The McGillicuddy Family

McGillicuddy family crest

(Crest No. 299. Plate 8.)

THE McGillicuddy family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heber. The founder of the family was Cormac, King of Munster, A. D. 483. The ancient name was Giol-lacuidighe, signifying “Child of My Companion.” The head of the family was entitled Prince of the Reeks, and the possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Kerry. The McGillicuddys, who were a branch of the O’Sullivans, were chiefs of a territory in the barony of Dunkerron, and from them the mountains called the McGillicuddy Reeks derived their name.

Some of this family Anglicized the name to Archdeacon. Of this name a famous personage was the Rev. Richard Archdeacon (or McGillicuddy), a famous Jesuit and controversial writer. He was born in Kilkenny in 1619, and died in Antwerp in 1690. He was for many years professor of classical literature, philosophy, and theology in Antwerp and Louvain, and was the author of many books that attained extensive popularity in his day. One of them, the “Essay on Miracles,” was the first book ever printed in the English and Irish languages conjointly.

The name is sometimes contracted to Cuddihy. The Cuddihy Brothers, of Chicago, the millionaire stock dealers and packers, are descended from this family.