O'Donel (No.1) family genealogy

Princes [1] of Tirconnell

Arms: Or, issuing from the sinister side of the shield an arm fessways vested az. cuffed ar. holding in the hand ppr. a cross crosslet fitchée gu. Motto: In hoc signo vinces.

CONALL GULBAN, a brother of Eoghan who is No. 88 on the (No. 1) "O'Neill" (of Tyrone) pedigree, was the ancestor of O'Domhnaill, of Tirconnell; anglicised O'Donel, O'Donell, O'Donnell, etc.

88. Conall Gulbhan: son of Niall Mór, the 126th Monarch of Ireland.

89. Fergus Ceanfada: his son.

90. Sedna (seadnach): his son ("sead:" Irish, a jewel).

91. Fergus (2): his son; had a younger brother named Ainmireach.

92. Lughach: his son.

93. Ronan: his son.

94. Garbh [garv]: his son.

95. Ceannfola: his son.

96. Maolduin: his son.

97. Arnall: his son.

98. Ceannfola (2): his son.

99. Muirceartach: his son. Had a brother named Maolduin, and another Fiaman.

100. Dalach: his son; a quo Siol n-Dalaigh.

101. Eignechan: his son.

102. Domhnall ("domhan:" Irish, the world, "all," mighty): his son; a quo O'Domhnaill, and Muintir [2] Domhnaill of the county Clare.

103. Cathbharr: his son.

104. Giollachriosd: his son.

105. Cathbharr (2): his son.

106. Conn: his son.

107. Teige: his son.

108. Aodh (or Hugh): his son.

109. Domhnall [Donal]: his son.

110. Donoch (or Doncha): his son.

111. Eignechan: his son.

112. Donal Mór: his son.

113. Donal Oge: his son.

114. Hugh: his son.

115. Neal Garbh: his son; died 1380.

116. Tirloch an Fiona ("anfiona:" Irish, of the Wine): his son; Chief of Tirconnell): died 1422. Had eighteen sons.

117. Niall Garbh [3] (2), C.T. (or Chief of Tirconnell): his son; died in captivity, in the Isle of Man, in 1439.

118. Hugh Ruadh, C.T.: his son; d. 1497.

119. Hugh Dubh, C.T.: his son; d. 1537.

120. Manus:[4] his son; d. 1555.

121. Calbhach: his son; C.T., from 1555 to 1556. Had a younger brother named Sir Hugh, who was chief of Tirconnell, and who d. in 1592. This Sir Hugh had two sons—1. Hugh Ruadh (roe], who was Chief of Tirconnell from 1592 to 1602, and who was, according to Froude, poisoned on the 9th of October, 1602, at the castle of Simancas, in Spain, by James Blake, who, at the instigation of the President of the English in Munster, sailed from Cork for that purpose; and 2. Rory, Earl of Tirconnell, in 1603, who died in Rome, in 1608. This Rory had a son named Hugh, who was Page to the Infanta of Flanders, 1618; and was known as "Earl of Tirconnell."

122. Conn: son of Calbhach, unsuccessfully contested the chieftainship of Tirconnell with his uncle Sir Hugh, above mentioned. This Conn, who died in 1583, had three sons—1. Sir Nial Garbh [garv], who was ancestor of O'Donnell, of Newport-Mayo; 2. Hugh Buidhe, ancestor of O'Donnell, of Larkfield, county Leitrim; and 3. Conn Oge, ancestor of O'Donel of Oldcastle and Castlebar, in the county Mayo, and of O'Donnell, of Spain and of Austria.

123. Sir Nial Garbh: eldest son of Conn; contested the chieftainship with Hugh Ruadh;[5] who, as above stated, died in Spain, in 1602: in which year Sir Nial Garbh was inaugurated "chief of Tirconnell." He was afterwards, in 1608, imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he died in 1626.

124. Manus: his son; a Colonel in the army of Owen Ruadh O'Neill; was killed at the battle of Benburb, in 1646.

125. Rory (or Roger), of Lifford, in the county of Donegal: his son; was transplanted to the county Mayo by Oliver Cromwell.

126. Col. Manus O'Donnell, of Newport-Mayo: his son; admitted to benefit of Limerick Treaty, in 1698; died in 1737. This Manus had two sons—1. Charles (called Calbhach Ruadh), and 2. Hugh, of Newport-Mayo: This Charles, who died in 1770, had three sons—1. Manus, a Major-General in the Austrian service, who died in 1793, was buried at Strade, in Mayo, obiit s. p. m.; 2. Conn; and 3. Lewis, of Rosslands, who died in 1822—aged 108 years. This Lewis had a son named Lewis, who died in 1841; and this last mentioned Lewis had a son named Charles, who died in 1853, s.p. Thus the line of Charles (called Calbhach Ruadh) became extinct.

127. Hugh O'Donnell, of Newport-Mayo: second son of the aforesaid Col. Manus O'Donnell.

128. Sir Neal ODonnell, of Newport-Mayo: his son; created a "baronet," in 1780; died 1811.

129. Sir Neal O'Donnell, the second baronet: his son. This Sir Neal had two sons—1. Sir Hugh, who was the third baronet, and who died in 1828, s. p. m.; 2. Sir Richard.

130. Sir Richard O'Donnell, of Newport-Mayo, the fourth baronet: second son of Sir Neal; died 1878. This Richard had two sons—1. George; 2. Richard, who died s. p. m.

131. Sir Geogre O'Donell, of Newport-Mayo, fifth baronet: the elder son of Sir Richard; born in 1832, and living in 1887. (The Arms of this branch of the family are: Gu. issuing from the sinister side a cubit sinister arm vested az. cuffed or, the hand ppr. grasping a cross fitchée of the third.)


[1] Princes: The O'Donnells, were inaugurated as Princes of Tirconnell, on the rock of Doune, at Kilmacrenan; and had their chief castle at Donegal.—CONNELLAN.

[2] Muintir Domhnaill: See Note "Niall Garbh," in pp. 644-645.

[3] Niall Garbh: In O'Ferrall's Linea Antiqua, compiled about A.D. 1709, it is stated that this Niall "had an elder brother named Shane-a-Loirg (or Shane of Lurg), who was banished by his father from Tirconnell, and who settled in Tipperary; and that from this Shane the O'Donnells of Tipperary, Clare, and Limerick, are descended." But O'Ferrall cites no authority for those assertions, namely:—1. That Shane was the eldest son; 2. that he was banished; 3. that he settled in Tipperary; 4. that the O'Donnells in Tipperary, Clare, and Limerick are his descendants.

In Betham's Antiquarian Researches, published in 1826, it is said: "Tirloch an-Fhiona had eighteen sons—Shane, the eldest, having given offence to his father, was banished, and settled in the county Tipperary, where his descendants still exist." This statement was taken by Betham from the Linea Antiqua.

The evidence of the Records and of the Genealogies is, we find, opposed to that statement; for they show that Shane of Lurg was not only not the eldest son, but they render it doubtful that he was even legitimate. According to the loose notions of the period, all sons, whose mothers had been married, even though a previous wife was living, were considered as Heirs or Roydamnas, i.e. were eligible to be Tanists and Chiefs. Thus, O'Clery, in his Book of Pedigrees, p. 20, deposited in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, recognises these distinctions in recording, at length, the family of Tirlogh:—

"The eighteen sons of Tirlogh an-Fhiona were—By the daughter of Niall Mór O'Niall, Niall and Naghtan, who succeeded as Kings of Cinell Conall, and Donel, who was a Roydamna. Manus, who was the son of a daughter of O'Doherty; he was also a Roydamna. Egneghan, son of the daughter of Conor (the Hospitable) O'Doherty; he was also a Roydamna. Conor, son of the daughter of John Mór O'Connor; he was a Roydamna, also. (Here the Roydamnas or Heirs cease.) Hugh and Neil Beg were the two sons of the daughter of McMailin. Donogh of the Wood was the son of the daughter of Teige Oge O'Durneen. Shane of Lnrg was the son of the daughter of the son of Fergus O'Boyle." .... And so on to the end of the eighteen sons of Tirloch an-Fhiona.

Duald MacFirbis, in p. 153 of his "Book of Genealogies" (deposited in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin), gives a brief outline of the sons of Tirlogh-an-Fhiona, naming seven of them, of whom Shane of Lurg is placed last:

"Nial Garv, the son of Tirlogh; whose brothers were—Naghten and Donel, Hugh, Egneghan, Donogh, Conor, and Shane of Lurg."

Whenever sons, who were Roydamnas, grew up to man's estate, they always took a prominent part in leading their Clans in battle, and thus the sons, Niall and Naghtan and Donel are frequently mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters, as in the years 1398, 1420, 1421, 1422; but nowhere is there mention of Shane of Lurg, his name never appears even once in the Annals. We cannot see how that fact can be accounted for, if Shane of Lurg were the eldest son; unless on the supposition that he was banished in his youth, before he could take a prominent part in the events of his day. But this supposition is destroyed by the fact that he lived in Donegal, to leave a long family after him, namely—"Art and John, the two eldest, Godfrey, Dermod, and Niall." (See O'Clery's Irish Pedigrees, p. 20, where Shane's descendants are given for three generations.)

Again, supposing that he was banished, we may ask how comes it that Shane's sons never asserted their prior claims, if he were the eldest son, nor struggled for the Chieftainship, which they would be sure to do, as the history of those times proves by abundant instances.

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when family sirnames came be to adopted in Ireland, the name O'Donnell came, we would say, into use in West Munster and South Leinster, as well as in Donegal, without any affinity of common origin; just as a southern family took the name of "O'Connor," which was totally distinct from the O'Connors of Connaught, or the O'Connors of Offaley, etc. In the Annals we read that the O'Donnell, of Leinster, was slain, A.D. 1161, in an attack on the foreigners of Wexford. In 1158, O'Donnell, lord of Corca Bhaiscin, was slain. In 1090, Maelmordha, son of O'Donnell, King of Ui-Cinnsealigh, was slain; and so on with similar entries, showing that, for centuries before Shane of Lurg existed, there were O'Donnells in the South of Ireland—doubtless the progenitors of the families of that name now existing there.

[4] Manus: This is the Manus O'Donnell, Chief or Prince of Tirconnell, who made with Teige O'Connor (Sligo) the stipulations mentioned in the Paper in the Appendix headed—“Wardership of Sligo;” which was written in the Abbey of Donegal, on the 23rd day of June, 1539.

[5] Hugh Ruadh: Dalton, in his King James's Army List, speaking of Captain (or Colonel) Manus O'Donnell, of the Earl of Antrim's regiment, says that a Daniel O'Donnell was, in December, 1688, appointed a Captain in the Royal Service, and in 1689 authorised to rank as Colonel. That Captain Daniel O'Donnell was son of Turlogh, son of Caffer, son of Hugh Ruadh or Red Hugh O'Donnell, who was called "The Achilles of the Irish Race." In Doctor O'Donovan's Memoirs of the family he has noticed the gallant services on the Continent in the French Army, of the said Captain O'Donnell, till 1719, when he was made a Brigadier-General. He afterwards retired to St. Germain en Laye, where he died without issue on the 7th July, 1735, aged 70 years. This officer is remarkable as having been the possessor of the celebrated O'Donnell relique, called the cathach of St. Columbkille; for an account of which see Sir William Bethan's Antiquarian Researches, and O'Callaghan's Irish Brigades.