The O’Dea Family

O’Dea family crest

(Crest No. 99. Plate 27.)

THE O’Dea family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heber. The founder of the family was King Brian Boru, Monarch of Ireland. The O’Deas belonged to the Dal Cais tribe, thus uniting the blood of both Heber and Heremon.

The ancient name was Brian, signifying “The Author.” The name O’Dea was taken from O’Deadhaig, one of their ancient chiefs. The title of the chiefs of the sept was Lord of Slieve Ardagh, and their possessions were located in the present Counties of Limerick, Kerry, and Clare.

The O’Deas were chiefs of Dysart O’Dea, now the parish of Dysart, barony of Inchiquin, County of Clare.

About the year 1584, when the description of the County of Clare, preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, was written, the only places marked belonging to the O’Deas are Beallnalyke (near Ruane) and Moghowny, belonging to Mahowne O’Dea, and Desert, belonging to Donell Moel O’Dea. The O’Deas were also chiefs of Carbery, County Cork. The O’Deas are given by O’Heerin as chiefs of Sliabh Ardach, now the barony of Slieveardagh, in the County of Tipperary.