight white wand was put in his right hand, and he was saluted "O'Donovan." It was he who built Castle Donovan in 1560, but it is supposed he only improved an older structure. He was married to Ellen, dau. to O'Leary, at the Church of Drumali, after having had by her Dermod (slain in 1581 at Lathach na-nDamh, by Donal O'Sullivan, who afterwards became The O'Sullivan Beare), and other sons, who were declared "illegitimate" by the Lord Chancellor, Adam Loftus, in 1592. His "lawful" sons were Donal and Teige; he died in 1584.

123. Donal (2): son of Donal; m. Ellen, dau. of William Barry of Lislee, in Barry Roe, who was the son of James FitzRichard Barry, Lord Ibane and Viscount Buttevant, and had issue. This Donal built Rahine Castle in 1607; and burned to the ground the Protestant Bishop's house at Ross, which had been a short time before built by William Lyon, Protestant Bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross. In February, 1592, his brother Teige attempted to depose this Donal on the score of "illegitimacy," but failed. He died in 1639. He had four sons:—Donal, Teige, Richard, and Edmund.

124. Donal (3): his son; was a man distinguished both in peace and war, admired by his friends and respected by his enemies. During the Cromwellian wars he joined the Stuart side, with the Earl of Castle-haven. His principal seat was at Rahine Castle in Myross. He was present at the taking of Mallow, and Doneraile, in 1645, and assisted Lord Castlehaven to take the castles of Milton, Connagh, and Rostellan, in the same year.

In 1652 he was dispossessed of large portions of his patrimony which were partitioned among the officers and soldiers of Cromwell in lieu of pay; many of these settled on the plots assigned them, others sold their shares to monied adventurers for a trifle.

The parish of Drimoleague was divided amongst Colonel Sandford, Major Tonson, Captain Butler, Lieutenant Gilkes, Ensigns White, Wood, &c.; and Sampson Trige, Samuel Jervois, and Henry Beecher had lands assigned to them in the parish of Myross. This Donal married Joanna, daughter of Owen MacCarthy Reagh (see No. 119 on the MacCarthy Reagh pedigree) and left by her five sons and a daughter:—1. Donal; 2. Denis, of Fortnaught, in the parish of Castlehaven, who m. Mary, dau. of Cormac MacDonoch MacCarthy-na-Mona (see MacCarthy-na-Mona pedigree No. 123), by whom he had a son Donal, whose great-grandson, Philip of Cooldorcha, in the parish of Myross (who m. Elizabeth, dau. of Rickard MacKeadagh O'Donovan), represented this branch of the family in the first quarter of the present century; 3. Keadagh Mór, ancestor of the O'Donovans of Crook Haven, Knockduff and Kinligh, represented in 1813 by Keadagh O'Donovan of Inchiclogh, near Bantry, and by Richard O'Donovan of Phale, on the Bandon, son of Richard, son of Donal, son of Keadagh; 4. Teige, who had a son Donal, who had a son Teige, otherwise "Captain Timothy O'Donovan," who with O'Driscoll and Mac- na-Crimeen MacCarthy were killed at the taking of Castletownsend in 1690; 5. Philip, who had a son Donal, who had a son Donal of Dunamarke, near Bantry; and 6. Honoria, married to Tadhg an-Duna-MacCarthy of Dunmanway. This Donal died in 1660.

125. Donal (4): his son; possessed none of the family estates at his father's death. He petitioned Charles II., King of England, to restore them to him. The King wrote to the government in Dublin directing their attention to the matter; the result being that a portion of the Manor of Rahine was restored to him, but no part of the Manor of Castle Donovan, which the King, by patent, in the 18th year of his reign, granted to Lieutenant Nathaniel Evanson. A copy of the King's letter was preserved at Banlahan, and lay in the possession of Edward Powell. In 1684 O'Donovan was put on his trial for "High Treason," but was acquitted. He afterwards became a Colonel of a Regiment of Foot in the service of James II., and was Deputy-Governor of Charles-Fort at the mouth of the Bandon, in 1690, under Sir Edward Scott, when it was attacked by John Churchill (Duke of Marlborough) and forced to surrender. This Donal married twice, first, Victoria, dau. of Captain Coppinger, by whom he had a dau. m. to Conn O'Donovan, ancestor of O'Donovan of Lisard; and, secondly, Elizabeth, the dau. of Major Tonson, by his wife Elizabeth, the sister of Henry Beecher, above mentioned, by whom he had:—1. Richard; 2. Conor, otherwise Conchobhar-na-Bhuile (or "of the madness"), who had his residence at Achres, in the parish of Drimoleague, and had besides other children, Rickard; 3. Sarah, who m. Samuel Morris of Skibbereen, by whom she had Daniel Morris, Counsellor-at-law, and a dau. Honoria, who m. Michael O'Driscoll of Ballyisland; 4. Elizabeth, m. to Daniel O'Leary of Glassheen, near Cork; and 5. Catherine, m. to Rickard, son of Tadhg O'Donovan. This Donal died in 1703.

126. Captain Richard O'Donovan: son of Donal (4); m. in 1703, Eleanor Fitzgerald, daughter of the Knight of Kerry, by whom he had, amongst others:—1. Donal; 2. Richard, who d. unm.; and some daughters, the eldest of whom, Elizabeth, m. Sylvester O'Sullivan, head of the sept called MacFineen Duff, of Direen-a-Vuirrig, in the county of Kerry, by whom he had a numerous issue.

127. Donal (5): son of Captain Richard; m., in his 18th year, Anne, dau. of James Kearney of Garrettstown. He m. secondly, in 1763, in the 60th year of his age, Jane, dau. of John Beecher, of Holleybrook, near Skibbereen (she was 15 years old), by whom he had four children: —1. Richard, of whom below; 2. John, a Captain in the English Army; Ellen, m. John Warren of Codrum, d. s. p. 1840; 4. Jane, d. unm. in 1833. Donal, in his Will dated December, 1778, in case of failure of issue, male and female, in his sons, left the reversion of his estates to Morgan O'Donovan, Esq., then living in the City of Cork, who was grandfather of O'Donovan of Montpelier, and of O'Donovan of Lisard, near Skibbereen. His second wife died in 1812, and he (Donal) died in 1778—both were buried in the church at Myross.

128. Richard (2): his son; b. in 1764, d. s. p. in 1829. Married in 1800 Emma-Anne Powell (d. 1832), a Welsh lady; he was Colonel in the Enniskillen Dragoons, and afterwards a General in the English Army; he was an intimate acquaintance of the English Prince Regent, and saved the life of the Duke of York during the retreat of the English Army from Holland. This Richard upset his grandfather Donal's Will "by levying fines and suffering a recovery" of the property, which he willed to his wife. At her death she willed the estate to her brother Major Powell, one of whose sons—Colonel Powell—now (1887) enjoys its possession.

By Richard's death the senior branch of the O'Donovan family became extinct. But from Teige, son of Donal (2) who is No. 123 on this pedigree, the Genealogy is brought down to this year, 1887.


[1] MacDonamhain: According to some genealogists this name is derived from the Irish "dona," froward (Pers. "doon," vile); and "amhain:" Irish, alone or only. Thus derived, the name would imply that this Donamhan was the only one of the family who was refractory.

[2] Cathal O'Donovan: In another genealogy of this family which we have seen, the names, after this Cathal, are as follows:—

109. Amhailgadh (2): son of Cathal.

110. Morogh: his son.

111. Ainisleis: his son.

112. Ranall (also called Maolruanaidh): his son.

113. Maolra: his son.

114. Ancrom: his son.

115. Lochlann: his son; had a brother named Cathal.

116. Donogh, of Loughcrow: son Lochlann.

117. Cathal: his son.

118. Dermod: his son.

119. Donogh (2): his son.

120. Conor: his son.

121. Hugh (3): his son.

122. Dermod (2): his son.

123. Donogh O'Donovan: his son.

[3] Aneisleis: This name is now rendered Anesley, Standish, and Stanislaus.