MacKenna (No.1) family genealogy

Lords of Cruagh (or Truagh), in the County Monaghan

[1] Arms: Vert. a fess ar. betw. three lions' heads affrontée or. Crest: A salmon naiant ppr.

THIS family was in Irish called MacIonaigh ("ionach:" Irish, a dirk), and was descended from Colla-da-Crioch who is No. 85 on the "O'Hart" pedigree.

O'Donovan says:

"It is remarkable that there is no pedigree of this ("MacKenna") family either in MacFirbis or in the Book of Leacan."

In Shirley's History [2] of the County Monaghan, we read (Part II., p. 136):

"Neal MacKenna of Portinaghy, in the parish of Donagh, was seized in fee of thirty-two townlands. He was in rebellion in 1641. It is added that he transported himself into Spain in November, 1653; the lands being then in possession of one Walter Crimble. (Carew MSS. 1603-24, Calendar, p. 223.) Portinaghy being one of the townlands granted by Queen Elizabeth to Patrick MacKenna, Chief of his name in 1591, I conclude that Neal was his descendant, and was probably his grandson and the representative of the family. He it is, I suppose, who is alluded to in the deposition, after the Rebellion in 1641, of Mrs. Elizabeth Petre, as '— M'Kenna of the Trough (Truagh), Esq., the principal man of that sept.'" It would appear by the Inquisitions that Patrick MacKenna, of the Lower Trough, died before the 10th June, 1625.

A John or Shane MacKenna, living in 1626, sold five townlands to Thomas Blaney and his heirs.

A Neale M'Kenna of Portinaghy, in the Parish of Donagh (above mentioned), was High Sheriff for the City.

In 1640 there were sixteen landed proprietors in the Barony of Trough, of the tribe of the MacKennas. Their estates, however, were small, seldom exceeding a townland or two in extent; and of this number three were Protestants.

(In page 137 ibid.) The last of the principal line of this family I suppose to have been Shane or John, who was killed 'in open and actual rebellion at Glaslough, on the 13th of March, 1689.'

In 1659, there were no less than ninety-one heads of families of this Clan, and but one hundred and twelve of the MacMahons in the whole county."

In p. 140, Part II.[3] of Shirley's County Monaghan, is a pedigree of MacKenna of Lower Trough, from the Inquisitions, P.M.:

Patrick MacKenna of Lower Trough, to whom the three Ballybetaghs of Ballydavough, Ballymeny, and Ballylattin, and twelve (es)tates besides were granted by Queen Elizabeth, on the 10th September, 1591; died

1625. He left four sons: 1. Owen (supposed to have been the father or grandfather of Neale MacKenna, of Portinaghy, Esq., above mentioned, who rebelled in 1641, and withdrew into Spain, in 1653); 2. Shane or John of Lower Trough, who sold his land to Thomas Blaney before 1626, and was in rebellion in 1641; 3. Dunslieve (d. 10th January, 1600), who had Patrick, aged seven years in 1608; 4. Tool MacKenna, of Lower Trough, who sold his land to B. Brett, of Drogheda, merchant, before 1626, and who had two sons: 1. James, in rebellion in 1641, and 2. Shane.


[1] The MacKenna: The following is a Translation of an Address presented by the Lord of Truagh to Hugh Roe (or Red Hugh) O'Donnell, then in his 15th year of age, on the occasion of his escape from Dublin Castle (see the Four Masters, under A.D. 1587, 1590, and 1592), when the said Red Hugh was making his way home to Tirconnell:The Truagh Welcome.

"Shall a son of O'Donnell be cheerless and cold

While MacKenna's wide hearth has a faggot to spare?

While O'Donnell is poor, shall MacKenna have gold?

Or be clothed, while a limb of O'Donnell is bare?

While sickness and hunger thy sinews assail,

Shall MacKenna, unmoved, quaff his madder of mead?

On the haunch of a deer shall MacKenna regale,

While a Chief of Tirconnell is fainting for food?

No; enter my dwelling, my feast thou shalt share;

On my pillow of rushes thy head shall recline;

And bold is the heart and the hand that will dare

To harm but one hair of a ringlet of thine.

Then come to my home, 'tis the home of a friend,

In the green woods of Truagh thou art safe from thy foes:

Six sons of Mackenna thy steps shall attend,

And their six sheathless skeans shall protect thy repose."

[2] History: The History of the County Monaghan (London: Basil Montagu Pickering, 196 Piccadilly, 1877 and 1878), by Evelyn Philip Shirley, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., M.RI.A., of Lough Fea, is published in Three Parts: Parts I. and II. in 1877, and Part III. in 1878. Price, each Part, 12s. May be seen at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.

[3] Part II. In Part II. also may be seen the pedigrees of the following families—commencing at page 152 of that volume: Leslie; Anketill, of Grove; Maxwell; Johnston, of Fort Johnston; Singleton, of Fort Singleton; Dawson, of Dawson Grove, Earl of Dartry; Ker, of Newbliss; Corry, of Glen; Madden, of Hilton; MacMahon, of Monaghan; Westenra, lord of Rosmore; Cairnes, of Monaghan; Lucas, of Castleshane; Fleming, of Derry; Foster, of Tullaghan; Richardson, of Poplar Vale; Owen, of Monaghanduffe; Cole, of Brandrum; Wright (now "Wood-Wright") of Golagh; Evatt, of Mount Louise; Montgomery, of Ballyleck, County Louth; Mitchell, formerly of Drumreaske; Hamilton, of Cornacassa; Blayney, lord of Blayney; Blayney, of Gregynogge Hall, Wales; Leslie, of Ballybay; Tennison, of Lough Bawn; Rothwell (now Fitzherbert), of Shantonagh; Devereux, Earl of Essex; Shirley, Earl Ferrers.