Hughes - Anglicised Surnames in Ireland

AuthorPadraig Mac Giolla-Domhnaigh
SourceSome Anglicised Surnames in Ireland

Hughes—The name Hughes is both of Welsh and Irish origin. In Ireland we have four septs of the name recorded. The first sept of O'Hughes (O' h-Aodha) occupied the district of Ballintubber, Co. Roscommon; the second sept occupied a district on the borders of the present counties of Donegal and Fermanagh, and O'Dugan, the Topographer, writes of them: "O'Hugh governs the prosperous cataract," i.e., the Falls of Assaroe. The third sept occupied a district in Iveagh, in South Down, and of this sept O'Dugan writes that O' h-Aodha "governs the men of Fearnmuighe." In the Charter granted to Newry by Muratach Mac Loughlin, King of Ireland in or about the year 1160, Donald O'Heda (O' h-Aodha), King of O'Neach (Iveagh), is referred therein as one of the nobles of Ulster.

This sept was either of the Pictish nation or of the Clan Rury, but I think of the former. Ulster was then circumscribed to the present counties of Down and Antrim, the Pictish nation ruling in the latter along with Louth from the Plains of Murhevne to Larne in Antrim.

The fourth sept occupied a district in the "Western parts of the Barony of Turanny, Co. Armagh, chiefly in the Parish of Tynan. We haven't much information about this sept previous to the Seventeenth Century, but we find it often referred to afterwards.

Sir Phelim O'Neill was fostered by one of the O'Hughs sept, and Brian Boy O'Hughes was a principal leader of the sept at Tynan in the Rising of 1641. This sept is numerous in the Parish of Tynan, and in the adjoining Parishes of Aughaloo, Eglish, Donagh, Carntul and Derrynoose. This fourth sept claims the Red Hand, but I am inclined to believe they belong to the Iveagh sept.

Some families in Wexford are of Welsh origin, and families in Wales are descended from the Lords of Kymmer-Yn-Ediernion. The Welsh Hughes displays the Lion rampant, and the name is variously anglicised as Pugh, Pye, and Hews, the latter name being found in the ancient district of Strathclyde. The Welsh form is Ap'Hugh.

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