Fitzgerald (No 3.) family genealogy

Earls of Desmond

Arms: Erm. a saltire gu. Crest: A boar pass. erm. fretty gu. Supporters: Two male griffins ar. chained and spiked on the breast and shoulders or.[1]

Thomas Mór, a younger brother of Gerald who is No. 5 on the (foregoing) “FitzGerald” (of Kildare) pedigree, was the ancestor of Fitzgerald, of Desmond.

5. Thomas Mór: son of Maurice.

6. John.

7. Maurice. Had a younger brother Gilbert, surnamed “Gibbon,” who was the ancestor of Fitzgibbons; and, according to F. 3. 27, in Trin. Coll. Lib., another younger brother Gerald, who was the ancestor of another branch of Fitzgerald of the county Limerick.

8. Thomas, called “Tomhas an Apa” or Thomas of the Ape. Was so called, because, when a child and left alone in his cradle at Tralee, where he was nursed, an Ape that was in the house took and carried him up to the steeple of Tralee, where he unswaddled him, cleaning and dressing him as he observed the child’s nurse to do; the beholders not daring to speak lest the Ape should let the child slip and fall: after a while he brought the child down and laid him in his cradle again. Died in 1296.

9. Maurice: son of Thomas; was the first Earl of Desmond. This Maurice had three sons—1. Maurice, who was the 2nd Earl, d. 1357; 2. John (d. 1369), who was the 3rd Earl; 3. Gerald.

10. Gerald: the third son of Maurice: was the 4th Earl; d. in Newcastle West (Caislen Nua), 1399.

11. John: son of Gerald (or Garrett): was the 5th Earl; drowned at Ardfinan, on the Suir, 1400. Had a brother Maurice (d. 1401), who was the 6th Earl; and a younger brother James, who was the 8th Earl, who d. 1462.

12. Thomas: son of John; was the 7th Earl; d. in Normandy, 1420.

13. Thomas, the 9th Earl: son of James; the 8th Earl; was beheaded, and buried in Tralee, 1467.

14. John, the 14th Earl.

15. James, the 15th Earl.

16. Gerald: the 16th Earl.

17. James, the 17th Earl; attainted in 1601; nephew of the 16th Earl; was commonly called the “Sugan Earl,” by the English, but his title and claim to the Earldom of Desmond were fully recognised by the Irish people. In 1598, this James, exasperated at seeing his ancestral territories in the hands of the English settlers, and at the efforts made to extirpate Catholicism, he joined the famous Hugh O’Neill in his war against Queen Elizabeth, and by him was created an “Earl.” Hence was he called the Sugan Earl, which means “Earl of Straw,” because the title was not conferred or recognised by the English authorities in Ireland. The Desmond Pedigree states of him: “Apart from the matter of his rebellion, he ever proved himself an honourable, truthful, and humane man.” Cox says that this James, who was son of Thomas, brother of Gerald, the 16th Earl, was one of the handsomest men of his time. Though thrice m., he left no descendants. His brother John went to Spain in 1603, where he was styled “Conde de Desmond;” he was living in 1615, and died at Barcelona. This John had a son named Gerald, who, in 1632, died in the service of his “Cæsarian Majesty.”

Thomas, tenth Earl of Ormond, in right of his mother Joan Fitzgerald, daughter of the twelfth Earl of Desmond, claimed the Earldom after the death and attainder of all the heirs male. When his daughter was married to King James the First’s Scotch favourite, Sir Richard Preston, the title of “Earl of Desmond” was conferred on him. When the only child of Sir Richard Preston, a daughter, was about to be married to the son of the Earl of Denbigh, the title was passed to the intended bridegroom. Although the marriage never took place, yet the title was retained, and is still held by the Earls of Denbigh.

18. (—)

19. Maurice, whose relationship to the Earl of Desmond family was testified by the signatures of Earl Grandison, Sir Richard Musgrave, Earl of Westmeath, and the Marquis of Waterford; the Records respecting which we have seen and read.

20. James (died 1742 or 1743, at Grange, county Waterford): son of Maurice; m. Mary, dau. of Capt. O’Brien, of Comeragh (and a near relative to the Earl of Thomond), and had issue three daughters who survived him.

21. Elizabeth: one of those three daughters; married a Mr. Healy, of Lismore, who was in the Royal Navy, and was killed at the Battle of Boston, fighting under General Howe. This Elizabeth had: 1. Thomas; 2. Honoria; 3. Helen, who m. a Mr. Kennedy, and left no issue; 4. Elinora, who d. unm.

22. Thomas Fitzgerald Healy: son of Elizabeth; d. in 1832 or 1833. In consideration of his descent from the family of the Great Earl of Desmond, this Thomas was by Earl Grandison granted an Annuity of £100 a year up to his death. He mar. Elizabeth Keary, and had four sons and two daus.,— two of the sons living in 1887:

  1. Thomas, of whom presently.
  2. John, who m. Hannah Ivory of Dublin, and had eight sons and one daughter: 1. Patrick, 2. Thomas, 3. John, 4 Joseph, 5. Michael, 6. Stephen, 7. Isaac, and 8. Francis. One of the daughters, Elizabeth, living unm. in 1888.

23. Thomas Fitzgerald Hely, of 126 Lower Gloucester-st., Dublin, elder surviving son of Thomas; m. Mary-Anne, daughter of John Starkey of Ballymacarot, Belfast, and had three sons and three daus.:

  1. Patrick.
  2. Thomas.
  3. John, dead.
  4. Elizabeth, unm.
  5. Alice, unm.
  6. Josephine-Normivda, unm.—all living in 1887.

24. Patrick Fitzgerald Healy: son of Thomas.


[1] Desmond: In page 13, et passim, of the Vol. F. 4. 18, in Trin. Coll., Dublin, fragments of the pedigrees of the “Fitzgerald” family are given. For a pedigree of the family see the Quarterly Number of The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland, for July, 1876. In the Quarterly Number of that valuable Journal, for January, 1880, is also inserted an interesting paper relating to “The Geraldines of Desmond.” While the writer of that paper relies on the accuracy of that portion of our Annals which relates to the Geraldine family, he treats as myths those portions of the Annals which relate to the early inhabitants of Ireland. He says: “Had they (our ancient Irish annalists) understood that … our island home was at one time an integral part of the European continent, they might have spared us their myths about its aboriginal inhabitants.” But, had the worthy writer of that paper made himself more fully conversant with the “teachings of geology” to which he alludes, he would find that, for the period when Ireland was an integral part of the European continent, we must go much farther back into the past than the Mammal period of the Creation!—See pp. 1-32, of Vol. I. of this Edition.