The Connellan Family

Connellan family crest

(Crest No. 46. Plate 40.)

THE Connellan family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of Heremon. The founder of the family was the famous Conal Gulban, son of Nial of the Nine Hostages and ancestor of the Northern Hy Nials. Conal Gulban was the ancestor of the Kinel-Connel, or race of Conall, that is, of the O’Donnells and their correlative families in the territory of Tirconnell. The ancient name of the O’Connellans was Conallain, which signifies “Prudent.” Their possessions were located in Mayo and Tyrone. The head of the sept was Chief of Bun-ui-Conniallan, now Bunnyconnellan, a district in the barony of Gallen, County of Mayo, and also of Cloonconnellan, in the barony of Kilmain.

The O’Connellans were also Chiefs of Crioch Tullach, in Tyrone. This clan are descended from Leogare, monarch of Ireland in the fifth century, and are of the same family as the O’Coindeal-bhain, O’Kendellans, or O’Connellans, Princes of Ibh-Laoghaire, or Ive-Leary, an extensive territory in the present Counties of Meath and Westmeath, which was possessed by the descendants of Leary, monarch of Ireland at the time of St. Patrick. The parish of Castletown Kendallan, in Westmeath, shows one part of this ancient territory and the townland of Kendellanstown, near Navan, shows another part of it. The O’Connellans were Princes of Hy Leary in the tenth and eleventh centuries, but branches of this family in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries settled in the Counties of Roscommon, Galway, and Mayo.