Corcu Loígde DNA Project

Pre-Eóganachta Rulers of Munster, Ireland
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Corca Laidhe yDNA Regional Study


Prospective members who have any questions ABOUT THE PROJECT after reading the materials here should email Susan at corcalaidhedna @ If you expect us to see your email and want a reply, copy and paste the exact phrase CORCA LAIDHE PROJECT into the subject line of your email. Otherwise it will be deleted as spam. Emails must be BRIEF. Do NOT send attachments. Other than for project members, we do NOT advise on your own DNA results by private email. Search FTDNA for relevant surname and haplogroup projects or check our LINKS.


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. Kieran's mother was from Cape Clear. The diocese of Ossory, roughly coterminous geographically with the same-named 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. The Corca Laidhe monarchs were considered usurpers. During their reigns, there was a competing indigenous monarchal dynasty, who succeeded in ousting them. (The indigenous monarchs may have eventually taken the name Magillapatrick. Ironically, the Osraighe, who founded Ossory, were from Munster.)

Among the areas of research on the objectives list for the project:

Examine more closely the sequence of events during the first and more than half of the second millennium that altered the geographic bounds of Corca Laide territory. We should not have to start from scratch here. There are lots of great web pages, (i.e. on Rootsweb) that give blow-by-blow accounts.

There are conflicting accounts as to the identity of the usurpers who ruled Ossory. (Some accounts state it were the Deici, not the Corca Laidhe. Some accounts bridge the difference and claim BOTH were there.) Adding to the difficulties, nobody knows for certain exactly when St. Kieran lived and when he founded his mission. Some accounts put the latter around 402, others around 530. So we want to examine that topic more closely, as well as examine the history of the Diocese of Ross, and its relationship to other dioceses during the same time period. (Again, we should not have to start from scratch. The books have been written.) Discover how and when Ross and Ossory interacted with each other.

The Corca Laidhe monarchy never recovered after their ignominous expulsion from Ossory and their influence continued to wane. However, because of St. Kieran, it is possible an ecclesiastical relationship continued with Cork. (If so, St. Kieran must have been quite the diplomat.) In a closely 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. Excluding those who fled the area, remaining descendants of the former rulers and their tenants may have been eventually confined to 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 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 or click for the following sections:

Corca Laidhe Territory Back to top

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 Back to top

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 shared 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 compiled 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.

We are building a database of names found in O'Donovan's treatise on the Corca Laidhe. We are examining 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.

Project Resource List for Surname Inclusion Notes Back to top

This is a list of the chief resources utilized for the Surname Inclusion Notes in addition to the ones listed under Pedigree.

  • Ó Corráin, Donnchadh. Corcu Loígde: Land and Families. Cork History and Society. Flanagan, Patrick and Buttimer, Cornelius, editors. p. 63-81. (added to project resources August 2019)
  • Ó Donovan, John, ed. 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)

  • Grenham, John. 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).

  • Hickey, Nora. What's In A Name
  • 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, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland. Irish Academic Press, 1985

  • O'Hart, John. 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. [Admin note: effective Sept 2020, Nicholas, Nicholls, Nichols, Nicholson, Nicolls, Nicols, Nicolson, Nicson, and Nixon and their variants are no longer accepted in the project.]

  • Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames. Online at Library Ireland.

Surname Inclusion Notes Back to top

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 (Hereditary Proprietors of the Corca Laidhe) is a breakdown by Tuath.

Use Control-F or the search function on your computer to locate your surname.

New surnames or information most recently added to our project surnames are shown with a pale blue background

Chieftains of tuaths or lands under Hereditary Proprietors are shown in slightly larger font with a yellowed background.

Tuath and land divisions are shown with a light gray background.

New in August 2019: See the Results page for a continually updated tabulation of the Corca Laidhe surnames of fully participating members against known SNPs.

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']
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 Tithe Book lists Driscoll Doolen of Curraghnaloughra


2 O'h-Ogain Hogan   Not the same name as Horgan. 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 Some presence in Cork, particularly West Cork in the TABs. Confined to Cork City, and primarily in Galway by the 1901 census. 50
2 Ua Ciabháin Keevan Kevan, Kevane, Kevin, Cavanaugh We have some genealogical evidence that Cavanaugh and Kevane were interchanged. 50
2 Ua Ceartaigh O'Ceartig, O'Carty Carty Misc says it is obsolete but Ó Corráin proposes it could have merged with McCarthy. 50
2 Ua Buadhaigh Buaig Bogue, Bohan, Bohane, Bohen, Bowe, Bowes An agnomen used by some of the major families, including 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   The name is gone from Cork by the 1901 census. Of note is Durk Bay, near Dundeady, Rathbarry. 50
2 Ua Meccon Maccon Macken   50
2 Ua Aingle Ceangail   Cuaingle, son of Lughaidh
2 Ua Mothla Mohilly, O'Mothola Ó Mothalaigh, Mahilly, Mohally, Moakley The 1901 census shows both Mohally and 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 quotes GBIG in saying it is obsolete, but modern variants are in the 1901 Ireland census. Ó Corráin believes the Mulpeter interpretation is erroneous. 50
2 Ua Adhaimh McAdam   The name is particularly spread through the northeast part of the island in the mid 19th-century valuations. 50
2 Ua Bairr Barr     50
2 Ua Rosna Rosney Rossney Misc says it is obsolete but Rosney is in County Kerry in the Ireland censuses. 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, Moyney, Mooney [Woulfe] Might also be Ó Muimhneacháin (Minihane) 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
Tuath Indolaich 52
2 O'Laeghaire O'Leary Leary Macduithe (Duite), son of Eochaidh Badhamhna
from Eochaidh (son of Maicniadh) is sprung
Ua Badamhna
see also Nunc Ui Badamna, p. 259 in the Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502
2 O'Ruaidhrí O'Ruairc Rodgers, Rogers, Rory Some Sullivans (who are an Eoghanacht clan but not Corca Laidhe) also 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, Torpy Known for its presence in Galway, but also had a considerable presence in northeast Munster. Mitchelstown Torpeys were among the Canadian Peter Robinson settlers in 1825. Note Torpy's Cross at Castlekevin in Mallow. 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 of any OhUrmoltaigh natives and any Hamilton settlers would probably have become indistiguishable.
2 O'Mirín Mirreen, Mirren Myrane, Mirane Myrane and Mirane have shown up in Clonakilty parishes in the TABs. A few individuals with these names remain in Templeomalus by the 1901 census, but the name otherwise seems to not have survived in Ireland. There is no particular reason to believe Mirren of Co Fermanagh is a the source. 52
2 O'Macdairic     obsolete
2 O'Tuaraidhe     obsolete 52
2 O'Treana     obsolete 52
2 O'h-Uainidhe Green, Hooney Owney Particularly heavy presence in Beara. 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 Dubháin Duane, Dwan, Downes Kidney Dubhduin son of Flanna
[Woulfe] Kidney is an anglicization.
2 Ua Duinin Dinneen, Downing Dineen   53
2 O'Mudain Modan   19th century scholar John O'Donovan called Ballymodan "Ó Modan's Town." 53
2 O'h-Aidhne Hyney Hiney, Hynie Eochaidh Aidhnigh, son of Eichin
Fothadh Canann
2 O'Mainchin Mannin Manahan, Mannix Ailill Corran, from whom Maenach, from whom the Ui-Mainchine
2 O'Cuis, O'Coise Hussey, Cass Cas, Cass, Cos, Cash, Cosh, Cush, Quish Cos has a notable presence in 19th century Kilkenny records. This is not the same as Cushin, an Anglo-Norman name. 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 Pretty much gone from West Cork by the start of the 20th century, though shows up further north in the county and is abundant in County Kerry. 53
2 O'Grese     obsolete 53
2 O'Cuilin Cullen O'Coileain - Collins
[Ref: MacLysaght]
O'Cuilin likely absorbed into O'Coileain (Collins).
Some Cullinan, Callinan, Cullinane, Quillinan (below) who were or became Protestant go by Collins. [Janet Crawford]
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 from Limerick. 54
2 O'Dubhchon     obsolete 54
2 O'h-Iarnain MacIarran Hernon, Hiernan BALLYEELINAN (Baile Uí Iarnáin) “O’Hiarnan’s Homestead.” From "Placenames of the Decies" by Rev. Canon Power. 54
2 O'Nuallain Nolan, Nowlan Noland A patch of them were around Baltimore and Cape Clear during the TABs. The bulk of them in County Cork were further north in the county. 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
Ua Eidersceoil

A.D. 901. Mudan, son of Donnghal lord of Corca-Laidhe, died Annals of the Four Masters.
9 n.,
2 O'Maolchomadh Molumby Molomby, Molumphy, Mulumby, Mulumphy, Mulumy The project proposes these additions based on Woulfe. 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 55
2 O'Muireadhaigh Murrihy Murray, Murrihy   55
2 O'Mailguirm Mulgurm Mulgram, Mulgren, Mulgrim, Mulguren, Mulgurn, Mulgurm Misc says the name is obsolete. Yeomen named Mulgurm were in Limerick in the 12th century. Mulgrim was in Clonfert in Griffith's Valuation. The project is investigating the occurrence of Mulgueen and Mulqueen in Limerick in the 20th century Irish censuses. 55
2 O'Sealbhaigh Shelly, Shallow Shealy, Sheily, Shiely (not Sealy)   55
2 O'Gabhadhain
Gavin Gabhran, son of Baire
Fothadh Canann
3. The Mearing of the Middle Cantred of Ó Cobhthaigh's Territory
Tuath Ui Duibhdaleithe 55
3 O'Dubhdaleithe Dowdall Dowdall, Dudley Dubhdalethe, son of Dubhleanna
Flann Arda
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
Flann Arda
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
[Ref: MacLysaght]
Flann Arda
Bruadar, son of Dunlaing, lord of Corca Laidhe, died 860, Annals
3 Ua Dunadhaich Downey, Denny   Dunadhach son of Flaithimh
Flann Arda
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
Lughaidh Cal
see also Historical Notes on the Ancient Sept of Clancy/Glancy by Maria Clancy (under Book)
4 O'Credain Credan   Tealach-Critain
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
Lughaidh Cal
4 O'Uaruisce Hourisky   Tealach-Uaruisce
Lughaidh Cal
4 Tealach-Churnain O'Curnains, O'Curnins   Tealach-Curnain
Lughaidh Cal
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
Lughaidh Cal
4 Ua Cuinn Quin      
4 O'Rothlain Rowley   Rothlan, son of Mairtine
Lughaidh Mac Ith
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]
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."

Prospective members who have any questions ABOUT THE PROJECT after reading the materials here should email Susan at corcalaidhedna @ If you expect us to see your email and want a reply, copy and paste the exact phrase CORCA LAIDHE PROJECT into the subject line of your email. Otherwise it will be deleted as spam. Emails must be BRIEF. Do NOT send attachments. Other than for project members, we do NOT advise on your own DNA results by private email. Search FTDNA for relevant surname and haplogroup projects or check our LINKS.
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