From the Preface to the Third Edition

In the priceless volumes of O'Clery's and MacFirbis's great MS. Works, which are written in the Irish language, and deposited in the Royal Irish Academy, I found pedigrees which are not recorded in O'Farrell's Linea Antiqua, nor in the Betham Genealogical Collections, both of which are preserved in the Office of Ulster King-of-Arms, Dublin Castle; while in Ulster's Office some of the ancient Irish Genealogies are more fully recorded than they are in either of the former volumes.

In the Works of O'Clery and MacFirbis are—1. The lineal descent of the Spanish Royal Family, from Adam down to King Philip V.; 2. The Genealogy of St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland; 3. The Genealogy of St. Brigid, the Patron Saint of Ireland; 4. An account of Ceasair, who came to Ireland before Noah's Deluge;[1] 5. Of Partholan, the first planter of Ireland; 6. Of Neimhidh; 7. Of the Firbolgs; 8. Of the Tuatha de Danans; 9. Of the Gaels; 10. Of the Milesians; 11. Irish Pedigrees; 12. Anglo-Irish and Anglo-Norman Genealogies; 13. The Irish Saints, etc. Those here numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are given in this Edition; and some of No. 13.

MacFirbis, who wrote his Work A.D. 1666, records more of the Irish Genealogies than does O'Clery, who brings his work down to 1636. But even MacFirbis does not give all the Irish Genealogies. The wonder is, however, that he had any to record; for, the Cromwellian devastation which occurred in his time, was (see pp. 799-802, infra), intended to exterminate the Irish race out of Ireland; and it is certain that, during that devastation, many of the Irish Genealogies were lost or destroyed!

By the Statute of 5 Edward IV., c. 3. (a.d. 1465) it was enacted, that every Irishman dwelling within the Pale (then comprising the counties of Dublin, Meath, Louth, and Kildare) should take an English surname . . . "of some towne, as Sutton, Chester, Tryme, Skryne, Corke, Kinsale; or colour, as White, Blacke, Browne; or art or science, as Smith or Carpenter; or office, as Cooke, Butler; and that he and his issue shall use this name under payne of forfeyting of his goods yearly till the premises be done, to be levied two times by the yeare to the King's warres, according to the discretion of the Lord Lieutenant of the King or his Deputy."—Statutes at Large, Ireland. Vol. I., p. 29.

Among the other authorities which we consulted in our latest researches are "Dana's Geology;" the "De la Ponce MSS." (in two vols.); and the "Book of Howth," which is comprised in the Carew Manuscripts, printed by order of the Master of the Rolls, England, and a copy of which is contained in the vol., styled "Calendar of State Papers, Carew, Book of Howth, Miscellaneous." The two latter works may be seen in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. De la Ponce gives the names and, in many cases, the genealogies of gentlemen from Ireland, of Irish, Anglo-Irish, and Anglo-Norman descent, who, after the violation of the Treaty of Limerick, retired to, or entered the service of France. And, from an English standpoint, the "Book of Howth" affords much curious information in relation to the English invasion of Ireland; and to the Prince and Princess of Brefni or Mithe, as "Brefni" is strangely called in the Carew and other State papers (purporting, perhaps, to mean Midhe [mee] which was the ancient name of the Kingdom of Meath).

For other information bearing on our subject we are largely indebted to Prendergast's "Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland."

Among the MSS. volumes which are preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, and which I carefully studied, are those mentioned in the Paper under that heading in the No. 1 Appendix to Vol. II. Some of those volumes have enabled us to give the names of the families who settled in Ireland from the English invasion down to the middle of the 17th century. And, with his usual courtesy, Mr. Prendergast has kindly permitted us to give from his great work the names of the Cromwellian Adventurers for Land in Ireland, at that period of unhappy memory to the Irish people.

As other family names came into Ireland at the time of the Revolution, it may interest our readers, who have seen Dalton's "King James's Army List," to also see a list of "King William and Queen Mary's Forces in Ireland, in 1690." That List, together with the names of the persons in whom the civil power vested in Ireland, in 1689, is also given in the No. 1 Appendix to Vol. II. of this Edition. Dalton's "King James's Army List," published in Dublin in 1855 (and which is classed in Trin. Coll. Lib. "Gall. Z. 2. 204"), was compiled from the MS. Vol. in that Library classed F. 1.14, which gives the Muster Roll of the Army [2] of King James II. in Ireland in 1689; while the List of William and Mary's forces in Ireland, in 1690, was compiled by us from the MS. Vol. F. 4. 14, in the same Library,

In the MS. Vols. in Trin. Coll., Dublin, classed E. 3. 2, F. 3. 23, F. 3. 27, and F. 4. 18, are fragments of the pedigrees (from two to three or more generations) of most of the English families whose names are mentioned in those volumes. A few of those fragments are given in this work; brought down to the first half of the 17th century.

F. 3. 16 is full of curious information. The writer of a paper in p. 188 of that Vol. says:

"Before I enter into discourse of the present affaires of Ireland and the benefitt that may be made thereof, I will under your Lopps (Lordships') favour make bould to premise and give a light touch by way of digression of ye flourishing state of that Iland in ancient tyme: though now it be in least repute of any land of Europe. I finde that about the yeare of our Lord's Incarnacion, 450, at which tyme the Romaine Empire being overrunne by barberous nacions, Pietie and good letters through Christendome lay overwhelmed by the invndacion of those sauages. Ireland flourished soe noteable in all manor of Litterature and Sancttity as the common and received proverbe then ranne:

Exemplo patrum Commotus amore Legendi;

Fuit ad Hibernos Sophia mirabile Claros.

And St. Barnard witnesseth as much:

Confluxerunt omni parte Europae, in Hibernia: discendi causa tanquam ad mercatū. bonari artium . . . Flocuerunt sancti in Hibernia quasi stellae in coelo; et araene in littore maris ffestus auirnus . . . "

E. 2. 14 (or Codices MSS. in Bibl. Lambethana) mentions the many manuscripts relating to Ireland which are deposited at Lambeth; among which are "Bulla Joan. Papae 22, Ed. 2. Regi Angl. an. 4. Pontificates;""The Pope's Letter to Tyrone, dated 20th January, 1601; " "A Brief of the Articles of the Plantation of Mounster (Munster) in 28 Elizabeth;" etc.

It may be said that some Celtic families whose genealogies are given in this work more properly belong to England, or Scotland, than to Ireland. But it will be seen (by following up their lineages) that they are of Milesian Irish extraction. And, to those who think that "Nothing good can come out of Nazareth," it will, no doubt, appear strange, that the present Royal Family of England derives its lineal descent from the Royal stem of Ireland.

It will be observed that some of the ancient Irish pedigrees are traced down only to the English invasion of Ireland; some, to the reign of Queen Elizabeth; some, to the Plantation of Ulster; some to the Cromwellian, and others to the Williamite confiscations; and some down to A.D. 1887. It will also be seen that, of those Irish families whose pedigrees are traced in this work, some contain more generations than others, for the same period of time. But this may be accounted for by the fact, that many of the personages whose names are recorded in the ancient Irish Genealogies were Chiefs of Clans, and that the chiefs of dominant Irish families in the past were often slain in early manhood: because, in war, the Irish Chief headed his clan, and, thus in front of the battle, was always exposed to the onslaught of his foe. Hence the average age of the generations is low in the pedigrees of those families which longest continued dominant; which accounts for the greater number of generations.

With reference to the origin of sirnames in Ireland it may be mentioned that, in the eleventh century, the Irish Monarch Brian Boroimhe [Boru] made an ordinance that every Irish family and clan should assume a particular sirname (or sire-name); the more correctly to preserve the history and genealogy of the different Irish tribes. Each family was at liberty to adopt a sirname from some particular ancestor, and, generally, took their names from some chief of their tribe who was celebrated for his valour, wisdom, piety, or some other great qualities. And the members of a family, each in addition to his own proper name, took, as a common designation, the name of their father, or their grandfather, or of some more remote ancestor: in the first case prefixing the "Mac," which means son; and, in the other two cases, "Ua" (modernized O'), which signifies grandson or descendant of; and, in all instances, the genitive case of the progenitor's name followed the "Mac,"[3] or the "O'":

"In the early ages," writes Dr. Joyce, "individuals received their names from epithets implying some personal peculiarities, such as colour of hair, complexion, size, figure, certain accidents of deformity, mental qualities—such as bravery, fierceness, etc.: and we have only to look at the old forms of the names, to remove any doubt we may entertain of the truth of this assertion."

By tracing any sirname to the page or pages to which the Index refers, the reader will, as a rule, find whether such sirname is of Milesian Irish, or of foreign origin.

I need not say that in my research I felt it a duty as well as a "labour of love," to collect the Irish Genealogies contained in this Volume; and to preserve them in book-form for the information of posterity.


Ringsend School, Dublin,

October, 1881.


[1] Deluge: See Note (6), p. 7, infra.

[2] Army: King James's Army in Ireland then consisted of eight regiments of Horse, seven of Dragoons, and fifty-six of Infantry.

[3] Mac: See Joyce's Irish Names of Places. Some Irish families have adopted the prefix Fitz instead of Mac; but it is right to mention that these two prefixes are synonymous.