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Corca Laidhe was a first millennium kingdom in the southern part of Ireland (Munster). Some scholars give an approximate date of 200 C.E. as an estimate of Corca Laidhe's presence in Munster. The acknowledged rulers were the O'Driscolls.
Corca Laidhe had a close affinity with Ossory, another old Irish kingdom that covered most of County Kilkenny and part of County Laois. Ossory was the origin of St. Kieran's father. The diocese of the same name, roughly coterminous geographically with the region, was founded with St. Kieran's mission, though its boundaries were not formally set down until much later. The Corca Laidhe, which had control of Munster, briefly had control of Ossory around the time of St. Kieran.
As a related line of research, the project administrators have an interest in identifying Corca Laidhe surnames that also appear in historical records of Kilkenny.
Encroachment of the O'Mahonys and various Eoghanacht septs by mid-to-late first millennium, the arrival of the Anglo-Normans around 1150 C.E., and conflict with England all contributed to the demise of the Corca Laidhe and eventually confined the descendants of the inhabitants and former rulers into a territory coinciding with part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ross - roughly Skibbereen to Clonakilty. This part (see illustration below) was split from the Beara part of the diocese, the latter now part of the Diocese of Kerry. The reconfiguration of Ross was likely due to the aforementioned pressures.
The O'Driscolls lost their ruler status and became McCarthy vassals. 19th century scholars attempted to track down the chieftain line. They interviewed some of the local people in west Cork, but were unable to conclusively trace any possible surviving direct male line descendants of Finghin O'Driscoll (17th century). There is no known surviving blood chieftain line, though possible cadet branches are still being investigated.
There is documentation of the names of the hereditary proprietors (chieftains) of Corca Laidhe, relatives, and their subjects from the 12th century. Corca Laidhe Pedigree (below) describes some of the texts used to reconstruct the family histories.
Scroll down for the following sections:
- Corca Laidhe Territory
- Corca Laidhe Pedigree
- Project Forums
- Surname Inclusion Notes
Corca Laidhe Territory
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 illustration shows the portion of the diocese along the Skibbereen to Clonakilty coastline. Relevant R.C. Parishes include 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
Old historical texts covering the Corca Laidhe people 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.
An additional piece of documentation has been added to our resources: Corcu Loígde: Land and Families, a paper by Dr. Donnchadh Ó Corráin of UCC.
Project members are encouraged to use the Activity Feed to ask questions about and discuss Corca Laidhe genealogy, history and DNA. 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. Old archives are 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 (Misc)
- 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 (IA)
- 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.
The following surname data is not alphabetized, but presented in the same sequence as that published in Miscellany of the Celtic Society. See the sections of the Miscellany, 0 - 5, above. In 2 is a breakdown by Tuath.
Use Control-F or the search function on your computer to locate your surname.
New surnames added to our project surnames in 2018 are shown with a pale blue background.
Chieftains of tuaths or lands are shown in slightly larger font.
Tuath and land divisions are shown with a light gray background.
Older Modern Variants,
Notes Misc Pgs 0. History of the Race of Lughaidh, Son of Ith 0 Ua Baire O'Baire, Baire Barry See also Patrick Woulfe, 1923 43 1. Genealogy of the Corca Laidhe 1 Ua Cobhthaigh Coffey, O'Coffey, O'Cowhig Coffee 59 1 Ua Conchobhair O'Connor, Connor Connors 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]
* 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']
57 1 Ua Floinn-Arda Flynn, O'Flynn See also JCHAS 1905 43 2. Hereditary Proprietors of the Corca Laidhe Country of Gillamichael 50 2 O'Duibharda Doorty Dougherty, Doherty Country of Gillamichael 50 2 O'Dunlaing Dowling, Doolin Doolan, Doolen Dunlaing, Flann Arda
Country of Gillamichael
Drinagh TAB lists Driscoll Doolen of Curraghnaloughra
2 O'h-Ogain Hogan Not the same name as Horgan [project]. 50 2 O'Dubhagain Duggan, Doogan From Eochaidh Liathain are sprung Ua n-Aigheanain, Ua Tigheamaigh, Ua Ainnle, and Ua Dubhagain
2 Ua Meiceidich Keady, MacKeady Cady 50 2 Ua Ciabhain Keevan Kevan, Kevane, Kevin 50 2 Ua Ceartaigh O'Ceartig, O'Carty Carty Misc says it is obsolete but Ó Corráin proposes it has merged with McCarthy. 50 2 Ua Buadhaigh Buaig Bogue, Bohan, Bohane, Bohen, Bowe, Bowes One of the agnomina for Sullivan, an Eoghanacht family. 50 2 Ua Mongain Mangan, Mongan Manning Evidence in Drimoleague & Drinagh R.C. records, Drinagh TAB and Griffiths taken together suggests Mangan is an agnomen for Brien. 50 2 Ua Doirc Durk, Dark 50 2 Ua Meccon Maccon Macken 50 2 Ua Aingle Ceangail Cuaingle, son of Lughaidh 41
2 Ua Mothla Mohilly, O'Mothola Ó Mothalaigh, Mahilly, Mohally, Moakley 50 2 Ua Maeileadair Ó Mael Étair Leader Ó Corráin suggests the contemporary form is Leader. 50 2 Ua Maeileadair O'Moilpeadair Mulpeter, Mulpetre Misc refers to O'Moilpeadair (Mulpeter) and says it is obsolete, but the modern variants are in the 1901 Ireland census. Ó Corráin believes the Mulpeter interpretation is erroneous. 50 2 Ua Adhaimh McAdam 50 2 Ua Bairr Barr 50 2 Ua Rosna Rosney Rossney Misc says it is obsolete but Rosney and Rossney are in the 1901 census. 51 Tuath Ui Chonneid 52 2 O'Conneid Kennedy, O'Kennedy Kennedy, McKennedy,
Driscoll Caedh, Driscoll McKennedy*
Connad son of Cillen, Ua Cobhthaigh
* Southern Star Dec 6, 1947 columnist Peadar O'Hanrahan said he assumed Caedh was a "worn down form of MacAodn."
2 O'Conneid Kenney Kenney Connad son of Cillen, Ua Cobhthaigh
Ó Corráin has a different interpretation and proposes Kenney.
2 O'Muimhnich Moyny, O'Muimhnig, O'Moynie, O'Moynig Meaney, Meany 51 2 O'Drochruainnigh obsolete 51 2 O'Fuailchin O'Tuailchin obsolete 51 2 Ua Chaingne O'Caingni Cagney 51 2 O'Dubhchonna Doheny Dubhchonna, son of Flann Fuirtre 41
Tuath Indolaich 52 2 O'Laeghaire O'Leary Leary Macduithe (Duite), son of Eochaidh Badhamhna
from Eochaidh (son of Maicniadh) is sprung
see also Nunc Ui Badamna, p. 259 in the Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502
2 O'Ruaidhrí O'Ruairc Rodgers, Rogers, Rory Some Sullivans may have used Rogers. 52 2 O'Lonain Lannin, Lenane Lennon Duach, son of Eirc, had four sons, namely, Fintan, Lonan, Ros, Follach 47
2 O'Torpa Torpy Torpey 52 2 O'Laidigh Liddy, Laddy Laidhginn
2 O'h-Urmoltaigh Hamilton, Tromulty Hamilton Have not uncovered any evidence that the form Tromulty has survived.
There were Hamilton plantation settlers in west Cork; the names could have merged.
52 2 O'Mirin Mirreen 52 2 O'Macdairic obsolete 52 2 O'Tuaraidhe obsolete 52 2 O'Treana obsolete 52 2 O'h-Uainidhe Green, Hooney Owney 52 2 O'Cerdin Kerdin, Curdin Could this be an old form of Curtin, which is well-attested in Cork? 52 Tuath o'hAenghusa 52 2 O'h-Aenghusa Hennessy Duach, son of Maicniadh 45
2 O'Corrbuidhe Corby 53 2 Ua Dubhain Duane, Dwan, Downes Kidney Dubhduin son of Flanna
[Patrick Woulfe] Kidney is an anglicization.
2 Ua Duinin Dinneen, Downing Dineen 53 2 O'Mudain Modan 53 2 O'h-Aidhne Hyney Hiney, Hynie Eochaidh Aidhnigh, son of Eichin
2 O'Mainchin Mannin Manahan, Mannix Ailill Corran, from whom Maenach, from whom the Ui-Mainchine 37
2 O'Cuis, O'Coise Hussey, Cass Cas, Cass, Cos, Cash, Cosh, Cush, Quish [Not Cushin; project] The project proposes the additions. Cos has a notable presence in 19th century Kilkenny records. 53 2 O'Cuile Cooley 53 2 O'Dearcain Derkan O'Deargain - Dorgan 53 2 O'hIairsnigh obsolete 53 2 O'h Odhrain Horan Houran, Houren, Howran, Howren 53 2 O'Grese obsolete 53 2 O'Cuilin Cullen O'Coileain - Collins
O'Cuilin likely absorbed into O'Coileain (Collins).
Some Cullinan, Callinan, Cullinane, Quillinan (below) who were or became Protestant go by Collins. [Janet Crawford]
53 2 O'Sinnaigh Fox, Shinny Shinnick 53 Tuath O'Fithcheallaigh 53 2 O'Fithcheallaigh Field, Feehily, Feely Fehilly, Fehily, Fihilly, Fihily, Fyhilly 53 2 O'Cormaic Cormick
Ere had three sons - Cormac, Blarus, Fearghus
2 O'Comhraidhe Curry, Cowry, Corry, Cory Misc states MacFirbisigh's materials give this alternative. 54 2 O'Donnamhain
Donovan, O'Donovan A different family from O’Donnabhain of Ui-Cairbre Aebhdha in the now County of Limerick 54 2 O'Dubhchon obsolete 54 2 O'h-Iarnain MacIarran BALLYEELINAN (Baile Uí Iarnáin) “O’Hiarnan’s Homestead.” From "Placenames of the Decies" by Rev. Canon Power. 54 2 O'Nuallain Nolan, Nowlan Noland 54 2 O'Croinin Cronin 54 2 O'Sife Unknown 54 2 O'h-Ainbhith Hanvey, Hanafey Hanvy, Hannify 54 Tuath O'nDunghalaigh 53 2 O'Donnghaile Donnelly Donnghal, p. 32, 33, 56, 57, 384, 9, n., 44, 45
A.D. 901. Mudan, son of Donnghal lord of Corca-Laidhe, died Annals of the Four Masters.
2 O'Maolchomadh Molumby Molomby, Molumphy, Mulumby, Mulumphy [Patrick Woulfe] The project proposes these additions. Misc says obsolete but modern variants exist in 1901 Ireland census. 55 2 Ua h-Aedha Hayes, O'Hea 55 2 O'Loingsigh Lynch, Lynchy, Lingshy 55 2 O'Mailteimhin obsolete 55 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. 55 2 O'Muireadhaigh Murrihy Murray, Murrihy 55 2 O'Mailguirm Misc says obsolete but Mulguren exists in 1901 Ireland census. 55 2 O'Sealbhaigh Shelly, Shallow Shealy, Sheily, Shiely (not Sealy) 55 2 O'Gabhadhain
Gavin Gabhran, son of Baire
3. The Mearing of the Middle Cantred of of Ó Cobhthaigh's Territory Tuath Ui Duibhdaleithe 55 3 O'Dubhdaleithe Dowdall Dowdall, Dudley Dubhdalethe, son of Dubhleanna
3 O'Mailceallaich Mulkelly obsolete 55 3 O'Duibhleanna obsolete 55 3 O'Mailchorna obsolete 55 3 O'Cuileannain Cullennan Cullinan, Callinan, Cullinane, Quillinan Cuileannan, son of Bruadar
Sometimes Collins in families that were or became Protestant. Occasionally Quinlan in Tipperary if not also Cork. [Janet Crawford]
3 O'Bruadair Broderick, Broder Brothers
Bruadar, son of Dunlaing, lord of Corca Laidhe, died 860, Annals
3 Ua Dunadhaich Downey, Denny Dunadhach son of Flaithimh
3 O'Lathimh Leahy, Lahiff, Lahy Flaithimh now Flahive Flann Arda 43
4. Of the genealogy of the Race of Aenghus Bulga 4 Meg-Fhlannchaidh Clancy, Mac Clancy Glancy Appendix B
see also Historical Notes on the Ancient Sept of Clancy/Glancy by Maria Clancy (under Book)
4 O'Credain Credan Tealach-Critain
29 4 Ui Finn Finn Fynn Finn son of Maccon, p. 11, p.57
See also Ciarmhaie son of Finn, O'Ciarmhachain, Clann-Ciarmhaie below
11 4 Gaibhtheachain Gaughan race of Aenghus, son of Amhalghaidh
30 4 O'Uaruisce Hourisky Tealach-Uaruisce
29 4 Tealach-Churnain O'Curnains, O'Curnins Tealach-Curnain
29 4 Ua Finain O'Finan
Finan son of Colman
Duach: Ui Aenghusa
Fina son of Fiachra
4 Ui-Floinn O'Flynn Ui-Floinn, who are also of the race of Aenghus, son of Amhalghaidh
30 4 Ua Cuinn Quin 4 O'Rothlain Rowley Rothlan, son of Mairtine
Lughaidh Mac Ith
5 4 O'Treabhair Trevor Travers
5. Race of Aenghus, Son of Maicniadh, Son of Lughaidh, Son of Maicniadhy 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]
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."