Dolan family genealogy

[1] Arms: Az. three crescents in pale or, betw. two plates a chief ar. Crest; A decrescent gu.

The Dolan or O'Dolan family, of Aughawillin, Lislaughy, Lisgrudy, Lisroughty, and Lisnatullaugh, in the barony of Carrigallen, and county of Leitrim, is descended from Bryan Dolan, of Largy (or Kilargy), situate between Swanlinbar and Manorhamilton, at the north side of Cuiltagh mountain.

Bryan Dolan came with his two sons Cormac and Charles to the neighbourhood of Ballymagauran, near the end of the sixteenth century. A bad time it was for priests and papists; yet, notwithstanding, Cormac and Charles rode on Sunday mornings to Killnavart, to hear Mass, a distance of some ten or twelve miles; and, having come there, they attached their horses by their bridle-reins to the branches of trees near the chapel. (Killnavart is situate between Ballymagauran and Ballyconnell, in the barony of Tullaghagh, in the county Cavan.)

Baron MacGauran was then Earl of Tullaghagh, and heard Mass at Killnavart. He observed the two strange young men at Mass, and their horses tied by their bridles to trees near the chapel; he enquired to whom the horses belonged, and where the owners were from. Having been informed on those points, the Baron invited the young men to dinner on the following Sunday; and soon afterwards proffered them a residence in the neighbourhood of Ballymagauran, and they willingly accepted the invitation. Almost immediately afterwards Cormac Dolan, the elder son, married a near relative of the Baron,—the daughter of Terence MacGauran, who was better known as Trealach Caoch or "Blind Terry," in consequence of his being squint-eyed. But the Baron's hospitality and Dolan's marriage became a great misfortune to both parties.

In due time after the marriage a son was born to Cormac Dolan; about the same time another child was born for Baron MacGauran, who claimed that his relative Cormac Dolan's wife and daughter of Blind Terry should nurse his (the Baron's) child. Bryan Dolan took this demand as a great insult: he instructed his daughter-in-law to say that he had not come so low that she should become a "hippin-washer" to any man. This message enraged the Baron to madness; he at once rode to Dolan's house, called for the old man, whom he seized by the hair of the head and dragged him by the horse's side at full gallop, and threw him dead on the road. The sons Cormac and Charles seeing the Baron gallop furiously to their house, and immediately galloping back dragging something by his horse's side, one said to the other "the Baron is dragging something after him;" the other exclaimed with an oath "it is my father," and, snapping up a gun that lay near, he rushed to the road and shot the Baron dead on the spot. Old Dolan and the Baron were just buried when the relatives and retainers of the Baron came at night, broke into Dolan's dwelling, and killed the brothers Cormac and Charles. Cormac's wife exclaimed, were there none of the friends of Blind Terry there? They spared her and her child, whose name was Rodger, and reared him up as one of themselves.[2]

About that time society in Tullaghagh was in great confusion; but then as now occupiers were compelled to pay all exactions, rents and taxes.

It is also a tradition that young Rodger had often declared that he would revenge his father's death on McGaughran; and it is said he did so. Having been entrusted with a disagreeable office of collecting from the relatives and retainers of the Baron their several imposts, he took the opportunity on one of these occasions of searching for McGaughran, and withdrew privately from his companions to where he was informed McGaughran usually dwelt. As Rodger expected, he found him there, and at once informed him that he was come to settle an old account with him. McGaughran answered he would be ready as soon as he had finished the egg in his hand; and with haste and confidence armed himself for the encounter, in which he was worsted and lost his life.

When his friends missed Rodger, some said he was surely gone in quest of McGaughran, and some one answered "a more humble employment would suit him better." On his reappearance in a very excited state, with two skeans marked with blood, one of the company exclaimed: "I see you met McGaughran. I said you went in search of him; but this man said a less manly employment would suit you better." This insinuation wounded Rodger, and in his anger he said: "let him have McGaughran's skean, I will not dirty mine with him." And he struck the offender dead on the spot.

About this time the O'Rourkes and McGaurans were greatly reduced in the social scale. It appears that Rodger Dolan, the grandson of Blind Terry, settled with his family m Aughawillin and thereabouts. For some time there is little or nothing known about them, except their poverty and humiliation until the time of Colonel Gore, of Newtowngore, who, under the Cromwellian Settlement, became possessed of very extensive property in the neighbourhood.

Tradition reports that Colonel Gore resolved to compel Catholic tenants to become Protestants, but the Dolans of Aughawillin, Lislaughy, Liscrudy, and Lisroughty, refused to abandon the Catholic faith, and were therefore evicted from Lislaughy, etc., and their farms given to Protestants and 'verts named Whelan, who changed their name to Heylin, on whom their neighbours fastened the sobriquet of the Mawleens, or "little bags."

Patrick Dolan, who was one of the evicted, came from Lislaughry to Lisnatullaugh, where his family still remain; but a branch of the family is gone back to pat of his farm of Lislaughy. It is believed that the Dolans of the counties of Meath and Louth are descended from a brother of this Patrick Dolan.

1. Terence Dolan now (1887) of Lislaughy is about thirty years of age, and is son of:

2. James Dolan and Mary McGauran of Lislaughy. This James is son of:

3. Peter Dolan, late of Lisnatullaugh and Lislaughy, by his wife Mary Dolan, by whom he had—1. James, 2. Peter, 3. Thomas, who is (1887) a Catholic Priest in Howth, diocese of Dublin; 4. Michael (deceased); 5. Charles, who married Margaret O'Rourke, and has a large family; and three daughters, one of whom, the eldest, Anne, is now a Nun in the Loretto Convent, Kilkenny, the second was married to Mr. Eugene Quinn, of Kildra House, parish of Mohill, and left issue, and the third, Catherine, m. Charles Ward and has issue. This Peter (No. 3) was son of:

4. Tiernan Dolan of Lisnatullaugh, by his wife Abigail McGauran. This Tiernan was son of:

5. Patrick Dolan and his wife Catherine Routledge, of Lislaughy and Lisnatullaugh, This Patrick was son of:

6. Charles Dolan and his wife Mary McGauran, of Aughawillin, Lislaughy, Liscrudy, and Lisroughty. This Charles was son of:

7. Felim Dolan and his second wife Anne O'Rourke, of Aughawillin, Lisloughy, etc. And this Felim was son of:

8. Roger, abovementioned, who was son of:

9. Cormac Dolan, by his wife — McGauran, the daughter of "Blind Terry." And Cormac was son of:

10. Bryan Dolan, of Killargy, by his wife, whose name we may assume was also McGauran. This is the Bryan Dolan, above mentioned, who with his two sons Cormac and Charles, settled in the neighbourhood of Ballymagauran, towards the end of the sixteenth century.


[1] Dolan: See the Dowling pedigree for another "Dolan" or "O'Dolan" family. We believe, however, that this family is a branch of the O'Dolan family, mentioned in p. 359, ante, as descended from Fiacha Suidhe, one of the two brothers of Conn of the Hundred Battles. That "O'Dolan" family was (see MacDermott's Map of Ancient Ireland, at the end of Connellan's Four Masters,) located near Croagh Patrick, in the county of Mayo. Others say that this "Dolan" family derives its name from Eochaidh Dubhlen, who is No. 84 on the "O'Hart" pedigree, and that, in early times, the MacGaurans were of the same stock as the O'Dolans. Be this as it may, it is worthy of remark that (See Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland), from time immemorial, these two families in the barony of Tullaghagh, county Cavan, have been proverbial for their intermarriages. In proof of this assertion we may add the following observations:—Patrick Dolan, of Lislaughy and Lisnatullaugh, was the son of Charles Dolan and Mary McGauran. He had six sons: Jack, Tiernan, Thomas, Rodger, Felim, and Patrick. Two of these, Tiernan and Felim, were married to McGaurans; and Felim was married a second time to a McGauran. Jack and Rodger were married to two Dolans. He had three daughters: one was married to a Dolan, and the other to a Heavey, whose mother's name was McGauran. Jack Dolan, the eldest son of Patrick Dolan, had four sons and three daughters: the sons were, Thomas, Philip, Patrick, and Charles. Thomas and Patrick were married to McGaurans; Philip, to McManus; and Charles, to McGuire. Two of the daughters married McGaurans, and one an O'Rourke.

Tiernan Dolan had two surviving sons: Tiernan and Peter. Tiernan is a Catholic priest; and Peter was married to a Dolan.

Thomas Dolan had three sons: Patrick, John, and Thomas; and four or five daughters. The eldest son, Patrick, married a McGauran; and of the daughters two married McGaurans.

Rodger died without issue. Felim left two sons and one daughter, and she married a McGauran.

Patrick Dolan had three sons and two daughters: the sons and one daughter went to America; and the eldest daughter married an O'Rourke.

Abigail McGauran, the wife of Tiernan Dolan, was the daughter of Peter McGauran and Catherine McAuley. Peter McGauran had four sons: John, Eugene, James, and Edward; and three daughters: Ellen, Catherine, and Abigail. John was married to a McGuire, Eugene to a McGauran, James to a Dolan, and Edward to a McGauran. One daughter married a Dolan, one a McGauran, and the other an O'Haran.

[2] Themselves: It is a tradition in the locality that a man named McGaughran killed the husband of Blind Terry's daughter; and that her son grew up under the care of his mother's family, and was much esteemed by them.