The Hynes Family

Hynes family crest

(Crest No. 134. Plate 19.)

THIS family, whose name is variously spelled O’Heyne, Heyne, Hynes and Hines, is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the Heremon line, and belonged to the Hy Fiachra tribe. The ancient name Hyne signified “Goodness” or “Prayer,” and was taken from a chieftain named Guaire Aidhne (the Hospitable), King of Connaught. The title of the chief of the sept was Prince of Hy Fiachra, the Southern Hy Fiachra or Hy Fiachra Aidhne, so named after Eogan Aidhne, son of Dathi, the last pagan monarch of Ireland, who was killed by lightning at the foot of the Alps, A. D. 429.

This territory of Hy Fiachra. Aidhne was situated in the County of Galway, and was co extensive with the present Diocese of Kilmacduagh, and was possessed by the descendants of Eogan Aidhne, the principal of whom were the O’Heynes, the O’Clerys and the O’Shaughnessys. It comprised the barony of Kiltartan and parts of the baronies of Dunkellin and Loughren, in the County of Galway.

The O’Heynes are descended from Guairi Aidhne, a King of Connaught in the seventh century, who is celebrated by all the ancient annalists for his hospitality to all classes and his charity to the poor. Hence it passed into a proverb in that part of Ireland, in speaking of a hospitable person, that he was “as generous as Guaire,” and the Irish poets, in their figurative language, represented that his right hand had become much longer than his left, in consequence of its having been constantly extended in giving charity and alms to the poor.

The O’Heynes took their name from Eidhin, one of their chiefs in the tenth century, and Maolruanaidh O’Heyne, Prince of Hy Fiachra, who was a commander under Brian Boru at the battle of Clontarf. Brian Boru was married to Mor, the daughter of Flann, father of Maolruanaidh O’Heyne. Among the many men of this name who have gained distinction may be mentioned Judge Wm. J. Hynes of Chicago and Mr. John J. Hynes of Buffalo, N. Y., and Commissioner Hynes, Brooklyn, N. Y.