O'Murphy (No.1) family genealogy

Lords of Hy-Felimy, County Wexford

[1] Arms:[2] Quarterly, ar. and gu., four lions ramp. counterchanged; on a fesse sa. three garbs or. Crest: A lion ramp. gu. supporting a garb or. Motto: Fortis et hospitalis.

SEICNE (or Seigin), brother of Cineth who is No. 100 on the "Dowling" pedigree, was the ancestor of O'Muircatha (sometimes written MacMurchada, MacMurchadain, O'Muirchu, O'Moroghu, O'Morchoe, and O'Murchada); anglicised Murchoe, Murrough, Murphy, Murphie, Murpy, Morphie, Morphy, Morpie, Morpy, O'Murphy, and Morrin. The tribe name of the family was Hy-Felimy.

100. Seicne: son of Brandubh.

101. Seagal [3] ("seagal:" Irish, rye, Fr. "seigle;" Lat. "secal-e"): his son; had a brother Nochan, who was ancestor of Hanrahan, of Leinster.

102. Mochtighearna: his son.

103. Dungalach: his son.

104. Aodh Fionn: his son.

105. Alioll: his son.

106. Murcha: his son.

107. Aongus: his son.

108. Muir-cath (Muirchu or Morogh): his son; a quo Mac Muircatha ("muircatha:" Irish, a sea battle), and O'Muirchu ("muir-cu:" Irish, a sea warrior), etc.

109. Dunsliabh: his son.

110. Donoch: his son.

111. Donal Ruadh: his son. In the Book of Leinster, page 391, the "O'Murphy" (of Leinster, or Hy-Felimy) pedigree is traced down to this Donal Ruadh, thus: Donal Ruadh, son of Donchadh (or Donogh), son of Dunslebhe, son of Murchadh, son of Aongus, son of Murcha, son of Oilill, son of Aodh Fionn, son of Dungalach, son of Mochtighearna, son of Siadhal, son of Seigin, son of Brandubh, son of Eochaidh (a quo Keogh, of Leinster), son of Muredach, son of Aongus, son of Felim (a quo Hy-Felimy), son of Eanna Ceannsalach—King of Leinster.

112. Donal Ban [bawn]: his son.

113. Dermod: his son.

114. Donoch: his son.

115. Donoch Oge: his son.

116. Cathal: his son.

117. Murtagh: his son.

118. Phelim: his son.

119. Donal: his son. This Donal, "Chief of Hy-Felimy, was in 1381 slain by the Hy-Kinselagh."—See O'DONOVAN'S Four Masters, Vol. IV., p. 685.

120. Eimin: son of Donal.

121. Murtagh O'Morchoe,[4] of Tobberlimnich (now rendered "Toberlumny"), Chief of his Sept. Had, A.D. 1461, a charter [5] to entitle him to use English law over his Sept and his country; according to a Petition still preserved among the State Papers in England. This Murtagh, together with Kavanagh, Kinselagh, and MacDavy Mór held their lands by descent or primogeniture, according to the English Law, and not by Tanistry—which was the Irish Custom.[6]

122. Teige: his son.

123. Art: his son; had a younger brother named Mahon, who, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, Vol. IV., page 1159, was in 1488, treacherously slain by Donogh, son of the lord of Hy-Kinselagh.

124. Donal Mór: son of Art; Chief of his Sept. Was possessed of the "Wilde Orcharde" alias "Owllarde Lyah" (more recently rendered Ouleartleagh), and was "aggressed to pay yearly as Kildaris Duties for the defence of 'O'Moroghe Country,' at Michaelmas XX Kyne or X Milkine, A.D. 1537." Had a brother Teige. This Donal, Chief of his Sept, was the O'Morchoe, temp. Henry VIII., and Edward VI. In the latter reign, after long resistance, he was overthrown, attainted, and his estates and the territory of the Sept were confiscated to the Crown.[7] A considerable portion of this confiscated property was granted, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. to the Synnotts, as rewards for their "fidelity and noble service in suppressing common enemies."[8] The overthrow of Donal Mór and the subjugation of his followers (temp. Edward VI.) broke the power of the Sept "O'Murphy," from which, as an independent Sept, they never rallied. Many of them dispersed and settled in Carlow, Kilkenny, and the neighbouring counties, where they afterwards became numerous.[9]: Some went to Spain where they distinguished themselves in arms.[10] Later on, in the Cromwellian period, and after the capitulation of Limerick, numbers followed Sarsfield to France, many took refuge in Spain and other countries, where they also distinguished themselves in arms and diplomacy.[11] In the Patent and Close Rolls in Chancery, 5th Edward VI., Donal Mór is styled "Lord O'Morgho" (O'Murphy), which establishes the position of the Sept, and its Chief at that time, as an independent family.[12]

125. Art, of Tobberlimnich: son of Donal Mór; Chief of his Sept.

126. Donal, of Tobberlimnich: his son; Chief of his Sept; had two sons:—1. Conall; 2. Brian, whose son Art, of Ouleartleagh, escaped the Cromwellian confiscations.

127. Conall O'Morchoe, of Tobberlimnich:[13] son of Donal: Chief of his Sept; died October, 1634, and was buried at Castle Ellis.[14] This Conall married Joan, daughter of Donal an Spaineach [15] Kavanagh, of Clonmullen, county Carlow, and had five sons and seven daughters: The sons were—1. Teige, of whom presently; 2. Phelim, who d. unm. in 1634; 3. Pierce, living in 1634; 4. David (or Daniel), living in 1634; 5. Gerald, living in 1634; the daus. were: 1. Joan, who married James, son of Donoch O'Morchoe, of Ruanmore, gent.; 2. Ellen or Elinor, who mar. Edmond O'Morchoe, of Ballymacdonaghfyn, gent.; 3. Mary, who married Thomas Synnot, of Clone. 4. Ellenor, living in 1634; 5. Elizabeth, living in 1634; 6. Honor or Onora, living in 1634; 7. Margaret, who married John Rowe, of Ballybrennan.

128. Teige: eldest son of Conall. Succeeded his father in 1634, being then of full age; married Anne, daughter of David Redmond, of Rahin-Callengallen (or Rahinedrumgullion), gent., and had Brian of whom presently. This Teige "was seized in fee on 23rd October, 1641, of Tobberlimnich and Tourknick: 170 acres; Garrybranagh, 182 acres; Monganbo, 111 acres; Crymure and Kilmaloney, 109 acres: Total, 572. Barony of Ballaghkeene, county Wexford. Being so seized, he was in actual rebellion, and commanded a company of 500 Rebels, with whom he marched towards the City of Dublin, where he was slain in Battle: when his lands were forfeited."—Inquisition taken at Wexford, 7th May, 1663, Anno 15 Charles II.

129. Brian: son of Teige.

130. Art (or Arthur), of Ballyellen, county Carlow; son of Brian; living in 1690; d. s. p. Had two younger brothers—1. Teige, who d. unm. 2. Edmund, born 1693, died 16th May, 1763, and was buried in Old Leighlin churchyard, county Carlow. This Edmund had four sons.

I. David, b. 1723; d. 3rd Sept., 1777.

II. James, born 1730; died 12th October, 1754.

III. Daniel, b. 1740; died 27th December, 1777.

IV. Andrew (of whom presently), b. 1741; d. 28th Sept., 1793. (As far as we can find, David, James, and Daniel, here mentioned, d. unm.)

131. Andrew, of Ballyellen: fourth son of Edmund, who was the third son of Teige; b. 1741, d. 1793, and was buried also in Old Leighlin churchyard, co. Carlow; mar. Margaret Dunn, and had five sons and one daughter:

I. Edmund, b. 1779; died unm. 17th December, 1837.

II. James, born 1782: died unm. 26th December, 1857.

III. Daniel (of whom presently), b. 1785 j died 17th November, 1846.

IV. David, b. 1789; d. 8th May, 1829; m., and left two daus.

V. Michael, born 1790; d. unm. 30th November, 1862.

I. The daughter d. young.

132. Daniel Murphy, of Ballyellen, co. Carlow, Ireland, and afterwards of Montreal, Canada: third son of Andrew; born 1785; removed to Canada in 1824, where he resided till his death, in 1846. He mar. in 1817, Mary, dau. of Peter Byrne, of Knockullard, gent., and his wife, Diana Rudkin, of Corris, co. Carlow, and had five sons and two daus.:

I. Edward, b. in 1818 in parish of Dunleckney, co. Carlow (see No. 133 infra on this Genealogy).

II. Peter-Sarsfield, b. in Corris, county Carlow; m. in 1851, to Jane-Amelia, dau. of Allen Perry; issue (in 1883) one son, Edward-Albert, b. 1864; and three daughters.

III. Bernard-Rudkin, b. in Corris, co. Carlow; dead.

IV. Daniel, born in Montreal, Canada, 1824; dead.

V. Patrick-Alexander, born in Montreal; unm. in 1883. The two daughters were:

I. Margaret-Diana, born in Montreal; married in 1865, A. A. Meilleur, son of J. B. Meilleur, M.D., and LL.D., of Montreal.

II. Eliza-Anne, b. in Montreal; dead.

133. Edward Murphy, of Montreal, Canada, J.P., Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre: eldest son of Daniel; b. 1818, and living in 1887. Married, first, in Jan., 1848, to Elizabeth, dau. of Thomas M'Bride, of the co. Donegal, Ireland, gent., and by her had two sons and three daughters:—I. Edward-Byrne Murphy, died; II. Patrick-Sarsfield Murphy, d.; I. Mary, m. in 1871, to Edward C. Monk, son of the Hon. Samuel Cornwallis Monk, one of Her Majesty's Justices of Appeal for the Province of Quebec; II. Elizabeth-Diana, a nun, in religion "Sister Mary Edward," died; III. Emily-Hester, living in 1883. Secondly, in February, 1863, this Edward Murphy married Maria-Georgiana, dau. of the Hon. William Power, Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, Canada, and by her had one son and three daughters: III. William-Sarsfield Murphy, who is No. 134 infra; IV. Grace-Maria, living in 1887; V. Amy-Susan, living in 1887: VI. Alice-Lily, d.

134. William-Sarsfield Murphy, born 1865: eldest surviving son of Edward, of Montreal, living in 1887.


[1] O'Murphy: According to Dr. O'Donovan, this family was originally seated at Castle Ellis and Ouleartleagh (abhalghortliath: Irish, "grey orchard;" and from which "Oulart" is derived), in the barony of Ballaghkeen (bealach caoin: Irish, "the smooth or pleasant roadway"), in the east of the county Wexford. The country of the O'Murphys is still called the "Murroes."

The Sept of O'Morchoe of Hy-Felimy possessed the territory extending from the bounds of Hy-Kinsellagh at the river Ounavara to the bounds of "Sinnott's Land" in the barony of Shelmalier, which comprised almost the whole of the present baronies of Ballaghkeen North and South, county Wexford. The Sept kept their ancient customs and retained their gallowglasses (or armed soldiers), known as O'Morchoes Police, dowu to the 16th century, and were allowed to hold their lands by descent, according to the English custom, and not by Tanistry, which was the Irish custom. (See State Papers of Ireland.)

In 1611, the advowson of the Rectory and Vicarage of Kiltennel was granted by the Crown to Sir Edward Fisher, Knt., his heirs and assigns. Same time there was granted to him 1,500 acres Irish measure, of the towns, lands and hamlets, situated in the territory called Mac-de-mores, the territory of the Sept of O'Morchoe, together with the river Ounevara, and the mountain of Torchill (Tara hill), the whole of which was by letters patent erected into the manor of Fisherstown or Fisher's Prospect. This Sir Edward Fisher was one of the Commissioners appointed for the settlement of this county. By the records of the Royal Visitation (1622) it is shown that the rectory of Kiltennel had been an appropriation of the Monastery of Glascarrig, and that the vicarage was in the gift of the Crown.

In 1628 Adam Colclough was created a Baronet. He died in 1634, leaving but one son, Sir Caesar, who dying without male issue, the Baronetcy became extinct.

In 1608 the borough and Castle of Wexford were granted to the Corporation of that town at a yearly rent.

February 4th, 1619.—It appearing that considerable disputes were occurring between the Morowes (or O'Morchoes) and Sinnotts about their boundaries, King James issued orders for an Inquisition to be held to settle the matter in dispute between them. The Commissioners accordingly met in the Town of Wexford, and the following is their award:—"The true meares (boundaries) between the territory of the Morowes and Synotts land were in manner following—that is to say, from Loughnepeast to Askenebea, from Askenebea to Clashnekern, from thence to Dowlogh, and from thence along the suike or valley leading to the heigh way, where the valley called Glane Ballehtein, leaving Kilmoghoor, Coroghtloe, Tailorstowne, and Rawen, with all the lands and other members to them and every of them belonging, to be within Synotts land, and no part of the said territory of the Morowes, were within the precincts thereof, as appeareth by the said meares."

[2] Arms: On Plate XXXIX, Vol. IV., Part 1, of the Fac Similes of Ancient MSS. of Ireland, we see that the Arms of "O'Murrogh" (or O'Murphy) in A.D. 1617, were:

A lion ramp. gu. on a white (argent) shield.

This simple device was evidently the basis of the present Bearings; but we know not when the "O'Murphy" Arms were "quartered."

[3] Seagal: In page 391 of the "Book of Leinster," this name is "Siadhal" (siadhail: Irish, sloth, or sluggishness), a quo O'Siadhail, anglicised O'Shiel and Shiel.

[4] O'Morchoe: This sirname is now rendered Murphy.

[5] Charter: In the Third Edition of this Work we gave by mistake A.D. 1460; and in our "Irish Landed Gentry when Cromwell came to Ireland," also 1460 as the date of this Charter; but in Calendar of Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery, Ireland, page 268, we find that said Charter was granted to said Murtagh O'Morchoe or O'Murrough in the first year of the reign of Edward IV., which was 1461. See also Haverty's History of Ireland, p. 328 (Dublin: 1865); and Connellan's Four Masters, p. 267, and Note on p. 273.

[6] Custom: This Sept, however, cared but little for "English Law," as they still continued to follow their ancient laws and customs; retaining power and jurisdiction, as well as territory for a considerable period subsequent to that date—their chiefs keeping gallowglasses (or armed soldiers) for offensive and defensive purposes, and for levying dues from their subjects. In the middle of the sixteenth century "The O'Morchoe" (Donal Mór, No. 124 on this pedigree) enforced "cain" (cain, Irish, rent, tribute, fine) due to him as Tighearna or Chief of the Sept.

[7] Crown: See Patent and Close Rolls in Chancery, 27th Queen Elizabeth, A.D. 1584; and also Dalton's "King James's Army List," p. 161, First Edition.

[8] Enemies: See Proceedings of the Kilkenny Arch. Society, for 1861, p. 81.

[9] Numerous: See Connellan's Four Masters, Note 7, on page 224.

[10] Arms: See O'Connor's Military Memoirs of the Irish Nation, p. 73.

[11] Diplomacy: See in the Appendix the "Irish Brigades in the Service of France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, Austria, America, etc."

[12] Family: See Patent and Close Rolls in Chancery, 5th Edward VI. (A.D. 1551), p. 241, Vol. I., Dublin, 1861.

[13] Tobberlimnich: This place is now called Toberlumny ("tobar:" Irish, a well, "luim," milk), and is situated in the parish of Meelnagh, in the barony of Ballaghkeen. Quoting from Dr. O'Donovan in his "Antiquities," preserved in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, "The last head of the family resided at Oulartleagh, in the barony of Ballaghkeen" (who, according to the Book of Rights, p. 208, retained their property, till very recently).—See "O'Murphy" (No. 2) pedigree, p. 693.

Arthur Murphy, the translator of Sallust aud Tacitus, was of this Wexford family; so was Edward Murphy, the editor of Lucian; but their pedigrees are not on record.

Of this Wexford family was also Lieutenant-Colonel Murphy, who served in the French Army with great distinction under General Lally in India, and was present at all the principal engagements in that country, until taken prisoner at the battle of Wandewash in 1759.—O'Callaghan in his History of the Irish Brigade in the Service of France, after noticing the fact of Colonel Murphy being taken prisoner, introduces the following note:—"The Sept of O'Murchudha, pronounced O'Murraghoo, at first anglicised O'Murchoe, and finally Murphy, were likewise designated Hy-Felimy, or descendants of Felim; from their progenitor, a son of the celebrated Enna Kinsellagh, King of Leinster, contemporary of St. Patrick, in the 5th century. The territory of the Sept consisted of the Murroes or Macdamores, in the county Wexford; the seat of the Chieftain being at Castle Ellis, where, in 1634, Conal O'Murchudha, the head of the race, died, and was interred; and, till within the present century, a respectable branch of the family still possessed a considerable estate at Oulartleigh. (See the "O'Murphy" No. 2 pedigree, infra.) To be a Murphy is to be proverbially associated, at home and abroad, with old Irish or Milesian extraction, even without the prefix of O'; 'Don Patricio O'Murphy, the steward of the Duke of Wellington's estates in Spain, being,' writes Dr. O'Donovan, in 1861, 'the only man living, who retains the O' in this name.' During the war of the Revolution in Ireland, the Murphys were represented in the Jacobite army among Hamilton's, Kenmare's, Tyrone's, Bellew's, Kilmallock's, and Hunsdon's infantry, by several officers, from the rank of Major to that of Lieutenant; and seven of the name, in Wexford alone, besides many more in other counties, are to be seen in the attainders of the Jacobites. From the sailing of the Irish forces for France, after the Treaty of Limerick, in 1691, to the reign of Louis XVI., there were various Murphys also, from the rank of Major to that of Lieutenant, in the Irish regiments of Charlemont, Clancarty, Limerick, Fitzgerald, Galmoy, Dillon, and Clare, besides those in the French regiments; the Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment of Lally having been, so far, the highest in rank of his name." Some years previous to the death of Conal Murchudha, or Murphy, alluded to above, 66,800 acres of the district, between the river Slaney and the Sea, were cleared of the old Irish inhabitants. Of 447 Irish (mostly Murphys) claiming freeholds, only 21 families were allowed to retain their ancient house and habitations, 36 others were to be elsewhere provided for, and all the rest of the freeholders, 390 in number, together with the other inhabitants, estimated to be 14,500 men, women, and children, were removable at the will of the new planters.—On the 7th of May, 1613, the Sheriff of Wexford proceeded to put the latter in possession of the several portions of the lands specified in their patents, broke open the doors of such of the ancient proprietors as resisted, and turned them out. They probably felt all this the more, as they had been previously informed that nothing was intended unto them by that plantation but their good; and that the civilizing of the country was the chief thing aimed at. They all offered, but in vain, to pay such rents, and to perform such buildings, as the new undertakers were to perform. (Vide Prendergast's Cromwellian Settlement.) Previous to this clearing, the name of Murphy was scarcely known in Forth or Bargie.

[14] Castle Ellis: According to "Molyneux's Visitation of the County Wexford," preserved in the Office of Ulster King-of-Arms, Dublin Castle, this Conall O'Morchoe died in 1634, and was buried at Castle Ellis.

[15] Spaineach: See No. 128 on the "Kavanagh" (No. 2) pedigree, p. 494, ante.