Crosby family genealogy

Captain Sir Thomas Crosby, Knight

Arms: Ar. a lion ramp. sa. betw. three dexter hands couped and erect gu.

According to Smith’s History of Kerry, p. 54, the Irish family of Crosby is a branch of the English family of that name; but, according to O’Donovan and other authorities, the family is of Irish origin. These say that the first Crosby of note was son of the “Chiefe Rhymor of O’Moore,[1] who was named Patrick MacCrossan, ‘dexterously anglicised’ Crosby and Crosbie.” This Patrick MacCrossan became interpreter to the English in Ireland, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and finally an underling of the Government, in Dublin. He is said to have thus obtained large estates in Kerry, and so founded the family. His brother, who was named John, became Bishop of Ardfert, whose grandson, Sir Thomas Crosby, Knight, whose name is at the head of this pedigree, was a Captain in Carroll’s Dragoons, in the service of King James II.

Archdeacon Rowan says: “The present Crosbie family in Ireland trace their origin to two brothers, Patrick and John. The line of Patrick ended with his son Sir Piers Crosbie, one of the victims of the arbitrary Strafford (temp. King Charles I.). John became a clergyman, and in 1600 was advanced to the See of Ardfert and Aghadoe. Bishop Crosbie had a numerous family, and Captain Sir Thomas Crosbie was the son of the Bishop’s second son Colonel David Crosbie, a stout soldier, who is described as a ‘known enemy to the Confederate Catholics.’ He was recognised by Cromwell as Governor of Kerry, and all his estates guaranteed to him; and these still remain in the family, notwithstanding the attainder of Sir Thomas Crosby. In his case, to a certain extent at least, loyalty predominated over Party, and he became a Captain in Carroll’s Dragoons, in the service of his legitimate Sovereign, James II.”


[1] O’Moore: After the subjugation of Leix by the English, some of the “O’Moore” family were transplanted to Kerry, where also by a curious coincidence we find was located the Crosbie family. “To sketch the history and generation of the Tories (or Rapparees) of Ireland,” says Prendergast in his Ireland from the Restoration to the Revolution, 1660 to 1690. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1887), “one ought to go up to the replantation of Ireland in the reign of Philip and Mary, in the King’s and Queen’s Counties. It was in mercy to the O’Moores, and O’Connors (Faley), and five other septs or stocks—the Kellys, the Lalors, the Dorans, the MacEvoys, and the Doolans—that Sir Arthur Chichester, in 1608, transplanted the remains of them to Munster, after eighteen rebellions in forty years, lest the ‘White Moores’ (as he called them) should be utterly extirpated. By this nickname of the White Moors, Sir Arthur alluded to the gross breach of faith of the King of Spain in driving out the Moors of Andalusia, in 1609, contrary to the treaty made with the remnant of that race after their rebellion in a former reign; the consequence being that, for 230 years after, these Moors became the pirates of Algiers, and Sallee Rovers, in hatred of the injustice of the Christians.”