From the Preface to the First Edition

As accounting for the appearance of this Work I should mention that, from a certain family tradition, conveyed to me in my boyhood, it was my life's ambition to meet with some ancient Irish Manuscript that would throw light on my family pedigree. It was, therefore, that I hailed with pleasure the publication, in 1846, of the Annals of the Four Masters [1] (Dublin: Geraghty, 8, Anglesea Street), which Owen Connellan, Irish Historiographer to their late Majesties George the Fourth and William the Fourth, translated into English, from Irish Manuscripts preserved in the Libraries of Trinity College and the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. From the same Manuscripts the late John O'Donovan, LL.D., M.R.I.A., also translated and edited the Annala Rioghachta Eireann; or, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland," by the Four Masters, from the Earliest Period to the Year a.d. 1616. Dublin: Hodges and Smith, Grafton Street, 1851.

Those "Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland" I need not say I read with care; from them I derived a large fund of valuable information which I freely employed in the compilation of this Volume.

For other information in connection with my subject, I am also indebted to "The Tribes and Customs of the district of Hy-Maine,"[2] published by the Irish Archaeological Society; "The Book of Rights;" Celtic Society; "The Topographical Poems by O'Dugan and O'Heerin: [3]

Irish Arch. and Celt. Society; "Rollin's Ancient History:" Blackie and Son, Glasgow; Yeatman's "Early English History:" Longmans, Green, and Co., London; Miss Cusack's "History of Ireland:" National Publication Office, Kenmare; "Irish Names of Places," by P. W. Joyce, LL.D.: M'Glashan and Gill, Dublin; O'Callaghan's "History of the Irish Brigades:" Cameron and Ferguson, Glasgow; Haverty's "History of Ireland:" Duffy, Dublin; The Abbé MacGeoghegan's "History of Ireland;" Keating's "History of Ireland," etc.

But the work to which I am most indebted for the Irish Pedigrees is that portion of the Annals of Ireland known as "O'Clery's Irish Genealogies;" so called because compiled by Michael O'Clery, who was the chief author of the "Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland," above mentioned.

Actuated by the consideration that, should I neglect to publish this Work or consign it to a future time, another opportunity for collecting materials reliable as those now in my possession might never again present itself, I have ventured to unveil the Irish Genealogies. In doing so I beg to say that I had no sect or party to subserve; for, in the Irish Pedigrees are given the genealogies of families of various shades of religious and political opinions.


Ringsend School, Dublin,

December, 1875.


[1] Four Masters: The "Four Masters" were so called, because Michael O'Clery, Peregrine O'Clery, Conary O'Clery, together with Peregrine O'Duigenan (a learned antiquary of Kilronan, in the county Roscommon), were the four principal compilers of the ancient Annals of Ireland in the 17th century. Besides the above-named authors, however, two other eminent antiquaries and chroniclers assisted in the compilation of the Annals—namely, Ferfassa O'Mulconry and Maurice O'Mulconry, both of the county Roscommon.—Connellan.

[2] Hy-Maine: "Hy-Maine" was the principality of the O'Kellys ; a large territory comprised within the present counties of Galway and Roscommon, and extending from the river Shannon, at Lanesborough, to the county Clare, and from Athlone to Athenry in the county Galway ; these O'Kellys were of the Clan Colla. The O'Kellys in the ancient Kingdom of Meath, who were one of the families known as the "Four Tribes of Tara," were descended from the Clan Colman of the southern Hy-Niall.

[3] O'Dugan and O'Heerin: Shane O'Dugan, the author of "O'Dugan's Topography," was the chief poet to O'Kelly of Hy-Maine; and died A.D. 1372. Giolla-na-Neev O'Heerin, who died A.D. 1420, wrote a continuation of O'Dugan's Topography : these Topographies give names of the Irish Chiefs and Clans in Ireland from the twelfth to the fifteenth century.—Connellan.