The Baronies of Ireland
BARONY INDEX: Antrim to Down --
Dublin to Laois --
Leitrim to Offaly --
Roscommon to Wicklow
BARONY MAPS: Connacht -- Leinster -- Munster -- Ulster -- Ireland
This is simply a work in progress, in honor of the history, geography and genealogy of the ancient Irish tuath and septs. Content and Images are copyright of Dennis Walsh, © 2003, All Rights Reserved.
[16 baronies, including Belfast City] -- see Ulster
All - Ancient inhabitants were a Celtic people called the Darnii, or Darini.
In ancient divisions the south and south-western parts were included in
the territory of Dalaradiae, or Ulidia, and the rest was designated Dalrieda. This
included the ancient people of the Dal nAriade of lower county Antrim, the
Dal Riada of upper Antrim (and of Scotland), and a people referred to under the
ancient name of Cruithne. The McDonlevys ruled as a royal family of Ulidia,
part of southern Antrim, for many centuries. The O'Lynchs were early
medieval chiefs of Dal Riada.
In late medieval times it was divided into three parts: northern Clandeboy, the
Glynnes and the Route. The MacQuillans, a Cambro-Norman sept became
powerful in the Route in the 13th century. A branch of the Tyrone O'Neills migrated
to Antrim in the 14th century and became powerful in Clandeboy. The MacDonnells, a
Irish - Scottish sept, became powerful in the Glynnes in the 15th century.
Antrim (Lower) - Settled by the O'Flynns (later O'Lynn) of Ui Tuirtre by the 12th century,
and later formed part of the territory called the Lower Clandeboy. O'Hood is cited here as hereditary bards of the O'Neill of Clandeboy.
Antrim (Upper) - formed part of the territory called Lower Clandeboy. O'Keevan is cited as
a chief of Moy Linny, a district in the barony of Antrim.
Belfast - formed part of the territory called Lower Clandeboy,
held by the O'Neills of Clannaboy (Clannabuidhe).
Belfast (Lower) - formed part of the territory called Lower
Clandeboy. Island Magee, the large isthmus on the southeast
coast of Antirm is named for the Scotch-Irish clan of MacGee.
Belfast (Upper) - formed part of the territory called
Lower Clandeboy. The Scottish MacCalmont family of
clan Buchanan are noted near here in the 17th century.
Carrickfergus - formed part of the territory called
Cary - given as Cothraige in Gaelic, part of this barony formed part of the territory
called the Glynnes (Glens). The O'Quinn sept has long been
associated with the Glens of Antrim. A MacDonnell (MacDonald)
sept from Scotland was firmly established here and in
Lower Glenarm by the mid-15th century. A sept of the O'Haras
migrated here in late medieval times.
Dunluce (Lower) - later formed part of the territory called
the Rúta (the Route), held by the Mac Quillan sept, Lords of the Route, and
styled as princes of Dal Riada, following the 12th century incursion
of the Cambro-Normans.
Dunluce (Upper) - later formed part of the territory called the
Route, a contracted form of Dal Riata, held by the Mac Quillan
sept following the 12th century.
Glenarm (Lower) - Settled by the O'Flynns (later O'Lynn) of Ui Tuirtre by the
12th century, and later formed part of the territory called the Glynnes.
The Scottish MacKeown (Mac Eoin) clan, originally said to be called
Bissett, settled in the Glens about the 13th century. The O'Quinns,
MacGees and MacAlisters are found in the Glens of Antrim.
Glenarm (Upper) - formed part of the ancient territory of Latharna (Larne) and later
a territory called the Glynnes.
Kilconway - Settled by the O'Flynns (later O'Lynn) of Ui Tuirtre by the 12th century,
and later formed part of the territory called the Route, held by
the Mac Quillan sept, Lords of the Route, following the 12th century. A
Scottish gallowglass sept named MacNeill may have arrived soon after
this time to establish themselves as chiefs in this area.
Massereene (Lower) - later formed part of the territory called
Lower Clandeboy. The O'Lynns (O'Floinn) are noted as chiefs of
Lough Neagh centered here at the time of the Norman invasion.
The O'Heirc (Erke) served as chiefs in this barony.
Massereene (Upper) - anciently a part of the Dál mBuinne patrimony, with
Ua Serraigh noted as a chief. It later formed
part of the territory called Lower Clandeboy. The O'Heirc (Erke) sept served as chiefs here. The
O'Credan clan were chiefs of the parish of Magheramisk.
Toome (Lower) - Settled by the O'Flynns (later O'Lynn) of Ui Tuirtre by the 12th century,
and later formed part of the territory called the Route, to the north of Lough Neagh. The
Tuath of Clann Fhacarda is noted in the east of Lower Toome.
Toome (Upper) - later formed part of the territory called the Route, to the
north of Lough Neagh.
Misc - The MacDonnells (MacDonald) were were described as a gallowglass family
(a Scottish sept with Irish/Gaelic origins) arriving in the 13th century and by the 16th century taking the lands of
the MacQuillans. The MacAlisters were a Scottish sept with Irish Gaelic
origin back to Colla Uais, the eldest of the three Collas.
County Armagh [8 baronies] -- see Ulster map
All - Anciently claimed to be held by the Voluntii, or the Uladh, before the 4th century AD. Much of Armagh was anciently held by the Clan Colla who were kings of an extended territory known as Orgial (Airghialla or Oriel) from the 4th to the 12th centuries. Armagh was shired as a county in 1586, and has long been known as an ecclesiastic center in Ireland. Chief Irish septs in a large part of this area came under the watch of the O'Neills, MacCanns and O'Hanlons.
Armagh - The ancient site of Emain Macha (Navan Fort), noted center of the kings of Uladh (Ulster), is located outside the city of Armagh. An Oriel sept of O'Rogan is cited in Armagh prior to the 13th century.
Fews (Lower) - The O'Neill of the Fews were later overlords in this ancient Oriel
Fews (Upper) - An Ua Lorcain (O'Larkin) sept is cited early as chiefs in the
old territory of Orghialla, where they were chiefs of Farney and
West Ui Breasail.
Oneilland East - An O Gairbith (O'Garvey) sept held sway here
before the rise of the Mac Annadh (MacCann), lords of Clanbrassil.
Oneilland West - Mac Annadh (MacCann), lords of Clanbrassil. The name
Oneilland possibly derives from the ancient territory of Úi Nialláin, of Clan Cernaich.
Orior (Lower) - O'hAnluain (O'Hanlon) were cited as chiefs
of Ui Meith Tiri, an apparent district in Orior. The name Orior derives from the
ancient territorial name of Airtheara (or Airthir), which is referred in the Annals from at least the
7th century. In the 12th century Ua Tuaithchair (O'Tougher) is mentioned in this district.
Orior (Upper) - O'hAnluain (O'Hanlon) were cited as chiefs
of Ui Meith Tiri, an apparent district in Orior.
Tiranny - Ronaghan is cited as a principal family in the
Misc - O Ceileachain (Kealaghan, O'Kelaghan, Callaghan) is given
as former chiefs of Ui Breasail, a district on the southern shore of Lough Neagh.
Barony Maps for Northern Ireland counties are located at
County Carlow [7 baronies] -- see Leinster map
All - Anciently cited to be inhabited by the Brigantes and Cauci (by Ptolemy)
or by the Coriundi (by Whitaker). It later formed the northern part of a
territory called Hy Kinselagh, and was distinguised by the name Hy Cabanagh
and Hy Drone. An early form of the county's name was Catherlagh. The
principal septs included Mac Murrough, Kavanagh, O'Doran, O'Nolan,
MacKeogh and O'Ryan.
Carlow - The Ui Bairrche are noted early in this barony. The O'Dolans(?) were hereditary brehons of Leinster and cited here.
Forth - O Nuallain (O'Nolan) were Princes of Fotharta, the root name for
the barony of Forth. They were of the sept of the Fotharta of Mag Fea
Idrone (East) - The Ui Bairrche and Ui Drona are cited early here.
The O'Riain (Ryan) sept were Lords of Ui Drona. The O'Doyle clan of
Viking origin was said to originate from a 9th century King of Idrone.
Idrone (West) - O'Riain (Ryan), Lords of Ui Drona, are cited here. Following the Norman
Invasion the Kavanaghs, descendants of the MacMurrough clan, held this
territory then known as Hy Cabanagh or Ui Cavenagh.
Rathvilly - In the 5th century, Crimthan, King of Leinster, lived at
Rathvilly. The territory was that of the Ui Felmelda Tuaid, a Ui Cheinnselaig
sept descended from Feidlimidh son of Enna Ceansalagh and brother of
Crimthan. The MacKeoghs here(?) were chief bards of the Kings of
Leinster. An O'Neill family was centered here.
St. Mullin's (Lower) - The ancient land of the Ui Drona was centered here in the
St. Mullin's (Upper) - Very early this area was referred to as Fearann Uí Néill, or the
country of Farren O'Neale, lords of Tully. This may refer to the O Neill sept of Magh dá chonn in Leinster.
County Cavan [8 baronies] -- see Ulster map
All - The Ui Briuin Breifne. In the 9th to the mid-13th centuries the
O Ruairc (O'Rourke) were chief Kings of Breifne which included counties
Cavan and Leitrim. The O'Reilly clan were dominant in Cavan beginning in
the mid-13th century and their territory was Muinter Maoilmordha, or
Castlerahan - The Luigne were noted here in the
8th century. Located in the barony is the parish of Munterconnaght,
named from Cu Connaght Ua Raghallaigh (O'Reilly).
Clankee - The Gaileanga were noted here in the
8th century. It is named from the Clan Chaoch, a branch of the Ui Raghallaigh (O'Reilly)
Clanmahon - The descendants of Thomas O'Reilly, chief of
East Breifne, were Lords of Clanmahon (Chloinne Mathghamhna) in the 15th century. Their territory
extended deep into the modern counties of Meath and Westmeath. The
O'Sheridans are cited here serving under the Breffny O'Reillys.
Loughtee (Lower) - O'Faircheallaigh (O'Farrelly) and Mac Gaghrans were
the hereditary Coarbs and Erenachs of Drumlane Abbey and St. Mogue, located near here.
Loughtee (Upper) - In central county Cavan, this was a center of power for the
Ui Raghallaigh (O'Reillys), first at Lough Oughter and then at Tullymongan near Cavan town.
The MacGobhains (Mac Gowan) served as chiefs of the gallowglass under the O'Reillys.
A Mac Bradaigh (Mac Brady) sept is also cited here, chief of Cúl Brighde.
Tullygarvey - Mac Gilduff is cited as a chief of Teallach
Gairbheith (Tullygarvey). The O'Reilly clan held sway here and in much of
the county. The MacTullys are given as chiefs in the parish of Drung.
Tullyhunco - The Mac Tiernan's were chiefs in the barony of Tullyhunco.
Their territory was known as Teallach Dunchadha.
Tullyhaw - The Mac Gauran (Mac Govern) were chiefs in the barony of
Tullaghagh (Tullyhaw). Their territory was known as Teallach Eachdhach and
they were chiefs there from the 12th to the 16th century. The homeland of the
O'Droma (Drum) family is cited near here in the parish of Kinawley, a parish which extends into
southern Co. Fermanagh.
Misc - The Mac Bradys were a prominent clan in Breifne. They held
jurisdiction over territory to the east of Cavan town.
County Clare [11 baronies] -- see Munster map
All - Anciently inhabited by the Ganagani according to Ptolemy, and cited to be
descended from the Concani Celts of Spain. Very early the county formed part of
Tuath Mumhan or Thomond and was divided into six contreds: Hy Lochlean or
Bhurrin, Corcu Mruadh, Ibh Caisin, Hy Garman, Clan Cuilean and Dal gCais.
The O'Briain (O'Brien) were kings of Thomond, or North Munster, and later
Earls of Thomond for many centuries. The MacNamara's were lords of
Clancullen, a greater part of east Clare, from the late 11th century
Bunratty (Lower) - This area was earlier part of the cantred
of Dal Gaes, also named Tradaree. O'Aherne and O'Kearney are given as chiefs of Ui
Cearnaidh (Cearnaigh) and "Six Mile Bridge" marks their territory, which
also included part of Tulla, up to the 14th century. The Dalcassian O'Kearneys
migrated to Cashel.
Bunratty (Upper) - An area which was very early a part of the
cantred of Dal Gaes, also named Ó gCaisin. O'Neill, chief of Finnluarach, aka Clan
Delbuidhe (Dalvy) is noted here. The sept of MacNamara Fyne were noted as
chiefs of West Clancullen in the barony of Bunratty.
Burren - In early days the area ir was also known as Hy Lochlean, or Bhurrin, where
the O'Loghlins or O'Laghlins were chiefs. It was also part of Corca Modhruadh,
a territory co-extensive with the Diocese of Kilfenora. The chief families
of this clan were the O'Loughlins, the O'Connors and at one time
possibly the O Garbh (O'Garvan).
Clonderalaw - originally the eastern part of Corca Baiscinn, it was also referred to as Clan Cuilean where the McNamaras
presided. Mac Mathghamha (MacMahon) were later chiefs and lords of Corca
Baiskind here and in the barony of Moyarta. The O'Boland clan is also cited here, as well as Kilroy,
chief of Clonderlaw.
Corcomroe - Mac Fhlannchaidh (MacClancy) held their seat of power
here at Cahirmacclanchy. The O'Connors and O'Loughlins of Clare hail from
this area (see Burren barony) as chiefs of Corcu Mhuadh, a territory
which included this barony. O'Connor is also cited as chief of the territory of Fear Arda.
O'Davoren was cited as a chief brehon, and chief of Muintir Lidheagha, seated at Lisdoonvarna.
Ibrickan - Early known as Hy-Bracain with O'Mulcorcra(?) as chief.
Also referred to as Ibh Caisin and held by the Cumhead-mor O'Briens,
ancestors of the O'Briens. MacConsaidin (MacConsidine) are noted here.
MacBrody were hereditary historians in Thomond. An O'Gorman (MacGorman) sept
were noted as chiefs of Tullichrin, a territory comprising parts of the baronies of Moyarta
and Ibrackan, where they settled [from Co. Leix] following the Norman invasion.
An O'Mulvey (O'Mulmea) sept, chief of Brentry, is noted here near Slievecallan.
Inchiquin - Also know as the triocha Cét of Cineal Fearmaic. Noted here included the
Cineal Cuallachta, a branch of the Dal gCais, descended from Aonghus Ceannathrach,
son of Cas. O'gRiobta (Griffin) was the chief family of this group. The O'Quinns were centered around
Corofin, their territory known as Muintear Ifearnain. The O'Deaghaidh
(O'Dea) sept were noted as chiefs of Dysart-O'Dea, a considerable territory in
the barony of Inchiquin. An O'Neill sept, of the Ui Bloid, was noted near here as chiefs of
Clan Dalvy and of Tradree.
Islands - The triocha Cét of the Uí Cormaic comprised a large section of this barony.
O hAichir (O'Hehir) were chiefs of Ui Cormaic and Ui
Flanchadha in the old territory of Thomond. It was also known by the name Clonroad.
O'Clohessy is later cited here centered at Ballycloghessy.
Moyarta - originally the western portion of the chiefs of the triocha Cét named Corca Baiskind.
Also known as Hy Garman, of the O'Brien Arta. A MacDonnell sept is also cited as
chiefs of the territories of Corca Baisgin or Baiscind. They descend from Domhnall, son
of King Murtagh Mor O'Brien. A MacMahon sept succeeded as later chiefs here.
Tulla (Lower) - Tulla lower and upper were part of the cantred of Dal Gaes, a large portion of this named Ó mBloid.
It's original name as a barony is given as Tullaghynaspull.
O'Kennedy was found early here at Killaloe before being driven out by
the O'Briens and McNamaras. The Thomond O'Hallorans served as chiefs of
Faith-ui-Hallurain between the baronies of Tulla and Clare (in Galway)
near Lough Derg. O'Grada or O'Grady were cited as chief of Cinel
Donghuile (Dongali) here, and were found in the 14th century at Tomgraney
parish in Tulla (Upper). O'Maloney is cited as chiefs of Cuiltenan
(Kiltananlea parish). The Ui Bloid family of O'Muldoon (Malone) is cited
in the parish of Ogonelloe.
Tulla (Upper) - Ui Ronghaile, descendants of Ronghal, a branch
of the Dal gCais of which the O'Shanahans were chiefs (near Feakle).
Their power was dissolved in the 14th century by the McNamaras. The
Mac Namaras are cited as chiefs of Tricha Ced Ui Caisin and of
Clan Cuilean, the former located in the Tulla baronies and a part of Bunratty.
The sept of MacNamara Reagh were noted as chiefs of East Clancullen
in the baronies of Upper and Lower Tulla. O'Duibhgin (O'Dugan O'Deegan) were
chiefs of Muintir Conlochta, a district in the parish of Tomgraney, in the barony of
Misc - Ui Bloid, descendants of Blod, son of Cas, a branch of
the Dal gCais. This clan includes the O'Kennedy, O'Shanahan, O'Durack
and O'Ahern families of eastern Co. Clare. O'Cahill is given as one
of the chiefs of Finn-coradh (Fianchora), along with O'Flattery in Thomond.
O'Dobharchon (O'Davoren) is cited as chief of Muintir Lidheaga (O'Liddys).
Lysaght is placed in a district about Ennistymon;
O'Daly of Leath Mogha or Munster, in the barony of Burren;
MacGillereagh (MacGilroy, MacGilrea, Gilroy, Kilroy) in the barony of Clonderlaw;
and MacBruodin, in the barony of Inchiquin.
County Cork [21 baronies] -- see Munster map
All - Anciently inhabited by the Uterni or Iberni as cited by Ptolemy, as well as the
Vodiae and the Coriondi. The county was included in the territory of Desmond,
or south Munster, which included Co. Kerry and the west of Co. Waterford. Divisions
within Cork at the coming of the Cambro-Normans Cork included Ivelaugh, Bear,
Dubh Alla, Insovenagh, Muskerry and Fearmuigh. The (Cambro-Norman) Fitzgeralds
later became Earls of Desmond, although the (Irish) MacCarthy Reagh retained
their influence for many centuries.
Bantry - Named for an ancient group known as the Bentraighe, the Ó Súileabháin (O'Sullivan) Beare were later chiefs here beginning in the 13th century.
Barretts - Cited as part of Múscraighe Mittaine when granted to Richard
de Cogan in 1207. Barratt of "Barretts Country" after the coming of the Normans.
Barrymore - named for the de Barri (Barry) family arriving
in the wake of the Invasion. O'Liathin (O'Lehan or Lyons) were
chiefs of Ui Anmcadha, and lords of Ui Liathain. The O'Riordans of
Muskerry are noted here in the place name Ballyreardon. The O'Broders
and O'Hegartys are cited in this barony.
Bear - Part of the diocese of Ross, an area which was approximately co-extensive
with the ancient territory of Corca Laoidhe. The O'Sullivan Beare were chiefs here beginning
in the 13th century.
East Carbery (East) - Carbery is said to derive its name from its ancient
chieftain, Carbry Riada. Mac Carthaigh (MacCarthy Reagh) were chiefs
here, sometimes styled prince of Carbery.
East Carbery (West) - Sections here were included in the ancient territory
of Corca Laoidhe. Mac Carthaigh (MacCarthy Reagh) were
chiefs here. O hUorthile (O'Hurley) is cited at Ballynacarriga Castle,
as well as being chiefs in neighboring Muskerry barony.
West Carbery (East) - The O'Driscol were head chiefs of the
Corca Laoidhe and seated near Baltimore, originally from Co. Kerry
and forced south by the O'Sullivans. The O'Flynn of the Corca
Laoidhe were seated here. O'Hegarty was found in Carbery West.
West Carbery (West) - O Mathghamhna (O'Mahoney), chief of
Ui Eachach, which later became Ivaugh comprising the whole peninsula
in West Carbery. Mac Carthaigh (MacCarthy Reagh).
Condons & Clangibbon - was named partly for the Anglo-Norman
Condon family. An area known as Clangibbon was held here by the FitzGibbon
family, the heads of this family titled "The White Knight" of Desmond. The Irish
O Mochair (Moher) sept was noted here.
Cork - Anciently named Corcach or Corcach-Bascoin, signifying 'a
marshy place'. Vikings made settlement here in the 9th and 10th centuries to
found the city of Cork, although St. Finbarr is attributed founding a cathedral church
here much earlier. In the 12th century the city and adjacent country were in possesion
of the Danes, who held them under Mac Carthaigh, prince of Desmond.
Courceys - named for the (Anglo-Norman) de Courcy family who arrived in
the late 12th century.
Duhallow - O Donnagain's (Donegan's) country was in the baronies of
Orrery and Duhallow before the arrival of the Barry (Cambro-Norman) family.
They were a once powerful sept of Muscraige Tri Maighe.
The territory of the MacAuliffe sept, Glen Omra, was here, Castle MacAuliffe was
the seat of its chief. O'Nunan is cited as a chief of Tullaleis and Castlelissen in the parish of Tullylease.
The O'Callaghan's were lords of Clonmeen near the river Blackwater.
Fermoy - This area was held by the O'Keefes, princes of Fermoy
and anciently chief of Glanworth (and Glen Avon), before they moved west
near Duhallow. The O'Duggans are anciently cited as chiefs of Fermoy.
After the Norman invasion it was held by the Roche family, Viscounts
and barons of Fermony, and it became known as Roches country.
Ibane & Barryroe - O'Flynns were chiefs of Ui Baghamna, which covered
the baronies of Ibane and Barryroe. The O'Cobhthaigh (O'Cowhy or O'Coffey)
had 7 castles on the coast and were lords of Triocha Meona. The
O'Cuileannain (O'Cullenane) of Barryroe are cited here. O'Fehilly (aka Field)
of Tuatha O Fitcheallaigh is cited as chief in west Barryroe and the parish of Ardfield.
Sections of this barony were included in the ancient territory of Corca Laoidhe.
Barryroe is named for the Barry Roe sept of the Anglo-Norman Barry family.
Imokilly - anciently part of Muskerry Ilane. O'Breghaim
(O'Bregan) were chiefs here, as was (O'Glaisin) O'Gleeson cited as
the chief of Ui Mac Caille, from which the barony derives its name.
McTire is mentioned among them.
O'Ciarin (O'Kieran) is given along with O'Brien and O'Halloran
as a chief in this barony. The Mac Oitir (MacCotter) and
O'Rinn (Ring) septs are also noted here.
Kerrycurrihy - anciently part of Muskerry Ilane.
O'Curry of Clan Torna are found as chiefs here.
Kinalea - Kinalea is named for the clan territory of the Cineal Aodha.
O'Ceallachain (O'Callaghan) of the Eóghanacht Chaisil
were driven to the north near Mallow by de Barri (Barry) in the wake of
the Invasion, and transplanted to Clare in the time of Cromwell. The O'Cahill
sept were chiefs of Kinelea in southern County Galway.
Kinalmeaky - O Mathghamhna (O'Mahoney), chief of
Ui Eachach Mumhan is cited very early here.
Kinnatalloon - bordering on the Co. Waterford baronies of
Coshmore & Coshbride. In the mid 18th century popular surnames here were
Keeffe, Ahern, Carthy, Cotter, Daly, Fitzgerald, Geiry, Lyne, Quirk and Walsh.
Kinsale - O'Kearney is cited here as chief of Ui Floinn. By the 13th century
the De Courcy dynasty held this territory.
Muskerry (East) - Cited as part of Múscraighe Mittaine when granted to Richard
de Cogan in 1207. The Murphy clan of the Muscraighe are
associated with the barony of Muskerry. Also, Mac Carthaigh (MacCarthy)
of Blarney Castle. The O'Flynns were Lords of Muskerrylinn here.
Muskerry (West) - Cited as part of Múscraighe Mittaine when granted to Richard
de Cogan in 1207. O Laoghaire (O'Leary) were chiefs in
Corca Laidhe in south-west Cork, prior to the Norman Invasion. Also noted here
is Mac Carthaigh (MacCarthy) of Blarney Castle.
Orrery and Kilmore - O'Cuileannain (O'Cullenane) was sited as chiefs
alongside the (O)Donegans who were cited as chiefs of Muskery of the Three
Plains (Muscraige Tri Maighe). Later came the de Barri (Barry) family in the
wake of the Norman Invasion.
Misc - From long established tribal groupings in County Cork,
such as the Corca Laidhe, the Muscraighe and the Eoghanachts of the
Cork region, emerged such family names as O'Driscoll, O'Leary, Cronin;
Murphy; O'Mahony and O'Keeffe, respectively. O'Healy is cited as chiefs
of Pobble Healy, a parish in the barony of Muskerry. O'Doorie is sited
as chiefs of Ui Congalei (Tuath Congali), possibly in Co. Clare(?).
O'Hea is cited as chief of Pobble O'Hea in the barony of Carbery.
County Derry [7 baronies] -- see Ulster map
All - Anciently inhabited by the Darini whose name may perpetuate in the
name of the county. The Cianachta, whose leading sept was the O'Connors af
Glengiven (Glinne-Geimhin) in the Roe Valley, had held their position for many
centuries before the rise of the Ua Cathain beginning about 1138. Much of county
Derry was then known as Tir Cahan, or Cathan-aght, signifying O'Kanes's country.
Coleraine - Anciently contained the territory of Feara Li.
The O'Mullans were one of the chief septs under O'Cahan
centered in the north of this barony. Coleraine was at one-time the name of the
county (later, Derry and Londonderry).
Keenaght - The O'Connor of Glengiven (Dungiven) family here
declined with the rise of the O'Kanes in the 12th century.
O'Cathain (O'Cahan or Kane) were chiefs
of Keenaght of Dungiven (Glengiven) centered here. The MacGilligans were
one of the three chief septs under the O'Cahans, and MacGilligan's country
was on the northern coast. O'Quinn is also cited
as a chief of Moy Lugad, in Keenaght of Glengiven.
Liberties of Coleraine - O'Cathain (O'Cahan or Kane) were chiefs of
Creeve centered near here.
Liberties of Londonderry - Anciently considered a portion of
Magh Ithe, the Plain of Ith, an uncle of Milesius. The O'Deery sept were noted
near here as erenaghs of Derry church, or Derry Columbkille. The northwest
liberties of Londonderry, Templemore parish, extended into the county of Donegal
until the year 1809.
Londonderry Borough - Anciently designated Doire-Calgaich, the oak wood of
Calgach. About the 10th century this name gave way to Derry-Columbkill, after the
abbey founded here by St. Columbkill. It later was nown simply as Derry, the prefix,
London, being imposed in 1613.
Loughinsholin - Derived from for the "lough of the island of the
O'Lynns" - who were originally O'Flynn, chiefs of Ui Tuirtre.
O'Hegarty is found centered in this area, as well
as in Tirkeeran. A MacGurk sept, of the Cenel Binnigh, was noted here
near the parish of Magherafelt in medieval times. Other septs mentioned
for this area at that time include O'Kelly, O'Corr, McRory, O'Mulhollan,
O'Crilly (MacCrilly), O'Dimond, and McCracken. To the south, around Slieve Gallion,
the O'Mellans once held territory referred to as "Mellanaght" (Mellan's Country).
Tirkeeran - The territories in the 12th century are
given as Teallach Caghalain, Teallach Duibhailbe, Teallach
Braenain. The O'Caireallain (O'Carolan) sept were
chiefs of Clan Diarmada (which contained Clondermot parish).
The MacCloskey sept, a branch of the O'Cahans, are noted
here in medieval times. An O'Colgan (later MacColgan) was a
chief in Tirkeeran in the 14th century. The sept of O'Mulvenna
were hereditary ollavs to O'Cahan.
Misc - O'Quinn, O'Kenny, O'Heitigein, O'Gnives,
O'Hairnin, O'Looney, O'Neny, MacShane and O'Tierney are
listed as chiefs of Moy Ith which comprised parts of Raphoe
County Donegal [8 baronies] -- see Ulster map
All - Inhabited anciently by the Vennicnii and the Rhobogdii according to
Ptolemy, and later formed the northern part of Eircael (or Eargal) which
extended into Co. Fermanagh. O'Cannnon (O'Canannain) were kings of Cinel
Conaill here until the O'Donnells broke their power in the 13th century.
The O'Donnells were descended from Conall Golban, and hence the territory
attained the name Tyr Connell. The name of the county is derived from
'Dun na nGall' meaning fort of the foreigner because Donegal town was a Viking
stronghold in the 9th century.
Banagh - The O'Gallaghers, of Cinel Boghaine, a senior branch of the Cineal
Connaill, were noted here at an early time, with their original territory
extending well into Raphoe and Tirhugh. The MacNelis (Mac Niallghuis),
McGillespie (Mac Giolla Easpuig, erenaghs of Killybegs) and McRoarty
(Mac Robhartaigh) septs are noted her. A branch of the Mac Sweeney
galloglass were chiefs of Tir Beghani (or Tir Boghainne, a former name of this
barony) following the Norman invasion.
Boylagh - The O'Boyles were early chiefs here. O'Mulligan is
cited as chief of Tir Mac Caerthain which also included Raphoe barony.
O'Duffy and O'Farren septs are also noted here. The McFaddens,
McGonigles and McWards were located in east Boylagh. Tir Ainmirech is an
early name for the barony.
Inishowen (East) - The most ancient name of the district
in which this barony was situated was Moy Ith (Magh Ithe), the Plain of Ith, a district which
comprehended the tract between Loughs Foyle and Swilly and extended as far
south as the river Finn. Moy Ith was once divided into Inis-Owen and Tir Enda, named after
two sons of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Previous to the 12th century Moy Ith was
occupied by a branch of the Cenél Éoghain, called ClanConor, of which the most
distinguished families were those of O'Cathan, O'Cairellan, O'Murry, O'Kennedy,
O'Corran, O'Quin, and O'Dugan. ClanConor was driven across the river Foyle into Derry,
their place taken by the Cenél Moen, another branch of the Cenél Éoghain, of whom
the O'Gormleys and O'Loonys wer chiefs. Cenél Moen was in turn driven across the Foyle by
the Cenél Connaill in the 15th century, of which the O'Donnells and O'Dohertys were a part.
Extending from Raphoe, the O'Dohertys were
lords of Inishowen peninsula. The McDevitts are offshoots of this family.
Mac Duvaney were cited as chiefs of Cinel Enda (Nenna) within Inishowen.
O'Harkans were cited as erenaghs of Clonca (Clonska). The O'Duibhdiorma
(Dermond, Dermott,...) sept were chiefs of Breadach in Inishowen cited
between the 11th and 15th centuries.
Inishowen (West) - Between the 9th and the 13th century
the whole of Inishowen was divided into three sectors, Aileach, Bredach and Carraic
Brachaidhe (Carraickabraghy) which is situated in the west of Inishowen.
Extending from Raphoe, the O'Dohertys were lords of
Inishowen peninsula. O'Dooyiorma (O'Dermond) is cited as a chief of
Brenach in the parish of Moville. O'Donnelly is cited anciently as a chief
in Inishowen. O'Mulhall (Mulfaal) and O'Hogain are cited as chiefs of Carrichbrack
(Carrickbraghy) in this barony, in the territory of Tir Eogain. O'Shiel and
McDever septs are noted here.
Kilmacrenan - The inaugaration site of the O'Donnell kings of
Tyrconnell was at Carriag Dun. O'Breislein (O'Breslin) were
chiefs of Fanad on the banks of Lough Swilly up to the 14th century
before being diminished by the Mac Sweeneys (of Fanaid) . The O'Begley family
was in the parish of Tulloghobegley, as was MacSweeny of Na d-Tuath.
The O'Friel family were hereditary co-arbs of Kilmacrenan and
inaugurated 'The O'Donnell' as the Lord of Tyrconnell. Other medieval septs
include O'Kernaghan of Clondavaddog, McCoyle of Mevagh, O'Toner
of Tullyfern, and O'Laherty (Laverty) who were lords of Aileach (Elagh).
Clann Chinnfhaelaidh is noted in the far eastern portion of this barony.
Raphoe (North) - The MacLochlainns (MacLoughlin), a senior
brnach of the northern Ui Neill, are noted here with much influence up
to the 13th century. The O'Gormleys were chiefs of Cinel Moen
(Raphoe barony) and were driven out by the O'Donnells in the
14th century. O'Cannon, ancient kings of Tir Connail, are noted near
here in medieval times. O'Quinn along with O'Kenny (and others) are
listed as chiefs of Moy Ith which comprised parts of Raphoe and
Tirkeeran (see Derry). Septs of O'Brollaghan, O'Deeney, O'Toner
O'Gallagher and O'Derry are mentioned in this area. The territory of
Tir Enda (named for the Cinel Enna) is noted in this barony.
Raphoe (South) - The O'Gormleys were chiefs of Cinel Moen
driven out by the O'Donnells in the 14th century. O'Mulligan is
cited as lords of Tír MacCarthain which also included Boylagh barony.
O'Pattan, McGlinchy and Mc Crossan septs are noted here by MacLysaght.
Tirhugh - The territory of O'Gallchobair (O'Gallagher) was centered
here and in the barony of Raphoe. Mac Raith (MacGrath) were found here at
Termon Magrath in the 12th century. O'Haedha (O'Hugh or Hayes) is given
as chief of Esruadh (Ballyshannon). Other septs included MacDonlevy, MacNulty,
O'Clery, MacWard, O'Lynch, and O'Mullhollan.
Misc - The Siol na Dallagh (O'Daly) were a branch of the O'Donnels
who moved early to Connaught. MacLoingseachain (MacLynchy) is given as a
chief of Gleann Binne, a clan of Tir Conaill in the 12th century. The
DeLapp family were styled Lord of Cenel Enda prior to the 12th century.
The O'Dullaghan served as chiefs of the Tuath Bladhadh. O'Maolgaothe
(MacGhee) is cited in the 12th century as chief of Muintir Maoilgaoithe.
MacTighernain or MacTernon is given as a chief of Clan Fearghiole in Co.
County Down [14 baronies] -- see Ulster map
All - Cited by Ptolemy to be anciently inhabited by the Uluntii,
it was early referred to as Ulagh or Ulidia, being part of the early
territory of the Dal Fiatach, Dal Araide and Ui Eatach Cobha. By
the 12th century the principal families were O'Neill, MacGennis,
MacCartan, Kelly and MacGilmore.
Ards (Lower) - An O'Neill sept is cited here.
Ards (Upper) - Very early the MacGillmores possessed the district
of the Ards. Savage is cited here following the incursions of de Courcy in
he late 12th century.
Castlereagh (Lower) - The MacGilmores, kings of the Ui Derca Cein, were later centered here.
A O'Mulcreevy sept is cited here, as well as near Newry.
Castlereagh (Upper) - The O'Murrys (McIlmurray) were located here.
Dufferin - Mac Artain (MacCartan), chiefs of Kinel Fagartaigh. The O'Lowrys
are cited here early. Later the Blackwood family were barons of Dufferin.
Iveagh (Lower-Lower Half) - Iveagh was anciently part of the territory of
the Ui Eatach Cobha. MagAonghusa (Magennis or
McGuinness), lords of Iveagh. O'Haedha (O'Hugh) is given as chief
of Fernmoy centered in the barony of Lower Iveagh.
Iveagh (Lower-Upper Half) - The Oriel sept of O'Rogan is cited
in Iveagh prior to the 13th century, as well as the O'Rooneys,
O'Hanvys and O'Devaneys. The O'Lavery sept, originally of northeast
Ulster are found her in medieval times near Moira.
Iveagh (Upper-Lower Half) - MagAonghusa (Magennis
or McGuinness), lords of Iveagh. O'Rooney is cited here early. Mac Giolla
Epscoip (Mac Gillespie) was chief of Clann Aeilabhra, legislator of Cath Monaigh,
located somewhere in the barony of Iveagh up to the 12th century.
Iveagh (Upper-Upper Half) - MagAonghusa (Magennis
or McGuinness), lords of Iveagh, or 'Magennis's Country'. O'Gowan
is cited here as noted in the name Ballygowan.
Kinelearty - Mac Artain (MacCartan), chiefs of Kinel
Fagartaigh, or 'MacArtan's Country'.
Lecale (Lower) - Lecale, derived from the Dál Fiatach tribal name of Leth Cathail.
The O'Colter (Coulter) sept is noted here in medieval times.
Lecale (Upper) - The MacDunslevy (Dunleavy) family were
noted here as lords of Ulidia. The Russell family dates back to the 12th
century at Downpatrick.
Lordship of Newry - Septs cited in this area in medieval times
included Haughey, O'Mulcreevy, and McAlinden. The Haughey, or
O'Hoey, chiefs were included as Kings of Ulster (O hEochaidh) prior to
the Norman invasion.
Mourne - An old name for the barony is given as Boirche, or Bairchiu.
O'Machoiden (MacCadden), chief of Mughdorn, or Mourne.
Misc - MacDunvany was a chief of Clanawley in Co. Down, their
territory referred to as Ui Mughroin or Cinel Amalgaidh. O'Laichnain
(Loughnane) is desribed as chief of Modbarn Beag (Little Mourne) and cited
as chiefs of the Dalriada. The Mac Donlevys were a chief family in Down and
southern Antrim, descended from Kings of Uladh, until the Normans arrived
in 1177. O'Ainbith (Hanvey) is cited as chief of Ui Eachach Coba in the
barony of Iveagh.
Antrim to Down -- Dublin to Laois --
Leitrim to Offaly -- Roscommon to Wicklow
Take a geographic stroll through Irish History --
Ireland's History in Maps
Early Irish History: People, Place and Province
You are the 95794 visitor, since February 2007