The O’Gorman Family

O’Gorman family crest

(Crest No. 87. Plate 48.)

THE O’Gorman family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of Heremon, eighth son of that monarch. The founder of the family was Daire Barrach, son of Cathire More, or Cathire the Great, King of Ireland, A. D. 144. The ancient name was Goirmear, which signifies “Famous Champion,” and was taken from Gormain, a chieftain of the sept.

The title of the chief of the sept was Prince of Hy Mairch, and his possessions were located in the present County of Clare. The O’Gormans originally held possessions in Queens County, where they were chiefs of Crioch O’Bairce. The territory of the O’Gormans in Queens County is now called the barony of Slievemargue. Some of the sept subsequently settled in the County of Clare, where they held large possessions. The Clare O’Gormans were chiefs of Tullichrin, a territory comprising parts of the present baronies of Moyarta and Ibrackan, in that county.

Marian O’Gorman, Abbot of Knock, near Louth, composed a calendar in 1171, generally known as the Calendar of Marianus. It is in elegant Irish verse, and is said to be much esteemed for its beauty of style and faithfulness of detail.

Nicholas Purcell O’Gorman was a prominent man in his day, and noted as the friend and colaborer of O’Connell, in the successful struggle for Catholic Emancipation. Among the brilliant band of young men engaged in the Forty-eight movement, the late Judge Richard O’Gorman was conspicuous, and in the United States he subsequently attained honor and distinction. In the Mexican War the name is represented by Major O’Gorman, noted for his gallantry in some of the most desperate contests of Taylor’s campaign, and afterward a member of Congress from Indiana. The present able and eloquent United States Senator for Maryland, Arthur P. Gorman, is a descendant of this ancient family. The name is still numerous in Ireland.