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 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 +1023 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 inaccuracies). Rawlinson B.502 (c. 1120) Genelach Clainne Neill Domnall 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 Connor." 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 Aed 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 Domnall m. Ardgail m. Lochlan m. Muiredach m. Domnaill m. Muirchertach m. Neill Glundubh Cland Lachlaind andso Aedh 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 Muirchertach 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 1133 "Mortagh m'Neale was king of Ireland 14 years, he was of the O'Neales of the North." Annals of Inis Faithlinn 1093 "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 Armagh." 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 McLaughlins. 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.