Notes on the Pedigree of the
      McLaughlins of Tirconnell

    There is considerable confusion in printed sources regarding
the true descent of the McLaughlin of Tirconnell sept.  That version
most frequently encountered has them descend from Domhnall, the
brother of Niall Glundubh, said variously to be the older or
younger son of Aodh Finnlaith.  This version appears in John O'Hart's
"Irish Pedigrees," which was largely a copy of O'Ferrall's "Linea 
Antiqua,"  and is actually a corruption of the pedigree of Clan Domhnall,
the second version. A third version, less frequently encountered, has the
McLaughlins of Tirconnell descend from Nial Glundubh, rather than from
his brother, Domhnall.  

 Version 1                  Version 2              Version 3

Aedh Finnlaith              Aedh Finnlaith         Aedh Finnlaith
Domhnall                    Domhnall               Nial Glundubh
Muirchertach                Flann                  Muirchertach
Domhnall                    Maelruanaidh           Domnall
Domhnall Oge                Maelsechlain           Muirdaigh
Muirdaigh                   Lochlan                Lochlan

(corrupted version)        (Clan Domhnall)           (Nial Glundubh)

  It is readily apparant that the corrupted version 1 is simply a 
combination of version 2 and version 3.  It contains the descent from
Domhnall, s. of Aedh Finnlaith, of version 2, but also contains the basic
pedigree from version 3, with the addition of a superfluous "Domhnall oge."
It appears in the O Curry transcript of MacFirbis, p. 125, col. c (bottom),
headed "Clan ele Neill caille," or "another clan of Neill Caille".
  But MacFirbis clearly didn't this a MacLochlainn pedigree.  His pedigree 
of MacLochlainn is labeled "Genealogy of Meg-Lochlainn in Erenn."  Preceding 
that is a pedigree identical to that of Clan Domhnall above labeled "Clann 
Neill here."  This also was clearly not intended to be a MacLochlainn pedigree.

  Which is the correct version?  Unfortunately, there are no sure answers.

  Seamus O Ceallaigh has ably summarised the data supporting both versions
in his book, "Gleanings from Ulster History."  The following chart will
show the two possible lines of descent for the McLaughlins of Tirconnell.

                    Aedh Finnlaith
                    High King  +879
         |                                  |
        Nial Glundubh                      Domhnall Dabhaill
        High King  +919                    +915
         |                                  |
         |                                  |
        Muirchertach 'of the               Flann
        Leather Cloaks'                    +906
        +943                                |
         |                                  |
         |                                  |
        Domhnall 'of Armagh'               Mael Ruanaidh  
        High King                          +940
         |                                  |
         |                                  |
        Muireadhach                        Mael Sheachlainn
         |                                 +996
         |                                  |
        Lochlan                            Lochlan

      Supporting the Nial Glundubh descent are the following sources:

     1.  Rawlinson B.502  (c. 1120)
     2.  Leabhar Leacdin (Book of Lecan) (c. 1390)
     3.  Leabhar Bahile an Mhota (Book of Ballymote) (c. 1390)
     4.  Annals of Tighernach
     5.  Annals of Ulster
     6.  Annals of Clonmacnoise
     7.  The O'Clery Book of Genealogies

      Supporting the Domhnall descent are the following sources:

     1. Annals of Inish Faithlinn
     2. Leabhar Laighean (Book of Leinster) (c. 1170)     

  (O Ceallaigh also lists the MacFirbis Genealogies as supporting both
   lines of descent, which they do - both pedigrees may be found in this
   work - He also lists the opinions of O'Clery and O'Donovan to support
   the "Nial Glundubh descent; and Todd, Eoin MacNeill and Seamus O hOgain
   to support the Domhnall descent; but these are all later writers and I
   have omitted them from the above sources tables.  He also lists the
   Leabhar Eoghanch by O Flaithbheartaigh as a source, but admits it's a
   doubtful one at best, since it was composed under the auspices of the
   O'Neills, who had their own reasons for promoting certain historical

      Rawlinson B.502 (c. 1120)

      Genelach Clainne Neill

    m. Ardgair            m. Neill Frosaich
    m. Lochlaind          m. Fergaile
    m. Muiredaich         m. Maele-duin
    m. Domnaill           m. Maeli-fithrich
    m. Muirchertaich      m. Aeda Uaridnaich
    m. Neill Glunduib     m. Domnaill
    m. Aeda Findleith     m. Muiredaich
    m. Neill Caille       m. Eogain
    m. Aeda Oirdnide      m. Neill

     Genelach Clainne Domnaill

       Aed                item:
    m. Neill                       Aed
    m. Mael-Sechnaill           m. Neill
    m. Mael-ruanaidh            m. Flaithbertaich
    m. Flaind                   m. Murchertaich 
    m. Domnaill                 m. Domnaill
    m. Aeda Findleith           m. Murchertaich
    m. Neill Caille             m. Neill Glunduib
                                m. Aeda Findleith

     Book of Ballymote

    "Muiridach mac Domnaill micMuirchertaigh na cochall craicinn
     mic Neill glunduibh - mac do Lochlaind ri Oiligh.  Aen mac la
     Lochlaind .i. Ardgal ..... Mac don Ardgal sin mac Lochlaind
     Domnall righ Erenn ..... Ceithri mic ag Domnall mac Ardgair mic 
     Lochlaind mic Muiredaigh mic Domnaill mic Muircertaigh mic
     Neill glunduibh .i. Muircertach 7 Magnus 7 Nial 7 Concobar."

    "Muirdach son of Domhnall son of Muirchertach 'of the Leather Cloaks'
     son of Neill glundubh - son of Lochlan, king of Ailech.  The son of
     Lochlan, i.e., Ardgal......the son of Ardgal son of Lochlan, Domnall,
     King of Ireland....the four sons of Domnall son of Ardgair son of
     Lochlan son of Muiredaigh son of Domhnall son of Muirchertach son
     of Neill glundubh, i.e., Muirchertach and Magnus and Nial and
      O tugamar in treas-sin do chraebscailedh Claindi Eogain
      meic Neill tabram da ngeinelachaib andso sis bodheasta

         Nial 7 Conchobar       
      m. Domnaill               
      m. Ardgair                
      m. Lochlaind
      m. Muiredaich
      m. Domnaill
      m. Muirchertaich
      m. Neill Glunduib
      m. Aeda Findleith
      m. Neill Kaille
      m. Aeda Ordnide

      m. Neill
      m. Maeltsechlaind
      m. Mael-ruanaidh
      m. Flaind
      m. Domnaill
      m. Aeda Findleith
      Cland Domnaill conige sin

         Book of Lecan
         (from the Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae)

        Genelach Meg Lachlainn annso .i. riga Ceniuil Eogain

           Niall 7 Conchobar da mac
        m. Ardgail
        m. Lochlan
        m. Muiredach
        m. Domnaill
        m. Muirchertach
        m. Neill Glundubh

        Cland Lachlaind andso

        m. Niall
        m. Mael sechnaill
        m. Lachlaind a quo Cland Lachlaind
        m. Flaind
        m. Domnall
        Cland Domnaill cosin

         The Book of Leinster
         (from the Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae)
              Genelach Rig Ailig

          m. Neill
          m. Domnaill
          m. Lochlaind
          m. Mael Sechnaill
          m. Mael Ruanaidh
          m. Flaind
          m. Domnaill
          m. Aedha Finleith


    Annals of Tighernach

    1064 A.D.

     "Ardghal mac Lochlainn hUi Neill mortuus est"

     "Ardgal son of Lochlan O'Neill is dead." 

    Annals of Ulster

     1099 A.D.

     "Da etire trena tuctha
      Do Loechraidh Uladh o chein
      In tres cen dibadh, abb Compgaill,
      Do righadh Domhnaill hUi Neill."

     "Two important hostages were given over
      Of the heroes of the Ulaidh of yore;
      The third, in triumph, the abbot of Comgall,
      To enking Domhnall O Neill."

      Annals of Clonmacnoise


         "Mortagh m'Neale was king of Ireland 14 years, he was
         of the O'Neales of the North."

      Annals of Inis Faithlinn

       "Comdal ic righ Ailig .i. mac meic Lochlainn hUi Mail Shechnaill,"
        7 ic hU Eochodha ic rig Ulad hic Dornann Dabaill for bru Locha
        Echach, 7 co ndersat chomluge fo minnaib imdaib im bachaill Isu
        tre chombaig i n-agid Hui Briain 7 Lethe Mogo."  (Fol. 29 e)
     O'Clery Book of Genealogies

    447.  Muiredhach mac Domhnaill mic Muircertaigh na cocall ccrooicenn,
          mac do, Lochlainn ri Oiligh.  Aenmac ag Lochlainn .i. Ardghar.... 
    448.  Mac   don Ardhar sin mac Lochloinn, Dhomhnall, ri Erenn.....

    449. Ceithri mic Domhnaill mic Ardghair mic Lochlainn mic Muirdehaigh
         mic Domhnaill mic Muircertaigh na cocall ccroicenn .i. Muircertach,
         et Magnus, Niall, et Conchobar....

    450. Mac do Niall, Muircertach, ri Eirenn.

 To which sources we might also add the Laud 610 Tribal Histories
and Genealogies, although the lines end with the sons of Domnall 'of

           Laud 610

      "Da mac Aeda Finnleith .i. Niall Glundubh 7 Domnall rig Ailig.
       Tri maic Neill Glundubh .i. Muirchertach 7 Conaing & Maelciaran.
       Cethri maic Murchertaig mic Neill Glunduib .i. Domnall ri Herend
       7 Flaithbertach ri Ailig 7 Murchad 7 Flann.  Cethri Maic Domnaill:
       da Aed 7 Muiredach.  Se maic Domnaill .i. Fergal mac Domnaill ri
       Ailig 7 Donchadh, ota Dubgail mac Donchada, 7 Flann, diata Naill mac
       Mailsechnaill 7 Flaithbertach, diata Murchad hua Flaithbertaig, 7
       Maelmithig, 7 Conchobar, dia rabatar Mic Conchobar, Finit."

         This page states Domnall son of Aedh Finnleith had four sons,
       but only three are named in the text.

       two (da) Aedhs and Muirdach.

       The Book of Ballymote has a nearly identical passage listing
       all four sons:

       Cetri mc. Domnall, da Aedh & Muircertach & Muiredach. 

                  Aedh Finnleith
         |                                  |
        Nial Glundubh                      Domnall
         |              |        |
        Muirchertach   Conaing  Maelciaran
         |        |              |         |
        Domnall  Flaithbertach  Murchadh  Flann
         |       |       |              |
        Aedh    Aedh    Muirchertch    Muirdach    
                 [O Neill]      [MacLochlainn]

     This pedigree is of interest in that it lists Muirdach, the son
     of Domnall 'of Armagh.'  Neither Muirdach nor his son, Lochlan,
     appear in the Annals of Ireland.  

   There are also two additional references to the McLaughlins as
"Ua Neill" which O'Donovan cites in his footnotes to the Annals of the
Four Masters.

1.  Under the year 1177, O'Donovan quotes from a passage in the Dublin 
    copy of the Annals of Inishfallen:  "Melaghlin O'Neill, at the head
    of the Kinel-Owen...."  This passage throws some doubt on the
    internal consistency of the Annals of Inishfallen, which in the year
    1093, refer to Domnall McLaughlin as "Ua Maelsechlainn."

2.  Under the year 1164, O'Donovan also quotes a passage from the Annals
    of Ulster:  

      "The great church of Dyrei built by the Coarb of Columbill,
       by Flahvertagh mac in Espug O'Brolchan, by Sama-Coluim-Kille,
       and by Murtagh O'Neale, archking of Ireland.

      In other copies of the Annals of Ulster, this identical reference
      appears, but in them Murtagh is described as "Ua Lochlainn."

  These two references reveal a great deal of internal inconsistency
between the various copies of the manuscripts in question.  


  So, we have some sources which have the McLaughlins descend from Nial
Glundubh, and others which have them descend from his brother, Domnall.
The Annals of Ireland are inconclusive on this issue;  Only one Lochlan
appears in the annals at his death in 1023, and he is named the son of
Mael Seachlainn.  Were there two Lochlans in this royal line, one of whom
did not appear in the Annals?

   O Ceallaigh chose to believe the Domhnall descent was the correct one
for the McLaughlins; so did Eoin MacNeill, and Seamus O hOgain.  On the
other hand, O'Clery and O'Donovan both followed the Nial Glundubh line
of descent for the family.  

  As O Ceallaigh admits in his article, the weight of the evidence lies
on the side of a Nial Glundubh descent for the McLaughlins.  This is
primarily because they are named "Ui Neill" or "a descendant of Nial
Glundubh," at least once in both the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of
Tighernach, as well as in the Book of Ballymote and the Book of Lecan.
In addition, the Rawlinson B. 502 genealogies were composed in about
1120 A.D., either during or shortly after the lifetime of Domnall
MacLochlainn (described in the Annals of Ulster as 'Ui Neill'or 'O'Neill').
Since Domnall MacLochlainn was the High King of Ireland at his death in
1121, we must assume the annalists of the North at least were well aware
of his descent, and chose to name him "Ui Neill" for a reason.
   The entries promoting a Clan Domhnall descent for the family include a
vague reference to the same Domhnall MacLochlainn as "mac mac Lochlan Ui
Maol Seachnail" in the Annals of Inishfaithlin and a pedigree in the Book
of Leinster showing a Clan Domhnall descent for the McLaughlins.  The Book
of Leinster was composed shortly after the Rawlinson B.502 genealogies
(in 1170).  However, elsewhere in the Annals of Inishfallen, the 
McLaughlins are also described as "Ua Neale," according to O'Donovan.  The
inconsistency of these references would incline us to disregard the Annals
of Inishfallen as a source in this matter, leaving only the pedigree in
the Book of Leinster as a source showing a descent from Domnall for the

  There is no way to prove or disprove the lineage of the MacLochlainns
of Tirconnell.  But clearly the weight of the source material does point
more strongly to a Nial Glundubh origin for the family in terms of the
number of references given.