The Bilrey Family

Bilrey family crest

(Crest No. 1. Plate 1.)

THE Bilrey family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heber. The founder of the family was Cormac Cas, son of Olliol Ollum, King of Munster, A. D. 177, and of Sabia, daughter of Con Kead Caha, King of Ireland, A. D. 148.

The ancient name was Bilrigh, signifying “Small King.” The possessions of the clan were located in the present Counties of Limerick and Mayo.

The O’Bilreys were chiefs of Hy Conail Guara, now the baronies of Upper and Lower Conello, in the County of Limerick.

The Bilreys were a sept of the Ui-Fidhgeinte, seated from a remote period in the plain of the County of Limerick. They are of the same race of the O’Donovans, but sank into obscurity after the beginning of the twelfth century, and the O’Donovans took their place and remained the dominant family in this plain until about the period of the English invasion.