The Kyan Family

Kyan family crest

(Crest No. 56. Plate 23.)

THE Kyan family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Eogan, ancestor of the Northern Hy Nials, and son of Nial of the Nine Hostages, King of Ireland, A. D. 379. The ancient name was Cahane, and signifies “Beloved.” The possessions of the clan were located in the present Counties of Mayo and Carlow.

Of this family was Esmonde Kyan, a noted leader in the rebellion of 1798. He possessed an estate at Monamolin, near Oulart, and at the outbreak of the insurrection joined the patriot side. He was distinguished for his desperate courage, and was severely wounded at the battle of Arklow while leading his division against the royalist artillery. After the suppression of the insurrection he joined Holt, Myles Byrne, and Dwyer in the glens of Wicklow. He was subsequently arrested while secretly visiting his relatives, and executed. He was a man of noble character and superior talents. “He was,” writes Myles Byrne, “of all the chiefs of our little army the one who merited most good terms from the English. Throughout the war he had shown the greatest humanity, and made unceasing exertions to save the lives of prisoners, even of those whose hands were steeped in the blood of the inhabitants of the County of Wexford.”