The Kinsellagh Family

Kinsellagh family crest

(Crest No. 296. Plate 55.)

THE Kinsellagh family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founders of the family were Fiacha Baiceada, son of Cathire More, or Cahir the Great, King of Ireland, A. D. 144, and Eana Kinsealach, King of Leinster, A. D. 350, also of the line of Cathire More.

The ancient name was Cuinsealeach, and signifies “Blood-stained”—adopted from a chief of the sept who was noted for his physical prowess, and who usually came off, in the hand-to-hand contests of those days, begrimed with the blood of his enemies.

The heads of the Kinsellagh sept were styled Kings of Leinster, and their possessions were located in the present County of Carlow. With the septs of the O’Cahills, O’Doyles, O’Bolgers and McCloskeys, the O’Kinsellaghs held extensive lands also in the County of Wexford. Enna Kin-Sealech was King of Leinster at the time of the advent of St. Patrick to Ireland; his son Crimthann was the first Christian king of that province. From this Eana Kin-Sealach were descended the Hy Kinsellagh, and from him also the surname Kinsellah.

During the centuried resistance to the encroachment of the Anglo-Norman power by the septs of the ancient Kingdom of Leinster, the O’Kinsellaghs invariably bore a conspicuous part. Many of this name also won high distinction as poets and learned men.

One of the most prominent of this family in the United States was the late Hon. Thomas Kinsella, editor of the Brooklyn “Eagle.” He may be ranked among the few great men and journalists who made a distinct and an enduring impress on his time. In his capacity of editor of the “Eagle” he exercised a great influence, and that influence was always wielded in the interests of the people. The rapid growth and the unprecedented prosperity of Brooklyn may be largely attributed to the powerful influence of the “Eagle” under the editorship of Mr. Kinsella. His premature death a few years ago was felt as not only an irreparable loss to the City of Brooklyn, but a loss to the nation.