The Elligott, Eligod, or Elliot Family

Elligott, Eligod, or Elliot family crest

(Crest No. 190. Plate 37.)

THIS family, whose name is variously spelled Elligott, MacElliod, McEligott, Eligod, and sometimes MacLeod, is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of Heber, third son of that monarch and oldest of those who conquered the Tuatha de Dannans and colonized Ireland.

The McEligotts belonged to the Kianachta tribe and thus were of the united blood of Heber and Heremon. Kiann, the founder of the tribe, was the son of Olliol Ollum, first absolute King of Munster, A. D. 177. The ancient name, Eligod, signifies “Eloping.” The title of the head of the clan was that of Brehon, and the clan lands were located in the present County of Kerry. It was from this family that the parish of Ballymacelligott, in the barony of Troughenackmy, in that county, received its name.

The McEligotts held their possessions until a comparatively late date. On the outbreak of the Revolution in Ireland, they were among the most ardent of the supporters of King James the Second.

A distinguished member of this family, Colonel Roger MacElliott, sat in King James’ Parliament in Dublin, in 1689, for Ardfert, in the County of Kerry, and during the same year he was Governor of Kinsale and of Cork. He had formerly served as colonel in the Dutch Republic with distinction, but came to Ireland to aid in the Jacobite cause. He was given command of a regiment, which he led at the battle of the Boyne. He afterward defended Cork for four days with a handful of men against the army of Marlborough, sustained by a powerful fleet, and after capitulation was conveyed to the Tower of London, where he was confined for six years. After the treaty of Ryswick he went to France, where he was appointed colonel of the Clancarty Infantry Regiment.

The McEligotts contributed several officers, including a major-general, to the armies of France, the name being represented in the officers list of nearly all the regiments of the Irish Brigade. This family also supplied a major-general and a baron to the Austrian service during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa.