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County Kilkenny Ireland History


Barony of Ida


The southeastern part of the kingdom of Osraighe was sometimes referred to as Comor na tri uisge, "the district of the three waters", possibly referring to the area where the rivers Barrow and Suir meet. It is interesting to note there were three Ossory tribal lands in this area, described as Ida, Igrinn and Iberchon by Rev. Carrigan, which later merged into the Barony of Ida.

The Gaelic sept of the Uí Dheaghaidh (O'Dea) would appear to have given their name to the barony of Ida (then part of the cantred of Overk), where their ancient tribal territory has been placed in the southern portion of the modern barony of Ida. Carrigan cites that this area "certainly took in the parishes of Kilcolumb, Rathpatrick, and Kilculliheen, in southern portion of the county.

The Gaelic sept of the Uí Crinn (Uí Cruinn) would appear to have given their name to the medieval 'barony' of Igrin (Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society, ed. by O'Donovan in 1846, vol. i., 205). The Ui Cruinn may be enumerated among Dál Chormaic tribes of Leinster, although this connection has not been suggested by scholars. In a document in Kilkenny castle, dating from 1587, the "Barrony of Igrinn and Ida" embraced the civil parishes of Kilcolumb, Rathpatrick, Kilculliheen, Gaulskill, Dunkit, the portion of Rossinan parish in the present Barony of Ida, and the townland of Granny, in the parish of Kilmacow.

The Gaelic sept of O Caollaidhe (O'Queally, O'Kealy) are noted (O'Heerin, Irish Topographical Poems) in the area of Ida prior to the Cambro-Norman arrival in the late 12th century. The O'Kealys of Uí Bercháin occupied an area in the old barony of Ibercon, perhaps giving their tribal name to the upper portion of what was to become the modern Barony of Ida. There namesake were also noted as important chiefs of Crioch O'Muighe, located perhaps farther north in County Leix, in Magh Lacha, where the name may have become O'Kelly. Canon Carrigan attributes the name Ibercon to the Ui Berchon or Ui Bearrcon, a tribe sprung from Iachtchair, a descendant of Aengus Osrithe. Some attribute the name Uí Bercháin equating to that of the Uí Bairrche tribes of ancient Wexford, and cite Rosbercon as a modern Kilkenny place name derived perhaps from both names. According to documents dating from 1587, the "Barony of Iberchon" extended over the civil parishes of Kilmakevoge, Kilbride, Kilcoan, Ballygurrim, Shanbogh, Rosbercon, Listerlin, Dysartmoon, The Rower, Cloneamery, and part of Inistioge.

Interestingly, later Co. Kilkenny maps have the placenames of Ida, Igrin and Ibercon interchanged, with Ida in the north, Igrin in the center, and Ibercon in the south. These include maps made by Frederik de Wit (1680?), John Rocque (1790), and Daniel Augustus Beaufort (1797). Frederik de Wit's map delineates the boundaries of Igrin and Ibercon, and he erroneously places Ibercon in the south. While Rocque and Beaufort place the three 'barony' names similarly, they do not delineate boundary lines which may indicate the barony was simply known as Ida, Igrin and Ibercon.

In the 13th century the modern barony of Ida was said to be part of the old cantred of Overk which covered what is now all of southern Co. Kilkenny. It is claimed (by Carrigan) that this area was formerly been ruled by a junior branch of the Mac Giolla Phadraig (Fitzpatrick) sept earlier in the 12th century. The cantred, or barony, of Overk was granted to Milo fitz David (or fitz Bishop) by Strongbow in the early 1170's. Milo's descendants were barons of Overk (Iverk) for nearly the next 150 years. In addition his descendants also held lands which overlapped into the modern barony of Knocktopher, an area which was likely part of the old cantred of Overk at that time.

Milo FitzDavid is noted (by Orpen) to have founded two manorial centers, defended by earthwork castles, at Portnascully and Clone (Clonamery). A lesser manorial center and castle was established at Listerlin. Milo's son, David FitzMilo richly endowed the Augustinian Nunnery, or Abbey of St. Mary of Kilculliheen in 1239. The descent of Milo's family is noted under the Barony of Iverk, and includes a reference to Roger Fitz Milo who, in 1319, sold the barony of Overk to Edmund le Botiller, Earl of Carrick and ancestor of the Earls of Ormond.

In 1314, an extent of the rent and services of the free tenants of the Barony of Overk was held [source: Burtchaell, 1893, pp. 182]. It mentions the following individuals as holding lands in the portion called Odaw (Ida): John fitz William de Roche; John Lerchdekin (Archdeacon, or Cody); David Bronfedir, and William fitz Robert de Sto. Albino (Tobin), co-heirs. These lands appear to be located throughout the modern barony of Ida. By 1317, this area is being referred to by the ancient tribe name of Obargan (Uí Bercháin) [source: Brooks, 1950, pp.264-65].

In the lists of royal service due from the Barony of Overk in the early 15 century (Ormond Deeds, iii.), the manorial centers (within the modern barony of Ida) appear to have included Lysterlyn [Listerlin], The Rower, Ballymagorin [Ballygurim], Drumdowny [Rathpatrick], Dunkyt, Kilcroyn [in Dunkit], the purparty of Bronfedyr [in Dysartmoon?], the purparty of Roche [in Kilcolumb?], and the Purparty of Archdeacon [?].

The term 'Baron of Ida' appears in a later O'Dea family pedigree of Thomas O'Dea (born circa 1471). There has been no evidence to show this was ever an official title, and G. D. Burtchaell dismissed the claim in his articles about "The Geraldines of County Kilkenny". The O'Deas of Gorteens, Co. Kilkenny, changed their name to FitzGerald by the middle part of the 16th century.

The distribution of lands in the barony of Ida circa 1640 shows the major landowners as the Butlers, the Freneys, the Forstalls, the Strangs, the Fitzgeralds, the Gaules, the Denns, as well as Grace, Sweetman, Grant, Walsh and Dobbin. By parish, the Butlers held major portions of The Rower, Shanbogh and Rosbercon; Thomas Freney held a large section of Dysartmoon; Richard Strang held large sections in The Rower, Kilcolumb and Rathpatrick; Peter Strange held sections of Kilcoan, Kilcolumb, and Dunkitt; the FitzGeralds held large sections in Rathpatrick and Clonamery; the Gaules held a large portion of Gaulskill and adjoining Dunkitt; and Thomas Denn also held a large section in Dunkitt.

The principal Irish names and their number in the 1659 census, Barony of Ida, Igrin & Ibercon, included: Aldwood, 008 ; Bolger, 011 ; Birne, 014 ; Brin & Bren, 011 ; Bryan, 007 ; Butler, 008 ; Baron, 010 ; Cody, 014 ; Cullen, 008 ; Carroll, 010 ; Doyle, 013 ; Daton, 006 ; Dalton, 008 ; Denn, 007 ; Forstall, 012 ; Gerald, 011 ; Fitzgerald, 011 ; Geraldin, 04 ; Grace, 011 ; Grant, 007 ; Gale (7) & Gawle (101), 017 ; Kelly, 016 ; Knock & Knack, 008 ; Laules, 006 ; Morphey, 072 ; Roe, 005 ; Roch, 009 ; Welsh & Walsh, 094. Total Irish in the barony, 1867 ; Total English in the barony, 079.

Further reference:
Parishes and Townlands of Ida
Barony and Civil Parish Map of County Kilkenny


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