Jordan (De Exeter) family genealogy

Lords of Athleathan, in the Barony of Gallen, and County of Mayo

Arms: Gu., a lion rampant betw. three crosses crosslet or. Motto: Percussus resurgo.

This Mayo family is descended from Jordan De Courcy, who (see the “De Courcy” genealogy, ante,) was a younger brother of Sir John De Courcy, the first Earl of Ulster; from him they derive the sirname MacJordan, now Jordan. When, however, the first of the family came to Ireland with the English invaders, A.D. 1168 (or, according to Lodge, and De Burgo, in 1169), they were known by the name De Exeter, because they came from Exonia or Exeter, in England; but when, to be “as Irish as the Irish themselves,” the descendants of the Anglo-Norman invaders of Ireland began to assume Irish patronymics, the De Exeters called themselves “MacJordan,” after their ancestor Jordan De Courcy, above mentioned.

Jordan De Courcy or Jordan Teutonicus, as he was also called, was, in 1197, killed by an Irish retainer; leaving many sons, two of whom were slain while striving to protect their uncle, the first Earl of Ulster, from the attacks of De Lacy’s followers in the churchyard of Downpatrick, as stated in the “De Courcy” genealogy.

In Vol. II, p. 59, Sect. 3, of The Antiquities of Ireland, by Sir James Ware, revised by Walter Harris, we find that:

“The De Exonias or De Exeters submitted to be called MacJordans, from one Jordan De Exonia, who was the first founder of the family.”

The “Jordan” portion of the family name originated, it is said, in the fact that Jordan De Courcy went as standard-bearer with the English Crusaders to the Holy Land, and, in a great battle which took place between the Christians and the Saracens on the banks of the river Jordan, was so vigorously attacked by the Saracen host, that on three or four occasions his standard, which was the Banner of the Cross, almost disappeared from the view of the Christians, who, therefore, greatly feared for his safety; but, from his extraordinary strength, and the help he received from his followers, De Courcy re-appeared with his standard, as if miraculously, and on each occasion dealt destruction to the enemy. Hence the adoption by his descendants, the De Exeters, of the name Jordan, in memory of their ancestor’s remarkable prowess on that occasion; and the addition of the Cross, Crosslet, and Lion to their Arms, with the Motto, Percussus resurgo. According to Mill’s History of the Crusades, Vol. I., Third Edition (1822), two brothers, William and Alberic De Grantmesnil, who were closely connected by marriage with the De Courcy family in England, went to the Holy Land,[1] and greatly distinguished themselves during the Crusades. It is believed that Jordan De Courcy accompanied those two brothers, as a Crusader; and, on his return to England, remained some time in Germany: and that hence the adfix Teutonicus to his name, as in the case of Balderic, one of his ancestors, mentioned in the “De Courcy” genealogy. It is here worthy of remark that “Jordan Teutonicus” was also the name of the Dominican Monk who succeeded St. Dominic, as General or Provincial of that Order. De Burgo states in cap. 3 of his Hibernia Dominicana:

“Anno Domini 1220 sint celebratum Bononia primum Capitulum Generale a B. Dominico, et Anno sequenti scilicet 1221 B. Dominicus secundum Capitulum Generale celebravit Bononia … in quo capitulo Frater Jordanus Teutonicus qui nondum in ordine annum compliverat factus est provincialis Lombardiæ.”

And again:

“Frater Jordanus Teutonicus qui nondum in ordine annum compliverat factus est Provincialis Lombardiam fundatis jam per ordinem circiter sexaquinta conventibus qui in octo provinciam erat distincti: scilicet Hispaniam, Provinciam Provinciæ, Franciam, Lombardiam Romanam, Teutoniam, Hungariam, et Angliam.”

In the Hibernia Dominicana[2] De Burgo says that the family came to Ireland in 1169 (“Henrico II. Rege”), from Exonia, in England, and was therefore called De Exonia[3] or De Exeter:

“Laudatum stirpem apud Anglos domicilium fixisse Exoniæ, Agri Dwoniensis (vulgo Devonshire) Civitatis Capitalis, a quo suum desumpsit cognomen;”

and that the name was afterwards changed to Dexter, Dexetra, and MacJordan; the same as De Arcie has become Darcy and Devereux:

“De Exonia, fere De Exeter, anglicé per syncopen Dexter, hibernicé MacJordan; sicut cognomina quæ olim De Arcie seu Arcy ac De Eureux postea D’Arcy ac D’Eureux, tandemque Darcy ac Devereux passim scribuntur.”

And De Burgo says that, in 1269, Richard De Exonia was Viceroy (Pro-regem) or Lord Deputy of Ireland:

“… Richardum de Exonia, Pro-regem fuisse Hiberniæ, Anno 1269.”

To that fact, Ware, Harris, and O’Heyne also bear testimony.

The De Exeters made settlements in ancient Meath, where (see infra) they built the Castle of Castlejordan; in the territory of Galenga,[4] which gave its name to the present barony of “Gallen,” in the county of Mayo; and in the north of Tirawley (now the barony of Tyrawley), in the said county, where, about five miles north of Killala, they founded in 1274 the Abbey of Rathbran, or, as it is now spelled, “Rafran.”[5]

Under A.D. 1247, in the Annals of the Four Masters, we find the De Exeter family name there first mentioned as “Siurtan Dexetra;” the word “Siurtan” being Irish for Jordan; and under A.D. 1249, the name “Jordan.”[6] In 1355, Stephen De Exeter fought for the O’Maddens against the Bourkes; in 1394, “John, son of Meyler, was slain by the sons of John De Exeter;” in 1416, MacJordan De Exeter attacked O’Hara’s sons and plundered the country, the people of the territory assembled against him, and he was defeated and slain; in 1426, Richard MacJordan, of the “Wood,” was taken prisoner by Owen, son of O’Flaherty, and was given up to MacJordan Dubh, by whom he was slain. In 1428 an incursion was made by MacJordan De Exeter into Tyrawley against Thomas Barrett and his sons; in 1472, the sons of MacJordan deserted (or strayed) from the army of MacWilliam Bourke, and all were slain except MacJordan; in 1486, O’Donnell, of Tirconnell, mustered an army, entered Tyrawley, and took John MacJordan and others, prisoners, etc.

Under A.D. 1253, the Four Masters say:

“A Monastery[7] was founded for the Dominicans at Athleathan, in Lieney, by the De Exeters, Lords of Athleathan, barony of Gallen, and county of Mayo.”

Ware,[8] Vol. I., p. 407, says that Michael of Exeter, a member of this family, succeeded as bishop in 1289, and died in 1302. In p. 609 of same volume, Ware adds that the De Exeters or De Exonias assumed the name “MacJordan;” and in p. 562, same volume, we find an ecclesiastic named “Jordan” (who died in 1434) mentioned as succeeding in 1431 as Bishop of Cork and Cloyne, then canonically united.

In De Burgo’s time the MacJordan family had reached the thirteenth generation (seculo xiii.) in Ireland; he says:

“F. Stephanus de Exonia, Hibernus, ex illustri hujus nominis Familia Anglica, sed qua in Hiberniam seculo xiii., jam commigrarat et apud Athleathan sedem fixerat cujus, et Dominum compararat originem ducens, natus anno 1246, et 25 Martii 1263 ad ordinem occitus in Domo Stradnessi ad Athleathan. Laudatur in Catalogo Codicum MSS. Anglia et Hibernia ubi sic legitur. Tom. II., Pag. 11, Num. 42.”

And again, writing of the same Friar Stephen de Exonia, De Burgo says:

“F. Stephanus de Exonia, anglicé per Syncopen Dexter, hibernicé MacJordan, Cænobii Stradensi, a gente sua fundati Alumnus floruit Anno 1274.” … “Auctor Annalium illorum quos vulgo Annales Montis Fernandi sive Minoritarum Multifarnæ vocamus, incipit ab Anno Domini 1245 et definit Anno 1274, quo tempore ille vixit, ut ex antiquitate characteris liquet non possum non suspicari auctorem fuisse Fratrem Stephanum de Exonia, quem natum perhibent Annalis illi Anno 1246, et habitu ordinis sui indutum in Die Annunciationis B. Mariæ Anno 1262.”

The Friar Stephen De Exonia, here mentioned by De Burgo, as the writer of the Annals of Multifernan (commonly known as “Anonymous Annals”), was one of the Dominican Monks of the Abbey of Strade; and a son of De Exeter, lord of Athleathan. Of that Friar, Ware says:[9]

“The Annals of the Dominicans were brought down by an Anonymous Friar of that Order, to the year 1274, in which the author flourished.”

This extract was copied from the Annals De Monte Fernandi,[10] a copy of which is preserved in the British Museum, London. That copy has the following entries, respecting the “most ancient family of the De Exeters;”

“Sed quia ibi cerebra fit mentio de rebus Conatiensibus et Speciatim de antiqua familia Dextorum (sive De Exonia Athleathan Dominorum et Cænobii Stradensis fundatorum inde.”)

A.D. 1262: “Obit Johanes De Exonia in dies amarum.”

A.D. 1262: “Obit Domina Eva[11] De Exonia prima Uxor Ricardi De Exonia in die Annunciacionis.”

A.D. 1263: “Item inductus est pater Stephanus De Exonia in die Annuncionis post diem Martis 1264. Obit Mabilia Secunda Uxor domini Ricardi item obit Waleranus.”

A.D. 1269: “Dominus Ricardi De Exonia adduxit regem pro regalibus contra Cassillinsem.”

A.D. 1269: “Item Dominus Ricardi De Exonia duxit Dominum Yesmain filiam dominam David De Prendergast.”

A.D. 1269: “Dominus De Ufford reversus est in Angliam et Dominus Ricardi De Exonia quidsit Vices Justicaria Hibernia item Yesimain uxor domina Ricardus De Exonia possivit Narcendum Johanem nomen in die Sancti.”

A.D. 1270: “Ibid. Ricardo De Exonia.”

Note, page 24, Annals of Multifernan, Hanmer says: A.D. 1269, “Richard De Exonia or De Exeter was made Lord Justice, and died same year with his wife Margery De Say. Sir James Ware repeats Hanmer’s statement.” The Annals of Multifernan state that Richard of Exeter married Yesimain, the daughter of Lord David De Prendergast, then Baron of Clanmorris. The names Eva, Yesmain, and Margery are to this day common family names in the De Exeter family.

In Grace’s Annals the following entries of this family are to be found:

A.D. 1312: “Milo De Verdon married the daughter of Richard De Exonia, Dexter, or De Exeter. This great Connaught family of De Exeter assumed at this time the name of Jordan or MacJordan, and Richard De Exonia was Chief Justice in Banco.” (State Papers, Edward II., page 117.)

Edward I. invaded Scotland, and his Justiciary, John Darcy, summoned the Anglo-Irish Barons and a number of the Irish Princes to attend the expedition to Scotland with men, arms, horses, etc.— Rhymer, Vol. II., page 906; and, according to Grace’s Annals, a large number of the Anglo-Norman Irish nobility attended King Edward in his expeditions to Scotland, among whom two of the De Exeter Lords were present, and were amongst the nobles entertained by the king at Roxburgh Castle. The De Exeters also fought in Gascoigne during the king’s wars; and members of that family were present at the victories during subsequent reigns in France.

In Grace’s Annals, page 170, and page 170 in the Appendix to those Annals, three members of the De Exeter family are named amongst the list of the Peers summoned to attend the Parliament at Kilkenny held in the year A.D. 1309.—See also Lynch’s and Betham’s Feudal Dignities.

The right, according to the Constitutional law of the country, still exists that, as the De Exeter Jordans have been Peers in Parliament, and have received Writs of summons to attend as such from time immemorial, and before Kings and Queens arrogated to themselves the power of granting titles; they can claim their ancient titles if they choose when they prove their direct descent, and that no bills of attainder has been passed against the members of the family. This Constitutional law is distinctly laid down in Hume and Smollet’s History of England, in Archdall’s edition of Lodge’s Peerage, and in other authorities who have consulted the constitutional law of this country.—See Note, p. 51, Lodge’s Peerage.

A.D. 1571. Edmond Campion, in his History of Ireland, gives the names of the temporal nobility then in Ireland, among whom he places “Lord Deseret,” whom Sir Henry Sidney called “Jordan De Exeter;” and of whom he further states that this family were Lords in the time of the Duke of Clarence’s Lord Lieutenancy, in 1351. —See Hogan’s Description of Ireland, in 1592, p. 232.

The Annals of the Four Masters relate the various attacks on the Castle of Athleathan; but it still remained in the possession of the family until Cromwell confiscated their large possessions, and removed them to their present family seat Rathslevin (modernized “Rosslevin”) Castle, situate in the said barony of Gallen and county of Mayo, and about five or six miles south-east of Ballylahan.

The MacJordans held high and distinguished positions among the invaders, and intermarried with the families of De Say, Prendergast, and Costello; and with some other of the noblest families in Connaught, viz.: A De Exeter MacJordan m. Penelope O’Connor, daughter of the King of Ireland; another m. Basilia De Bermingham, daughter of the lord baron of Athenry (both of whom are above-mentioned); a daughter of Walter Jordan De Exeter, of the Island near Ballyhaunis, county of Mayo, m. in 1692 (according to the “Dillon” pedigree, by Lodge), one of Lord Clonbrock’s ancestors; etc. And Celia MacJordan married Rickard Bourke, from both of whom are descended the present marquis of Clanricarde, and the earl of Mayo. Of this lady, as already stated, the Four Masters, under A.D. 1485, say:

“Celia, daughter of MacJordan, the wife of Rickard Bourke, the most exalted woman in Connaught, died.”

The principal residence of the MacJordan family was, as already mentioned, at Athleathan, where, in 1169 or 1170, they built their most important Castle in Ireland, which was called Athleathan Castle. It was afterwards called Baile-atha-leathan (meaning the “Town of the Broad Ford”), and at present Ballylahan. That ancient Castle is now in a state of ruin; but, judging by the extensive area covered by its remains, the Castle must have been a very large building.

Hardiman, in his description of Sir William Petty’s Survey of Ireland, gives a verbatim copy of Petty’s report to his Government. In that report Petty, speaking of the then De Exeter Jordan, states that he and others showed him matters of record and credit that they were barons by tenure of lands, and were summoned as such to Parliament. Petty also states that they had lands sufficient for such dignity, &c. The Cromwellian and Williamite Confiscations, however, deprived the MacJordans of much of their ancient territory. Yet, but few families still hold, as do the MacJordans, large tracts of the same lands which they possessed more than 700 years ago; and are able to trace as they can a direct and unbroken descent from the founder of their family in Ireland. It is a strange fact that, notwithstanding the Confiscations and Penal Laws in Ireland, the MacJordans have remained unchanged in Faith; and that although at one time to all appearance stricken down by tyranny and persecution, the family still maintains a most respectable position in society; as it were verifying their ancient Motto—Percussus Resurgo.

In Speed’s Theatre of Great Britain and Ireland, published in 1676, appear the names of the territories taken from the dominant Septs in Connaught: amongst them the territory of MacJordan, adjacent to Kiltimagh.

In the Topographia Hibernica[12] we read that Strade or Straid is a fair town in the barony of Gallen, and county of Mayo. This place is seated by the river Moy.[13] The Sept MacJordan founded a House here under the Invocation of the Holy Cross for Friars of the Order of St. Francis; but in 1252 it was given to the Dominicans. A small part of this Friary still remains, but the walls of the church, which was singularly beautiful, are still entire; the high altar[14] is adorned with Gothic ornaments. In the centre of the altar is an image of our Saviour when an infant in the Virgin’s lap, and a person in relievo within a compartment of each side. Here is also a tomb adorned with curious relievos of four kings in different compartments, one of whom is kneeling before a mitred person; near to it is another relievo of Saints Peter and Paul.

On the 15th July, 1585, and the 27th of Elizabeth, a Commission was issued by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth:

“To Sir Richard Bingham, Knt., Chief Commissioner of Connaught; the Archbishop of Tuam; the earls of Thomond and Clanrickard; the bishops of Clonfert and Elphin; the lord Bermingham, baron of Athenry; Sir Nicholas White, Knt., Master of the ‘Rules;’ Sir Edward Waterhouse and Sir Thomas Le Strange, two of the Privy Council; Thomas Dillon, Esq., chief justice of Connaught; Charles Calthorpp, attorney-general; Gerald Comerford, Esq., attorney for Connaught; Sir Tirlagh O’Brien, Knt.; Sir Donnell O’Connor, Sligo, Knt.; Sir Brian O’Rorke, Knt.; Sir Richard Burke, Knt.; Sir Murrogh na Deo O’Flaherty; Francis Barkley, provost-marshal in Connaught; Nicholas Fitzsimons, of Dublin, alderman; John Marburie, Robert Ffowle, and John Brown, gentlemen; who, from motives of ‘tender consideration’ towards Her Majesty’s loyal subjects in the Province of Connaught, then under the Rule of her right trusty and well-beloved deputy-general, Sir John Perrott, Knight, are directed to embrace all good ways and means whereby their titles and rights may be reduced to certainty: Premising that Sir Richard Bingham, Sir Nicholas White, and Sir Edward Waterhouse be of the Commission; the others as may be convenient; and commanding that all Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables, Officers and others to attend to the said Commission, for which they shall answer for the contrary at their peril.”

Under this Commission, sittings were held at various places in Connaught: one of them was held at Dunemona,[15] on the 8th of September, 1585: from the proceedings of which were laid the grounds out of which Her Majesty’s “tender considerations” were consequently bestowed on the MacJordans and others in Ireland.

The Jury empanelled on that occasion were:

“Piers Barrett, of Ballysakeery; Redmond MacCulladuff Oge, of Kilkeeran; Marcus MacEnabbe, of the Toher; David MacJoyn, of Kenlagh; William MacMoyler, of the Neale; Sherrone MacGibbin, of Lacken; James MacMorrish, of Barrele: John MacStafford, of Ballymacstafford; Cormack O’Higgin, of Rathmorogh; Richard Oge MacThomine, of Ballycroy; Walter Leagh MacStephen, of Coran; Sherowne MacSherowne, of Moymilla; Theobold Burke, of Turlogh; Taragh MacDonnell, of the Cloomine; Richard Burke, of Ballinecarrow; Teige Roe O’Mally, of Cahernamort (now ‘Westport’); Richard Oge MacGibbon, of Glankine; Edmond MacTibbod, of Knock Oile; Shane MacCostello, of Tollowhan; Moriertagh O’Killine, of Ballykilline; Robert Oge Barrett, of —; Edward Oge Barrett, of Dowltagh; Richard Oge MacDowdall, of Invroe; Henry MacEdmond MacRickard, of Ballinamore; Henry Bourke, of Castle Key; and Walter MacCostello,[16] of —.”

That Jury found that the county Mayo includes nine baronies, of which Ballylahan alias Gallen was one. In Mayo they found that there were 1,548 quarters of land, each quarter containing 120 Irish acres; and, after detailing several baronies, it is found that in the barony of Gallen there is a quantity of land called Clan Stephen.[17]

In Hardiman’s West Connaught, is given in p. 331, under the “Countie of Mayoe,” the Indenture made between Sir John Perrott, for and on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, on the one part, and:

“The Rev. Fathers in God, William, Archbishop of Tuam; Owen, elect bishop of Killala; Sir Richard Bourke, of the Newtown, Knt., otherwise called ‘MacWilliam Eyghter;’ Walter Kettagh (Bourke), of Bealeeck, gent.; William Bourke, of Ardnaree, gent.; Edmund Bourke MacOliver, of Rappa, gent.; Richard Barrett, of Ross, otherwise called ‘MacPadine,’ chief of his name; Pierce Barrett, of Ballasakeery, gent.; Myler MacEvilly, of Kinturk, otherwise called MacEvily, chief of his name; Edmond Bourke, of Castlebar, tanist to the said ‘Mac William Eyghter;’ William Bourke, of Ballenacarrae, otherwise called the ‘Blind Abbot;’ Moyler Bourke, of Castle MacKerra, gent.; Tibbot Reagh Bourke, of Boherfayne, gent.; Edmond Vagher MacJordan, of Bellalahan, otherwise called ‘MacJordan;’ Moyler MacJordan, of the Newcastle, gent.; Walter Liagh MacStevane, of Corran, MacStephane, gent.; Jordan MacThomas, of Bellahagh, gent.; Richard MacMorrish, of the Brees, otherwise called MacMorrish, chief of his name; Davy MacMorrish, of Castlemacgarrett, gent.; Walter MacEriderry, of Castlereagh. gent; William Bourke, of Shrule, gent.; Edmond Bourke, of Cowga, gent.; Richard Oge Bourke, of Loyncashill; Melaghlin O’Mealie, of Belare, otherwise called O’Mally, chief of his name; Tiege Roe O’Maylie, of Cahernamart, gent.; Owen O’Malie, of the same, gent.; Dermod MacArt, of Cleere, gent.; Gilliduff MacGibbon, of Balleneskilly, gent.; Richard Oge MacGibbon, of Glankine, gent.; Shearon MacGibbon, of Lacken, gent.; Nicholas Fitzsimons, of Donmackenny, gent.; Walter MacPhilbin, of Brehan, otherwise called ‘MacPhillibine,’ chief of his name; Faragh MacTirlagh Roe, of Carrick Kennedy, gent; Edmond Oge MacGibbon, of Derrymagorma, gent.; William Bourke, of Torrene, gent.; Rickard Oge MacTomine, of Ballyroen, gent.; Edmond Barrett, of Dowlagh, gent; John Browne, of the Neale, gent.; Rickard Barrett, of Kirrenagen, gent.; and John Carn, of Downmackennedy, gent., of the other part” …

The Indenture proceeds:

“The said Lords, Chieftains, Gentlemen, Ffreeholders, etc., acknowledging the manifold benefits by the peaceable government of the said Lord Deputy, and the just dealings of Sir Richard Bingham, and on account of having acquitted of certain Tanistry charges payable to their several chiefs willingly and thankfully, undertaking themselves and their heirs and assigns for ever to pay to Her Majesty ten shillings per quarter;[18] besides to supply forty able horsemen and 300 footmen well armed for battle in Connaught, when commanded to do so, and fifteen horsemen and fifty footmen for general service; and that the names, styles, and titles of Captainships and Jurisdictions, heretofore used by the said Chieftains, shall be henceforth abolished for ever … And as regards the barony of Beallalahan, otherwise Gallen, it is covenanted, granted, condescended, and agreed that the above named Edmond[19] Vaghery, otherwise called Jordan D’exeter, chief lord of the said barony, shall for the better maintenance of his living have, hold, possess, and enjoy to him and his heirs and assigns, the Castle and Manor of Belalahan, and eight quarters of Land with their appurtenances, whereof he is now seized as in right of his name of Mac Jordan; … together with other ten quarters of land which lie in ‘Joech’ Ballalahan and Cowlekearne (Coolkarney) subject to this Composition whereof he is now seized of his inheritance … The said MacJordan D’Exeter, his heirs and assigns, shall have a yearly rent-charge of five shillings out of every quarter of 118 quarters, the residue of said barony, in recompense of all rents, duties, and exactions by him claimed of the freeholders of the same; and that they and every of them, their heirs, and assigns, shall for his or their portion of lands hold the same of the said MacJordan D’Exeter, his heirs and assigns … and shall do suit and service to the Court Baron and Court Lete of his said Manor of Belalahan” …

The Signatories to that Indenture are: William Bourke, Richard Oge Bourke, Rickard Barrett, Walter Kittagh Bourke, Edmond Barrett, and Richard MacGibbon.

The Irish Chiefs and Owners of the country, except those in the interest of the English in Ireland, kept aloof, and neither attended the Commission, nor added their signatures to the Indenture; for, feeling that the settlement made in that Indenture was only a pretext to ascertain the extent and value of the inheritance possessed by the native Irish Chiefs (and which was soon after turned to sad account against them), they did not sign the Indenture: they preferred to absent themselves, so as not to be identified with such unjust interference with their rights; but, from compulsion, they had afterwards to gladly submit. The Galway Grand Jury,[20] who refused to find that the Crown of England had paramount rights in the Irish soil were committed to prison, and released only on payment of heavy penalties. If we trace those Commissioners we shall find them in possession of the Estates, of which they held inquiry; for instance: Thomas Dillon[21] got the greater part of “MacJordan’s Country,” and other lands in Mayo, besides large parcels of MacDermott’s territory in Moylurg; and of O’Kelly’s, in Hy-Maine.


[1] Holy Land: From the many pious associations connected with Palestine, exclusive of the Crusades, Christians from other nations went there in the middle ages to perform Pilgrimages. Members of some of the ancient Irish families went there for that purpose. Under A.D. 1224, the Four Masters say:

“Hugh O’Connor, of Maonmoy, died on his journey home from Jerusalem, on the River” (Jordan).

And, under A.D. 1231, they also say:

“Ualgarg O’Rourke, lord of Brefney, died on his Pilgrimage to the River” (Jordan).

[2] Hibernia Dominicana: In that great work we find many references to the “MacJordan” family, from which we extract the following: “Jordanus Teutonicus,” “Jordanus De Exonia Athlethanæ (anglicé Athleathan) Dominicus,” “Ex Anglica hac familia de Exonia, quæ magni olim fuit nominis in hoc tractu multi, nunc Hibernico moré MacJordan, id est Jordan Filii appellantur.”

[3] Exonia: The name De Exonia is sometimes met as De Exon. The latter name would indicate that it derived from Exon, the name given to the Commander of the Body-guard of the Royal Household. In Lodge we find that Robert, Lord of Courcy in Normandy, and an ancestor of this family, was (see the “De Courcy” genealogy, ante), Sewer or Steward of the household of King Henry I. of England, and of the household of his daughter the Empress Maude.

[4] Galenga: The Galenga territory here mentioned comprised the entire of the present Diocese of Ardagh; and included the patrimonies of the families of O’Hara and O’Gara, whose tribe name was Gallenga. That name, or its anglicised form “Gallen” (which was so late as 1537, called “MacJordan’s Country”), derived its appellation from Cormac Gaileang, to whom the Irish Monarch Cormac MacArt, in the third century, granted that territory. Cormac Gaileang, who was son of Teige, son of Cian, son of Olioll Olum, was a relative of King Cormac MacArt; and was the ancestor of the “O’Hara” and “O’Gara” families.—See the “O’Hara” genealogy in Vol. I. of this Edition.

[5] Rafran: Of that Abbey, De Burgo, in his Hib. Dom., says:

“The family of Dexter, who afterwards took the name of MacJordan, founded a Monastery here for Dominican Friars, in 1274;” while in pp. 279-280 of that work, he also says:

“De fundatore autem valde anceps Waræus ibidem aiens; sunt qui cænobium canditum afferunt a familia de Exonia qui postmodum MacJordans ut Hiberniæ morem gererent se cognominarunt prout haud ita pridem exponibam.”

[6] Jordan: The several changes in this family name has rendered it difficult to arrange the history of the family: In 1273. we find the name “Jordan Dexetra;” in 1289, “De Exeters;” in 1294, “De Exeters;” in 1316, “Dexeter;” in 1317, “Myler Dexeter,” Lord of Athleathan; in 1336. “Jordan Dexeter;” in 1340, “Jordan Roe MacCostello;” in 1355, “Stephen MacJordan;” in 1380, “MacJordan Dexeter,” and “John Dexeter;” in 1381, the “Castle of Athleathan;” in 1394, “John MacJordan” and “John Dexeter;” in 1395. “MacJordan Dexeter” and “MacJordan;” in 1416, “MacJordan Dexeter;” in 1426, “Richard MacJordan;” in 1428, “MacJordan Dexeter;” in 1438, “Jordan;” in 1472, “MacJordan;” in 1485, “Celia, daughter of MacJordan, the most exalted woman in Connaught, died;” in 1486, “MacJordan;” &c. For information respecting the Jordan family in England the reader is referred to Hume’s and Smollett’s History of England.

Jourdan, one of Napoleon the First’s distinguished generals, is supposed to have been descended from the De Exeter Jordan family, of the barony of Gallen, and county of Mayo. In the Illustrations Historical, by Dalton, we find in Butler’s regiment in King James the Second’s Army List, the name mentioned amongst the ensigns in that regiment. That officer emigrated to France with other Irish soldiers after the violation of the Treaty of Limerick (in 1691), and from him possibly descended the famous General Jourdan, above mentioned.

[7] Monastery: That Monastery was in 1254 destroyed by fire, and, rebuilt on another site. The ruins of both Abbeys are still to be seen at Athleathan (now called Strade), in the parish of Templemore, and said barony of Gallen, but in the ancient territory of Lieney. In Archdall’s Monasticon Hibernicum, the building and endowment of the Abbey of Athleathan is mentioned. Some authorities say it was founded by O’Heyne; but Ware says that it was at the solicitation of the wife of De Exeter, Lord of Athleathan, viz., Penelope O’Connor, that the Abbey was founded and endowed by her husband; while De Burgo says that it was at the solicitation of Basilia De Bermingham, sister of the Baron of Athenry, that her husband De Exeter built and endowed the Monastery. Evidently Ware and De Burgo allude—the former to the first Abbey, and the latter to the second Abbey founded at Strade; or the two statements may be reconciled thus: Basilia De Bermingham may have been the first wife of the De Exeter who founded the first Abbey at Athleathan, and Penelope O’Connor his second wife; or, the two Abbeys were founded by different members of the De Exeter family, and their respective wives were the ladies above mentioned. To this day the Monastery of Athleathan possesses some of the most perfect and beautiful specimens of ancient work on stone.

[8] Ware: The Works of Sir James Ware, revised by Walter Harris, mdccxxxix. See Note under the “Harris” pedigree, ante.

[9] Says: In Book I., Cap. 10, page 77, of The Writers of Ireland, in Two Books, by Sir James Ware, and Translated by Walter Harris.

[10] Fernandi: In the Tracts relating to Ireland, printed for the Irish Arch. Society, Vol. II. (Dublin: 1842), by Aquila Smith, M.D., M.R.I.A., we read in the Annales De Monte Fernandi (known as the Annals of Multifernan), in the first sentence in the Introduction: “The following Annals commence A.D. 45, and terminate with the year 1274; and … they claim attention from their antiquity, and are, perhaps, the most ancient annals of this country written exclusively in the Latin language.”

[11] Eva: This Eva, first wife of Richard De Exonia, was daughter of O’Connor, King of Connaught.

[12] Topographia Hibernica: By W. M. Seward, published in 1795.

[13] Moy: In Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary, Vol. II., p. 609, we read: “Templemore or Strade, a parish in the barony of Gallen, county of Mayo, and province of Connanght, four miles (south) from Foxford, on the road from Foxford to Castlebar, and on the river Moy, and Lough Cullen, containing 4,135 inhabitants. A Franciscan Friary was founded here by the Sept MacJordan; but in 1252 this House was given to the Dominicans by Myler De Exeter Jordan, Lord of Athleathan, or by his son Stephen” … Templemore is an ancient ruin situated a few miles from Swinford, co. Mayo; about a mile beyond it are the ruins of Ballylahan Castle.

[14] Altar: Within the last thirty or forty years that beautiful altar was removed from its ancient surroundings, and placed in a modern chapel in the neighbourhood; but the carvings thereon are now scarcely recognized, on account of the lime-wash with which they are covered.

[15] Dunemona: A Castle built by the O’Kellys of Hy-Maine, in the barony of Carra, but then in the possession of the Bourkes.

[16] MacCostello: Under A.D. 1585, Hardiman, in p. 301 of his West Connaught, mentions “MacJordan,” as of the English sirname Dexter; “MacCostello,” as Nangle; “MacMorris,” as Prendergast; &c. The sirname Costello is, it is said, derived from Costello, the second son of Gilbert De Angulo (a quo “Nangle”); but that Costello was, we find, so called from Caosluig, a corruption of the “Caoluisge,” a place near Ballyshannon, in the co. Donegal, where, in 1210, that second son Gilbert De Angulo was, with more of the English, slain by O’Neill and O’Donnell’s forces.

[17] Clan Stephen: So called, after Stephen De Exeter Jordan, who lived, as above mentioned, in 1355.

[18] Quarter: This is the Quit Rent, one penny per acre on 120 acres.

[19] Edmond: See No. 19 on the pedigree of this family, infra.

[20] Jury: See the “Dedication,” p. xxvi, Vol. I., for an extract from Darcy McGee’s History of Ireland, respecting Strafford’s arbitrary government of Ireland.

[21] Dillon: According to Lodge, p. 178, Dillon, who was lord chief justice of Connaught, and an ancestor of the present Lord Viscount Dillon, of Loughglynn, in the co. Roscommon, received during the reign of King James I., large grants of the lands of the MacJordans, in the barony of Gallen; with other grants of similar confiscations at the time in the barony of Costello, and co. of Mayo. Those grants included the town and Castle of Ballylahan, the Castle and town of Rathslevin, and divers other lands, rents, and hereditaments in the county of Mayo, of which the De Exeter Jordan family were deprived. In those days religious persecutions were for the most part the means, or ostensibly the cause, by which new families in Ireland were aggrandised, at the expense of the descendants of the ancient Irish Proprietors; and of the Anglo-Norman invaders of Ireland, who endeavoured to conciliate the native Irish, by adopting their manners, laws, and customs. Almost all those new families are now, we are sorry to say, as alien in race, ideas, and feelings, as when their ancestors first became the possessors of confiscated lands in Ireland! While Lord Strafford, as lord lieutenant, acted in the most tyrannical manner in confiscating the Estates of the Irish, but particularly the Catholic Irish Chiefs; yet, for that very reason, some historians appear to lament his execution! Strafford’s unhappy death, however, did not restore their Estates to the Irish proprietors, whom he had so cruelly wronged.