Corcu Loígde DNA Project

Pre-Eóganachta Rulers of Munster, Ireland
  • 225 members

About us

Scroll down for the following sections:

  • Corca Laidhe Territory
  • Corca Laidhe Pedigree
  • Membership Requirements - A yDNA test
  • Project Forums
  • Surname Inclusion Notes

Corca Laidhe Territory

There is more that we do NOT know than we know about the Corca Laidhe. We don't know if the people who became the hereditary land proprietors of certain lands in Corca Laidhe were there already when the Driscolls came to rule them, or if those subjects came from somewhere else. At some point, the area ruled by Driscolls covered a wide expanse of Munster territory. They may have been pushed into south Munster by Eoghanaght clans vying for territory. By the first part of the second millennium there were definitely pressures from the McCarthys, the Sullivans and other clans. The Corca Laidhe people ended up somewhat confined to the boundaries of the old Catholic Diocese of Ross, comprised of parts of the present day districts of Skull, Skibbereen, and Clonakilty in West Cork. The relevant R.C. Parishes are Aughadown, Rath & Islands, Skibbereen, Castlehaven & Myross, Kilmacabea & Kilfaughnabeg, Rosscarbery & Lissavaird, Kilmeen & Castleventry, Clonakilty & Darrara, Ardfield & Rathbarry, Timoleague & Clogagh, and Barryroe (Lislee, Abbeymahon, Donoughmore).


Corca Laidhe Pedigree


The Corca Laidhe were a medieval clan in the south west of Ireland.  The documents regarding the clan are not always self consistent and/or complete. The material has proven to be difficult to organize into a diagram and it is easy to get confused with so many names being the same from one generation to another or the same name being spelled slightly different. The diagram shows via gray lines some alternate pedigrees that can be picked out of the documents. Nevertheless, no matter the interpretation the general conclusion is the same, i.e. there once was and maybe now are persons named Driscoll, Coffey, Flynn, Leary, Barry and Clancy who share a common ancestor circa 200 AD.

Many families of the Corca Laidhe are referred to as hereditary proprietors. According to Webster's dictionary a proprietor is a person who has the legal right or exclusive title to something. In the present context that something would be land and the attendant income. A hereditary proprietor could originate as a cadet line (2d son, 3rd son, etc.), a son-in-law or reward for loyalty or service rendered. In some cases the listing of proprietors may simply be a record of land owners. There is good reason to expect the Corca Laidhe genealogy to involve multiple haplogroups and clades.

The genealogy of the Corca Laidhe is described by John O'Donovan in his treatise published in 1849 by the Celtic Society in the book Miscellany of the Celtic Society. He described his treatise as "various readings" from the Book of Ballymote as compared with the Book of Lecan, two books complied about 1400 from various other manuscripts. In addition a transcribed copy of the book is available thanks to a project at the University College Cork know as CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts. Another important source is the Book of Glendalough, otherwise known as Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502, which dates from 1130; therein one finds the Genelach Sil Lugdach Meic Itha. An O'Leary pedigree can be found in The O'Clery Book of Genealogies written in the 1600s. These books are all online, click the titles.

One purpose of this project is to build a database for names found in O'Donovan's treatise on the Corca Laidhe. Another is to critically examine the genealogy in light of the resultant data. Lastly, the data is made available to other investigators and family historians for analysis as may suit their purpose.


Membership Requirements - Y DNA Testing of 37 markers or better

  • An appropriate surname
  • Most distant paternal ancestor specified with name, date and place as closely as possible and filled out in your FTDNA account
  • Family tree in your account with names, dates, places details documenting your paternal lineage
  • Familiarity with the 'Advanced DNA Testing' section on the Goals page

A strong interest in the region is recommended. See illustration above.


Project Forums

Project members are encouraged to use the Activity Feed to ask questions about and discuss Corca Laidhe genealogy, history and DNA. Until FTDNA implements email notification of Activity Feed posts, please be aware the admins may not know you have posted. Feel free to help one another to assist the volunteer admins.

Additionally there is a Rootsweb mailing list that is open to anyone, whether or not they are in the project. Most project participants have not signed up to it, so a post on the Activity Feed will potentially reach more viewers and responders. Rootsweb support has been unreliable over the past several years. We don't know when the list archives will be uploaded.


Surname Inclusion Notes

This table tracks names that have been added to the project and their source. The column labeled Pedigree includes fragments that appear relevant.

  • Miscellany of the Celtic Society
    • 0. History of the Race of Lughaidh, Son of Ith. (p 3)
    • 1. Genealogy of Corca Laidhe here first (p 9) [University College Cork digitized]
    • 2. The Hereditary Proprietors of Corca-Laidhe (p 49)
    • 3. The Mearing of the middle Cantred of Ó Cobhthaigh's Territory (p 11)
    • 4. Of the genealogy of the Race of Aenghus Bulga (p 25)
    • 5. Of the Race of Aenghus, Son of Maicniadh, Son of Lughaidh, Son of Maicniadh (p 11)

  • Irish Ancestors
    • Variants - a surname search at the Irish Ancestors site returns info on where a particular variant will be found and a synopsis from the book by Seán de Bhulbh, Sloinnte na hÉireann-Irish Surnames, Comharchumann Íde Naofa, 1997. An acceptable variant is difficult to define. Herein if a variant is acceptable if there is precedent for that name having evolved from the root name and the name is associated with county Cork (or at least numerous and not uniquely connected to some other locale).

  • What's In A Name by Nora Hickey 
  • Agnomen - often in a locality there would be so many persons of a given surname that a secondary name was added to distinguish one family from another and it evolved to a primary name.
  • MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland, Irish Academic Press, 1985

  • O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees (1892), p. 281
    • The MacNicaill are said to branch off the Coffey 32 generations subsequent to Lughaidh Maccon leading to the modern names of MacNichol, MacNicol, Nicholls, Nicholas, MacNicholas, Nicholson, Nicolson, Nicols, Nicson, and Nixon. As of 27 Mar 2016, those in the Nichols DNA project who trace to Ireland are overwhelmingly from the north and probably not Corca Laidhe.
Source Then Now Variants, Agnomina Pedigree
(page in Miscellany)
0 Ua Baire O'Baire, Baire Barry p. 43

See also Patrick Woulfe, 1923
1 Ua Cobhthaigh Coffey, O'Coffey, O'Cowhig Coffee p. 59
1 Ua Conchobhair O'Connor, Connor Connors p. 43
1 Ua Eidersceoil Driscoll, O'Driscoll Driskell, Driskill
Bohane, Cadogan, Cronican, Hooly, Kerukan, Kerwakan*, Minehane/Minihan, Whooly
[all Ref: Hickey] and Fahy, Fahey [Ref: JCHAS see right]
p. 57

* Project member Irwin/Ó Ciarṁacáin notes: "The "ṁ” over my surname with the dot type accent on top is pronounced like a "W." Therefore my Ó Ciarṁacáin surname (without the "O") would be "Kerwakan." Not sure what this means but I just thought I would mention it."

Possible Clan Fahy branch from Castlehaven. [Ref. JCHAS 'Castlehaven and Its Neighborhood' and JCHAS 'Carbery Topographical Notes']
1 Ua Floinn-Arda Flynn, O'Flynn   p. 43
see JCHAS 1905
2 Ua Bairr Barr    
2 Ua Buadhaigh Buaig Bogue, Bohan, Bohane, Bohen, Bowe, Bowes p.51 
2 O'Bruadair Broderick, Broder Brothers
[Ref: MacLysaght]
Flann Arda, p 43
Bruadar, son of Dunlaing, lord of Corca Laidhe, died 860, Annals
2 Ua Aingle Ceangail   Cuaingle, son of Lughaidh, p 41
2 O'Cuile Cooley    
2 O'Corrbuidhe Corby  .  
2 O'Cormaic Cormick   Ere had three sons, namely, Cormac, Blarus, Fearghus, p.39
see also p.19, 61, 65, 80
2 O'Croinin Cronin    
2 O'Cuilin Cullen O'Coileain - Collins
[Ref: MacLysaght]
 Some Cullinan, Callinan, Cullinane, Quillinan (below) who were or became Protestant go by Collins. [Janet Crawford]
2 O'Comhraidhe Curry, Cowry, Corry, Cory    
2 O'Dearcain Derkan O'Deargain - Dorgan  
2 Ua Duinin Dinneen, Downing Dineen  
2 O'Dubhchonna Doheny   Dubhchonna, son of Flann Fuirtre p.41
2 O'Donnghaile Donnelly   Donnghal, p. 32, 33, 56, 57, 384, 9, n., 44, 45
Ua Eidersceoil
A.D. 901. Mudan, son of Donnghal lord of Corca-Laidhe, died Annals of the Four Masters.
2 O'Donnamhain
Donovan, O'Donovan   a different family from O’Donnabhain of Ui-Cairbre Aebhdha in the now County of Limerick, p. 54
2 O'Duibharda Doorty  [Doherty?]  
2 O'Dunlaing Dowling, Doolin Doolan Dunlaing, Flann Arda, p 43
2 Ua Dubhain Duane, Dwan, Downes   Dubhduin son of Flanna, p.17
2 O'Dubhagain Duggan, Doogan   From Eochaidh Liathain are sprung Ua n-Aigheanain, Ua Tigheamaigh, Ua Ainnle, and Ua Dubhagain, p.45
2 Ua Doirc Durk, Dark    
2 O'Fithcheallaigh Field, Feehily, Feely    
2 O'Sinnaigh Fox, Shinny    
2 O'Gabhadhain
Gavin Gabhran, son of Baire, p.45
Fothadh Canann
2 O'h-Uainidhe Green, Hooney    
2 O'h-Urmoltaigh Hamilton, Tromulty    
2 O'h-Ainbhith Hanvey, Hanafey    
2 Ua h-Aedha Hayes, O'Hea    
2 O'h-Aenghusa Hennessy   Duach, son of Maicniadh, p.45
2 O'h-Ogain Hogan    
2 O'h Odhrain Horan    
2 O'Cuis Hussey, Cass    
2 O'h-Aidhne Hyney   Eochaidh Aidhnigh, son of Eichin, p.43
Fothadh Canann
2 Ua Meiceidich Keady, MacKeady    
2 Ua Ciabhain Keevan    
2 O'Ceallaigh Kelly O'Kelly Maicniadh had four sons, namely, Duach, Eochaidh, Aenghus, and Ceallach, from whom the Corca-Laidhe, p.45 ... See also this thread at the Corca Laidhe DNA Rootsweb list.
2 O'Conneid Kennedy, O'Kennedy   Connad son of Cillen,Ua Cobhthaigh, p.59
2 O'Cerdin Kerdin, Curdin    
2 O'Lonain Lannin, Lenane Lennon Duach, son of Eirc, had four sons, namely, Fintan, Lonan, Ros, Follach, p.47
2 O'Laeghaire Leary   Macduithe (Duite), son of Eochaidh Badhamhna, p.37
from Eochaidh (son of Maicniadh) is sprung
Ua Badamhna, p.45
see also Nunc Ui Badamna, p. 259 in the Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502
2 O'Laidigh Liddy, Laddy   Laidhginn, p.36, 37, 38, 39
Laighinn p. 33, 37
2 O'Loingsigh Lynch, Lynchy, Lingshy    
2 O'h-Iarnain MacIarran Hernon  
2 Ua Meccon Macken   Maccon
2 Ua Mongain Mangan, Mongan    
2 O'Mainchin Mannin Manahan, Mannix Ailill Corran, from whom Maenach, from whom the Ui-Mainchine, p.37
2 O'Mirin Mirreen    
2 O'Mudain Modan    
2 Ua Mothla Mohilly, O'Mothola Ó Mothalaigh, Mohally, Moakley  
2 O'Muimhnich Moyny, O'Muimhnig    
2 O'Muireadhaigh Murray    
2 O'Nuallain Nolan, Nowlan    
2 O'Ruairc Rogers, Rory    
2 O'Sealbhaigh Shelly, Shallow    
2 O'Torpa Torpy Torpey  
3 O'Cuileannain Cullennan Cullinan, Callinan, Cullinane, Quillinan Cuileannan, son of Bruadar
Flann Arda, p 43; Sometimes Collins in families that were or became Protestant. Occasionally Quinlan in Tipperary if not also Cork. [Janet Crawford]
3 O'Dubhdaleithe Dowdall   Dubhdalethe, son of Dubhleanna
Flann Arda, p 43
3 Ua Dunadhaich Downey, Denny   Dunadhach son of Flaithimh
Flann Arda, p 43
3 O'Lathimh Leahy, Lahiff, Lahy Flaithimh now Flahive Flann Arda, p 43
4 Meg-Fhlannchaidh Clancy, Mac Clancy Glancy Appendix B
Lughaidh Cal
see also Historical Notes on the Ancient Sept of Clancy/Glancy by Maria Clancy (under Book)
4 O'Credain Credan   Tealach-Critain, p.29
Lughaidh Cal
4 Ui Finn Finn Fynn Finn son of Maccon, p. 11, p.57
See also Ciarmhaie son of Finn, O'Ciarmhachain, Clann-Ciarmhaie below
Ua Eidersceoil
4 Gaibhtheachain Gaughan   race of Aenghus, son of Amhalghaidh, p.30
Lughaidh Cal
4 O'Uaruisce Hourisky   Tealach-Uaruisce, p.29
Lughaidh Cal
4 Tealach-Churnain O'Curnains, O'Curnins   Tealach-Curnain, p.29
Lughaidh Cal
4 Ua Finain O'Finan   Finan son of Colman p.37
Duach: Ui Aenghusa
Fina son of Fiachra, p.63
4 Ui-Floinn O'Flynn   Ui-Floinn, who are also of the race of Aenghus, son of Amhalghaidh, p.30
Lughaidh Cal
4 Ua Cuinn Quin    
4 O'Rothlain Rowley   Rothlan, son of Mairtine, p.5
Lughaidh Mac Ith
4 O'Treabhair Trevor Travers  
5 Ciarmhaie,
Irwin Kirby, Kerwick [Kirwan?] Ciarmhac son of Finn
Race of Cathra/Cathua son of Eiderscel were Clann-Finn of Garrdha, p. 11 [see above]
Ua Eidersceoil

Note from member Irwin: "Kirby (O Ciarmaic), Kerwick (O Ciarmaic) and Irwin (O Ciarmacain) derive their surname from the same source and trace their name origin to Knockainy, Limerick and as such monopolized the chieftaincy of Eoghanacht Ainy for centuries. I have no idea of who the known modern-day descendants of Clann-Ciarmhaic are and nor do I know their present-day surnames... According to ... (Big Y) I am closely related to both Driscolls and Finns."
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