Problems with the O'Neill Pedigree

 99    Aedh Finnlaith
       High King
100    Neill Glundubh        
       High King
       King of Aileach
 101   Muirchertach na gCochall gCraicinn            
       'of the Leather Cloaks'
       King of Aileach
        |                                                         |                                                                                                                                            
 102   Domnall Ard Macha                                         Aodh                                                                              
       'of Armagh' +980                                          (Clanna Aodh buidhe)                                                                
       High King                                                 (Keating's Genealogies)
        |                 |                                 |
 103   Muirdoch          Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha        103  Muirchertach                                  
        |                King of Aileach +1004              |                                                
        |                +1004                              |                                                 
 104   Lochlan            |                           104  Flaithbertach 'an Trostain'                   
        |                Domhnall                         +1036                                                                                                                                                                                 
        |                1024                               |                                  
        |                                                   |        
 105  Ardgar MacLochlainn                             105  Aedh Athlaman                               
      King of Tuloch-og                                    d. 1033                              
      King of Aileach                                      King of Aileach                                    
      d. 1064 at Tuloch-og, b. Armagh                      (Last of his Line - L.E.)                                   
        |                                                   |                                   
        |                                                   |                                   
 106  Domnall MacLochlainn                             106 Domhnall an Trogdam Ua Neill                                                                                                          
      King of Aileach                                      King of Ulster with opposition 5 years                                  
      High King of Ireland                                 Slain by MacLochlainn                                                   
      d. 1121 at Derry                                      |                                                          
        |                                                   |                                                   
        |                                                   |                       
  107 Nial MacLochlainn                               107 Flaithbertach Locha Hodha Ua Neill                                                   
      King of Cinel-Conaill                               King of Ulster with opposition 3 years                                                    
      d. 1119                                             Slain by NacLochlainn                                                   
        |                                                   |                                                   
        |                                                   |                                                   
  108 Muirchertach MacLochlainn                       108 Conchobhar na Fiodhbhadh Ua Neill                                                                                                             
      High King of Ireland                                King of Ulster with opposition 10 years                                                   
      King of Aileach and Tara                            Slain by MacLochlainn                                                                                                  
      sl. 1166, b. at Armagh                                |                                                   
       |__________________________                          |                                                   
       |                          |                         |     
 109 Muirchertach MacLochlainn  Nial                  109 Tadhg an Glinne
      King of Cinel-Eogainn     1167                      King of Ulster with opposition 7 years
      sl. 1196, b. at Derry    (divided Tyrone            Slain by MacLochlainn
       |                       with Aedh Ua Neill)          |
       |                                                    |                            
  110 Domnall MacLochlainn                             110 Muirchertach Magh Line (Lughadh)           
      King of Cinel-Eoghainn                               King of Ulster with opposition +1160             
      sl. 1241 Battle of Caim Eirge                        sl. by Lochlan Ua Lochlainn                                                                                                                                                             
                                                       111 Aedh an Macaomh Toinleasc
                                                           Tyrone divided between Aedh Ua Neill and Nial MacLochlainn 1167
                                                           slain 1177 by Maelsechlainn and Ardgal MacLochlainn
                                                           King of the Cinel Eogain for a time
                                                            |                                    |
                                                       112 Neill Ruadh O'Neill                  Aedh Meith O'Neill  
                                                           1223                                 1199 - 1230
                                                            |                                   King of the Cinel Eogain
                                                            |                                    |
                                                       113 Brian Catha Duinn                    Domnall Oge O'Neill
                                                           +1260 Battle of Druim Dearg          1234
                                                           Fought the Battle of Caim Eirge       | 
                                                           with Domhnall MacLochlainn.           |
                                                           1241-1260                            Aodh Buidhe O'Neill
                                                                                               (O'Neill of Clannaboy)            

Problems with the Pedigree of the O'Neills As O Ceallaigh noted in his "Gleanings from Ulster History," there are several problems with the above pedigree for the O'Neills. The first problem is that the pedigree is several generations too long when compared to that of their kinsmen, the MacLochlainns. For example, in 1167 A.D. Rory O'Connor divided the Kingdom of Tyrone between Nial MacLochlainn and Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill; but in the pedigree of the O'Neills this Aodh appears two generations later than Nial MacLochlainn. If these men were competitors, as the Annals indicate, wouldn't their pedigrees more closely approximate each other in the number of generations? This deficiency in the O'Neill pedigree is even more pronounced in the case of Domnall MacLochlainn and Brian Ua Neill, competitors in the Battle of Caim Eirge in 1241, in which Brian Ua Neill appears three generations after Domnall MacLochlainn. One may propose a series of early births in the O'Neill line, which would eventually throw their pedigree out of alignment with that of the MacLochlainns; but over time, these early births should even out in both families and one would expect their pedigrees to be no more than one generation off for the period of time covered in them. Yet Brian Ua Neill is three generations removed from Domnall MacLochlainn, or in genealogical terms, a period of roughly 90 years! This obvious discrepancy between the pedigrees of MacLochlainn and Ua Neill should make every serious inquirer wonder if something is amiss with the O'Neill pedigree. In contrast to that of the O'Neills, the pedigree of the MacLochlainns is fully traceable in the Annals from Ardgar MacLochlainn to Domnall MacLochlainn of Caim Eirge. Sources differ on the early part of their pedigree, but whether one accepts a descent from Nial Glundubh or from his brother Domhnall Dubhaill, in any case the generations would remain the same. Since the O'Neills do not appear in the Annals from 1036 to 1160, the only way to accurately analyse ther pedigree is to compare it to a known source, that of the MacLochlainns. When this is done, problems never noticed before become obvious. The second problem noted by O Ceallaigh were the names of the kingdoms of the O'Neills in the early parts of their pedigree and the lengths of their reigns as reported by the Lebor Eoghanach. The last O'Neill to be mentioned by the Annalists in this pedigree was Aodh Athlaman Ua Neill, the son of Flaithbertach an Trostain, who died in 1036 A.D. (His son died three years before him). From that date until 1160, when Muirchertach Ua Neill is slain by Lochlan Ua Lochlann at the Battle of Magh Lughadh, not a single Ua Neill is mentioned in the Annals. For this entire period of 124 years, the Kingship of Aileach and the leadership of the Cinel Eogain were completely dominated by the MacLochlainns, who also furnished Ireland with two of her High Kings. The Lebor Eoghanach does not however, admit to a single MacLochlainn king of any kind during this period. The O'Neill kings, we are told, were Kings of Ulster with opposition for various years, each in his turn slain by an unnamed MacLochlainn. The "kings of Ulster" reference is clearly a fiction of the Lebor Eoghanach. During this period the kingship of Ulster (or the north of Ireland) was held by the kings of Aileach, although this title would eventually give way to the title "king of the Cinel Eogain." During this period the MacLochlainns completely monopolised the Kingship of Aileach. Since the O'Neills are not named as kings of any kingdom in the Annals, one may suppose they remained kings of Tuloch-0c, a minor sub-kingdom of Aileach, which after 1004 (according to O'Hogan) was the homeland of the O'Neills. But the names of their kingdoms and the lengths of reign listed in the Lebor Eoghanach are clearly ficticious or at least unproveable in the Annals. Lastly, according to O Ceallaigh, the Lebor Eoghanach clearly states that Aodh Athlaman (Aedh Allan) was the "last of his race." It is difficult to fathom how the O'Neills could descend from anyone described in their own history as the "last of his race." The third problem described by O Ceallaigh is the lack of any exploits or battles associated with any of the names in the O'Neill pedigree prior to 1177 in the Lebor Eoghanach. In addition, no brothers are ever mentioned for any of the figures in the pedigree prior to 1177, which is, as O Ceallaigh notes, highly unusual in Irish genealogical compositions. One is therefore tempted to conclude that none of these ancestors in the O'Neill pedigree were in fact historical. The True History of the O'Neills 1036-1177 There is unfortunately little one can do to trace the pedigree of the O'Neills in the Annals. Four of their ancestors are not named in the Annals at all, from Domnall an Trogdam Ua Neill to Tadgh an Glean, and we learn nothing of these gentlemen in the Lebor Eoganach except that each was a King of Ulster with opposition and that each was slain by MacLochlainn. After their disappearance from the Annals in 1036, they suddenly reappear in 1160 when Muirchertach Ua Neill was slain accidentally by Lochlain MacLochlainn at the Battle of Magh Lughadh. Lochlain was then slain in revenge by the son of Ua Neill. This was not a battle between MacLochlainn and Ua Neill; both men were on the same side, and the slaying was, according to the annalist, "accidental" ("slain undeservedly"). Nor is the Muirchertach Ua Neill identified as a king of the Cinel Eogain as the Lebor Eoganach implies. He simply appears in this entry as a member of the Cinel Eogain of Teloch-oc. We do not know who led this battle, described as a hosting by the Cinel-Eogain of Teloch-oc, but it was probably a MacLochlainn, not an Ua Neill. This Muirchertach of 1160 is probably the father of Aedh an Macaomh Toinleasc ('the Lazy Youth'), but it is impossible to be sure of this fact based on the Annals alone (he appears in the pedigree of the O'Neills as Muirchertach 'of Magh Line', which probably should be 'Magh Lughadh', after the battle). The next entry for the O'Neills occurs in 1167 in the Annals of the Four Masters, which describes the partitioning of Tyrone between Niall MacLochlainn and Aedh Ua Neill. "They afterwards arrived in Tir-Eoghain, and Ua Conchobhair divided the territory into two parts, i.e., gave that part of Tir-Eogain north of the mountain, i.e., Callainn, to Niall Ua Lochlainn, for two hostages, i.e., Ua Cathain of Craebh, and Macan-Ghaill Ua Brain, and that part of the country of the Cenel to the south of the mountain to Aedh Ua Neill, for two other hostages, i.e., Ua Maelaedha, one of the Cenel-Aedghusa, and Ua hUrthuile, one of the Ui-Tuirtre Ua Neill's own foster- brothers". This partitioning in effect gave most of what is now considered Tyrone County to the O'Neills; and the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal and Londonderry County to the MacLochlainns. From 1167 to 1177, only MacLochlainns appear in the Annals as "Kings of the Cinel Eogain. But in the Lebor Eoganach, the reign of Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill is given as 50 years! This entry for the O'Neills is followed in 1177 by the death of Aodh 'the lazy youth' at the hands of Maelsechlainn and Ardgal MacLochlainn, Aodh is described as the "king of the Cinel Eogain for a time" and a "rigdomna Erren", or a royal-heir of Ireland. This is the first notice in the Annals since the death of Flaithbertach an Trostain, the King of Aileach, that the O'Neills had held a kingdom since 1036, but, as the annals state, only for a time. We might here relate an interesting story told about this Aodh 'the lazy youth' in the Lebor Eoganach. According to O Ceallaigh, Aodh's father Muirchertach was married to the daughter of O Floinn Line, ruler of Ui Thuirtre. Aodh was born after his father's death in 1160. Muirchertach MacLochlainn, the High King of Ireland, came to the house of O Floinn and met the boy, who did not rise from his chair in respect. "Oh! thou tardy to arise," Muirchertach is supposed to have said ("Is toinleasg an macaomh"). This story may well be true, at least in part. In the Annal entry of 1176, Aodh Ua Niell is described as the Ui-Tuirtre Ua Neill, and we learn he had a foster brother named Ua Maelaedha. But if Aodh Ua Neill was born after his father's death in 1160, then he received his partitioned kingdom from Rory O'Connor at the age of 16 in 1176; and was slain at the age of 17 as leader of the Cinel-Eogain in 1177, all of which is highly doubtful. The story does place Aodh 'the lazy youth' in the generation behind Muirchertach MacLochlainn, which is exactly where he should appear in the pedigrees but does not. So this whole section of the pedigree of the Ua Neills is probably largely fictional. The names may be right; we have no way of checking them; but the "kings of Ulster with opposition" fiction is clearly disguised to hide the fact that their kinsmen the MacLochlainns were firmly in control of the kingdom of Aileach and Ireland itself while the O'Neills were at best simply kings the minor kingdom of Teloch-oc. 106 Domhnall an Trogdam Ua Neill King of Ulster with opposition 5 years Slain by MacLochlainn | 107 Flaithbertach Locha Hodha Ua Neill King of Ulster with opposition 3 years Slain by NacLochlainn | 108 Conchobhar na Fiodhbhadh Ua Neill King of Ulster with opposition 10 years Slain by MacLochlainn | 109 Tadhg an Glinne King of Ulster with opposition 7 years Slain by MacLochlainn | 110 Muirchertach Magh Line (Lughadh) King of Cinel Eoghainn +1160 sl. by Lochlan Ua Lochlainn | 111 Aedh an Macaomh Toinleasc Tyrone divided between Aedh Ua Neill and Nial MacLochlainn 1167 slain 1177 by Maelsechlainn and Ardgal MacLochlainn King of the Cinel Eogain for a time MacLochlainn vs. O'Neill 1177-1241 In contrast to the fictional statements which have every O'Neill King of Ulster slain by an MacLochlainn in this portion of their pedigree, the next 64 years did witness an increasing escalation of hostilities between the MacLochlainns and Ua Neills, as each vied for control of the Cinel-Eogain. Although the MacLochlainns after 1177 are occasionally described as "kings of Aileach, they are (as are the Ua Neills) more often described as "kings of the Cinel-Eogain", indicating a new political reality was taking shape in the north of Ireland. The northern chiefs were facing constant inroads from the Anglo-Norman invaders. Gone was the old importance of the kingdom of Aileach with its subkingdoms of Tuloch-oc, Inishowen, Magh-Ith, the Craeb and Cinel- Conaill, swept away by the partitioning of Tyrone by Rory O'Connor and the gains of the Anglo-Normans. Until 1241, neither the MacLochlainns nor the Ua Neills managed to gain supremacy within the Cinel-Eogain, in contrast to the claims of the Lebor Eoghanach, who treat the MacLochlainns as "usurpers" of the traditional rights of the O'Neills during this period. For the next twenty-two years, MacLochlainns alone are named as leading the Cinel-Eogain, with the exception of two interlopers, Rory Ua Flaithbertach (1186) and Ua Maeldoraidh (1197). The next entry for the O'Neills occurrs in 1199, when Aodh Ua Neill (Aodh Meith) appears leading the Cinel Eogain. In 1201, he was deposed by Conor 'the little' MacLochlainn, but Conor was soon slain, and in 1212 Aodh Meith again is named as King of the Cinel Eogain, a position he held until his death in 1230. We might note here that according to the Irish tradition of derbfine, the O'Neills were ineligible by the time of Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill to contend for the kingship of Aileach. This Aodh Ua Neill was 7th in descent from the last King of Aileach in his line, Aodh Athlaman. Like the Ua Flaithbertachs and the Ua Maeldoraidhs, Aodh Ua Neill was therefore an interloper in the succession of the Cinel-Eogain when Rory O'Connor partitioned the Kingdom in 1167; and it was this partitioning that revived their nearly dormant hopes of again obtaining the leadership of the Cinel Eogain. After the death of Aodh Meith Ua Neill in 1230, the MacLochlainns and the O'Neills bitterly contested the kingship of the Cinel Eogain. From 1232 to 1238, the MacLochlainns held the kingship of the Cinel Eogain. But in that year, the Anglo-Normans marched into Tyrone under Mac Maurice, the Lord Justice of Ireland, and Hugh de lacy, and deposed Domnall MacLochlainn in favor of Brian Ua Neill, and the O'Neills thus again became kings of the Cinel Eogain. Then a year later, Domnall MacLochlainn won the decisve Battle of Carn-Siadhail against Domnall 'of Tamnach' Ua Neill and reclaimed the kingship for the MacLochlainns. Then a fateful event occurred for the MacLochlainns. The O'Neills joined forces with the O'Donnells and engaged the MacLochlainns in battle at Caim Eirge in 1241. In this battle Domnall MacLochlainn was slain along with 10 of his derbfine and most of the nobles of the Cinel Eogain. Afterwards Brian Ua Neill took the leadership of the Cinel Eogain and the MacLochlainns, nearly decimated in this defeat, were never again able challenge the O'Neills for supremacy within the Cinel Eogain. The Annals do not state the O'Donnells used gallowglasses in this battle; but the extreme carnage which resulted and the devastating loss of MacLochlainn life indicates they probably did. What a different tale we find written in the Annals and the Lebor Eoghanach! We have already encountered one branch of the O'Neills in the Annals; that led by Aodh meith Ua Neill, who died in 1230. His grandson, Aodh buidhe O'Neill, is said to be the founder of the O'Neills of Clanna Aodh buidhe, or Clannaboy. There is no proof in the Annals that this Aodh was the son of Aodh 'the lazy youth' as the pedigrees assert; nor is there any proof that Aodh 'the lazy youth' was the son of Muirchertach of the Battle of Magh Lugadh in 1160. But this is what the pedigrees state and we can probably accept these genealogical statements as true. The second branch of the O'Neills, headed by Neill ruadh Ua Neill, is more difficult to identify in the Annals. In 1223, there is a vague reference to a Neill Ua Neill, who "violated the daughter of O'Cahane" and as a consequence had his life shortened. Is this the Neill ruadh of the pedigrees? He may be, but there is little evidence of this in the Annals. His son, Brian Ua Neill, was the competitor to Domnall MacLochlainn of Caim Eirge in 1241. We do know, however, from the poems of Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe, that this Brian's father's name was Neill, so this identification may be correct. Historical Sources - O'Neill Laud 610 circa 1050 A.D. Da mac Aeda Finnleith .i. Niall Glundubh 7 Domnall rig Ailig. Tri maic Neill Glunduibh .i. Muirchertach 7 Conaing 7 Maelciaran. Cethri Maic Murchertaig mic Neill Glunduib .i. Domnall ri Herend 7 Flaithbertach ri Ailig 7 Murchad 7 Flann. Cethri Maic Domnaill: da hAed 7 Muiredach. Se maic Domnaill .i. Fergal mac Domnaill ri Ailig 7 Dondchadh, ota Dubgall mac Dondchada, 7 Flann, diata Niall mac Mailsechnaill 7 Flaithbertach, diata Murchad hua Flaithbertaig, 7 Maelmithig, 7 Conchobor, dia rabatar Mic Conchubair. Finit. This manuscript, our earliest genealogical source, traces the line of the Kings of Aileach through the sons of Domnall 'of Ard Macha." According to the manuscript, this Domnall Ua Neill had four(cethri) sons, although only three are named in the text: two("da") Aodhs and Muiredaigh. The last unnamed son is Muirchertach, who is named in other sources, and is said to be the ancestor of the O'Neills. Muirdaigh, the son named in the text, is the ancestor of the MacLochlainns. Rawlinson B.502 (c. 1120 A.D.) 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 The pedigree of the O'Neills is not traced in the Rawlinson manuscript. Note that under the heading of Clainne Domnall, the line of Flaithbertach an Trostain appears, but his son, Aodh Athlaman, is not mentioned in the texts. Book of Lecan 1390 A.D. Neill oig (1397-1403) m. Neill Mor (1364-97 abd; d. 1398) m. Aodh (1345-64) m. Domnall (1283-86 dep; 1290-91 dep; 1295-1325) m. Brian (1238-60) m. Neill ruadh (d. 1223) m. Aodh (d. 1177) m. Muirchertach (s. 1160) m. Tadg (GHDI ?) m. Concobar (NAFIDGD ?) m. Flaithbertach (i HAGAIG ?) m. Domnall m. Aodh (ATHLOAN ?) m. Flaithbertach (TRA...... ?) m. Muirdaigh m. Domnall m. Muirchertach m. Neill glundubh Researcher's Notes: There are two O Neill genealogies, both linear rather than branching. 1. The main O Neill lineage is as per O Clery paragraph 456 from Niall oicc backwards, with the exception of Muircertaigh mhidhigh son of Domhnall of Armagh. In Lec he is replaced by a Muiredaig (Muireadhach the father of our Lochlainn?). I may have misread it, but I don't think I have. 2. The Clan Aedha buidhe lineage is as per O Clery paragraph 468 from Muirchertaigh cennfhoda backwards, but the editors introduction to Lec says "This pedigree was defective in the common original of Lec and BB; a recent hand has completed it here" and indeed the handwriting from Brian back to Aedha (Lazy Arse) is strikingly different. It is strange that the compiler of Lec did not know or failed to include the Clan Aedha buidhe lineage. Book of Ballymote 1390 A.D. Neill Mor m. Aeda m. Donaill m. Brian Catha m. Neill m. Aeda m. Muirchertaigh m. Tadg GL m. Concobar na fiod m. Flaithbertach LA m. Donaill m. Aeda Atloan m. Flaithbertach ..... illegible nickname m. Muirchertaigh m. Donaill m. Muirchertaigh na cc m. Neill GL The pedigree continues through Niall 'of the Nine Hostages' and further back to Adam. I found no separate pedigree for the Clanna Aodh buidhe Some of the nicknames in the manuscript appeared to be later additions in a different hand - I've only included in the above pedigree those that appeared to be part of the original text. The O'Clery Book of Genealogies pre-1642 A.D. 456. (col. a) Genelach .H. Neill Toirrdhelbach luinech m Neill conallaigh m Airt oicc m Cuind m Enri m eogain m Neill oicc m Neill moir m Aedha m Domhnaill m Briain catha duinn m Neill ruaidh m Aeda (.i. an macam toinlesg) (col. b) m Muircertaigh muighe lugaidh m Taidhg glinne m Conchobair na fiodhbaide m Flaithbertaigh locha h-adair m Domhnaill (.i. an t-oghdamh) m Aedha athlamhain m Flaithbertaigh an trostain m Muircertaigh mhidhigh m Domhnaill arda macha m Muircertaigh na ccocal ccroicenn m Neill glunduibh m Aedha finnleith m Nell caille m Aedha oirdnide m Neill frosaigh m Ferghail m Maile duin (col. c) m Maile fithrigh m Aedha uairidhnigh m Domhnaill ilcealccaigh m Muircertaigh m Muiredaigh m Eoghain m Neill naighiallaigh. 468. Conn m Neill m briain faghartaigh m Nell oicc m Nell moir m Cuind m AEdha buidhe m Briain ballaigh m Muirchertaigh cennfhoda m Enri m Briain m Aeda buide (o raiter clann Aeda buidi) m Domnaill oig m Aedha meth m Aedha (re n-abarthaoi an macamh toinlescc). MacFirbis Genealogies 1666 A.D. P. 114 MacFirbis Col. 1 Col. 2 Col. 3 The Genealogy of O'Neill m. Muirchertaigh m. Neill glundubh of Tryone, ............. Muighe Linne Rig Erren 3 years ........................ m. Tadg Glinne m. Aodh Finleith reigned 16 years Conn m. Conor m. Neill Caille reigned 13 years m. Airt oig na fiodga or m. Aodh Oirndidhe reigned 25 years m. Conn na fiodbiudt m. Neill frasach m. John Earl of m. Flaithbertach reigned 7 years Tyrone locha Hagan m. Fearghal reigned 10 years ............ or locha Rii m. Maoil duinn m. an Firdorcha m. Domnall ... m. Maoil fithrigh baron ...... ......... an m. Aodh uairiodhnach m. Conn bacagh Togdam reigned 7 years m. Conn Mor m. Aodh Athlaman m. Domnall Ilchealgach m. Enri m. Flaithbertach reigned 3 years m. Owen an Trosdainn i.e. m. Muirchertaigh m. Neill oig ...... Rome mac Earca reigned 24 years m. Neill Mor m. Muirchertaigh m. Muirdaigh m. Aodh or Hugh .......... m. Eoghan m. Domnall m. Domnall ard m. Neill Naoighiallach m. Brian of Catha Duin Macha Rig Erren reigned 27 years m. Neill roe reigned 24 years m. Eochaidh muighmeadoin m. Aodh or Hugh called m. Muirchertaigh reigned 8 years 'the lazy youth' 'of the leather cloaks' Genealaigh Clanna Aodha buidhe I. Neill P. 120 MacFirbis Col. 1 The Genealogy of Clanna Aodh Buidhe O'Neill Conn m. Neill m. Brian faghartaigh m. Neill oge m. Neill m. Conn m. Aodh buidhe m. Brian ballagh m. Muirchertaigh Cennfodha m. Enri m. Brian m. Aodh buidhe m. Domnall oge m. Aodh Meith m. Aodh Toinleasg ....... the lazy youth m. Muirchertaigh Muighe Line ....... Keating's Genealogies 1629-1634 A.D. The O'Neills of Clannaboy are said to be descendents of Aedh buidhe O'Neill, the grandson of Aedh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill. But according to Keating's Genealogies, the Clanna Aodh Buidhe were descendents of Aodh Ua Neill, the son of Muirchertach 'of the leather cloaks', and the brother of Domnall 'of Armagh.' The genealogy of O Neill 127 Sean, son of 126 Aodh, son of 125 An Fear Dorcha, son of 124 Conn Bacach, son of 123 Conn, son of 122 Einri, son of 121 Eoghan. At this Eoghan the progeny of Feidhlimidh Ruadh part from O Neill; son of 120 Niall Og, son of 119 Niall Mor, son of 118 Aodh, son of 117 Domhnall, son of 116 Brian of Cath Duin, son of 115 Niall Ruadh, son of 114 Aodh, that is, the Lazy-Limbed Youth, son of 113 Muircheartach of Magh Line, son of 112 Tadhg of Gleann, son of 111 Conchubhar na Fiodhgha, son of 110 Flaithbhearthach of Loch Adhar, son of 109 Domhnall, that is, the Young Ox, son of 108 Aodh Athlamh. son to this Aodh Athlamh was Donnsleibhe son of Suibhne of Fanad. It was from him sprang Mac Suibhne of the battleaxes and Mac Suibhne of Badhain; son of 107 Flaithbheartach an trostain, son of 106 Muircheartach Midheach, son of 105 Domhnall of Ard Macha. Brother to this Domhnall was Aodh son of Muircheartach of the leath-cloaks, from whom are Clann Aodha Buidhe; son of 104 Muircheartach of the leath-cloaks, son of 103 Niall Glundubh, son of 102 Aodh Fionnliath, son of 101 Niall Caille, son of 100 Aodh Oirndidhe, son of 99 Niall Frasach. Brother to this Niall was Conchubhar from whom sprang O Cathain; son of 98 Fearghal, son of 97 Maolduin, son of 96 Maoilfithrigh, son of 95 Aodh Uairiodhnach, son of 94 Domhnall Ilchealgach, son of 93 Muircheartach. Brother to this Muircheartach was Maine son of Muireadach whence sprang O Gairmleadhaigh; son of 92 Muireadhach, son of 91 Eoghan. This Eoghan had five sons who had issue namely Muireadhach, Oilill, Feaghus, Feilim and Eochaidh Binnigh. Of the progeny of Muircheartach son of Muireadhach son of Eoghan son of Niall is Mag Lachluinn. Of the progeny of Mongan son of Muireadhach son of Eoghan are Muinntear Dhonnghaile. Of the progeny of Fearghal son of Muireadhach son of Eoghan is Mac Cathmhaoil. Of the progeny of Oilill son of Eoghan are Muinntear Cheallaigh. Of the progeny of Fearghus son of Eoghan is O Conchubhair of Magh Iotha. Of the progeny of Feidhlimidh son of Eoghan son of Niall is O Duibhdhiorma. Of the progeny of Eochaidh Binnigh son of Eoghan are Cineal mBinnigh. Here we treat of the six brothers of Eoghan son of Niall namely Laoghaire, Enna, Maine, Cairbre, Conall Creamthainn and Conall Gulban. Of the descendants of Laoghaire is O Caoindealbhain. Of the descendants of Maine are the following families, namely Sionnach Muinntear Thadhgain, Muinntear Ronain, Muinntear Choinmheadha, Ui Inneirghe, Muinntear tSlamain, Muinntear Dhuibhgheannain, Clann Ui Mhaoilchonaire, Muinntear Bhraoin, Muinntear Chibleacain, O Siadhail, Muinntear chathalain, Muinntear Mhuireaghdha, O Corrghamhna, and Muinntear Chuinn. Of the descendants of Conall Creamhthainn is O Maoilseachlainn. Of the progeny of Conall Gulban is O Domhnaill and all who have sprung from him as we shall presently state. Of Eanna and Cairbre two other sons which Rioghnach bore to Niall the descendants are unknown to us. Niall had another son by Inne daughter of Lughaidh. His name was Fiachaidh. From his are descended Mag Eoghagain and O Maoilmhuaidh; son of 90 Niall Naoighiallach. The one curious statement in this pedigree of Keating's is that the Clanna Aodh buidhe were descended from Aodh, a brother of Domnall 'of Armagh.' Other sources, including O'Clery, indicate Domnall 'of Armagh' did not have a brother named Aodh. He did have a son named Aodh (Aodh of Craebh Tulcha, who died in 1004 A.D.) Could this have been the Aodh intended by Keating? . The Poems of Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe There is yet another possibility found in a poem of Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe, the bard of the MacLochlainns and later the O'Neills, whose description of the Battle of Downpatrick in 1260 is still quoted by historians as a that of a contemporary witness. This poem eulogises Brian Ua Neill, the leader of the Cinel Eogain, who was slain at Downpatrick, had his head cut off and carried away to London by the victorious English. One stanza of the poem appears below: 78. Beloved was both trunk and branch: great O Neill and his son; alas, they were a noble pair, Domhnall and Aodh of Aileach. This stanza is describing Domnall 'of Armagh' and his son, Aodh 'of Craeb Tulcha," as the trunk and the branch of the O'Neills. This is a clear genealogical statement, implying the O'Neills were descended from Aodh, son of Domnall 'of Armagh.' If the O'Neills were one branch in descent from Domnall 'of Armagh', then the "other" branch could only be the MacLochlainns, because elsewhere in the same poem, we find the O'Neills and the MacLochlainns appearing as "branches" of the leadership of the Cinel Eogain in 1260. 70. There would be no weakening in Leath Cuinn if Mag Lochlainn had not been killed; since the day of gentle Brian's death, it is hard to live after him without Diarmaid. Could the Keating pedigrees therefore be correct? Were the Clanna Aodh Buidhe descended from Aodh of Craebh Tulcha, as the above poem also indicates? If we attach the pedigree of the O'Neills to the line of Aodh of Craebh Tulcha, the following pedigree results: | 102 Domnall Ard Macha 'of Armagh' +980 |______________________________ | | 103 Muirdoch Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha' (Laud 610) +1004 King of Aileach | | 104 Lochlan Domnall an Trogdam Ua Neill | 1024? | | | | 105 Ardgar MacLochlainn Flaithbertach of Locha Hodha King of Tuloch-og | King of Aileach | d. 1064 at Tuloch-og | b. Armagh | | | 106 Domnall MacLochlainn Conchobhar na Fiodgha Ua Neill King of Aileach | High King of Ireland | d. 1121 at Derry | | | | | 107 Nial MacLochlainn Tadgh an Glinne Ua Neill King of Cinel-Conaill | d. 1119 | | | | | 108 Muirchertach MacLochlainn Muirchertach Ua Neill King of Ireland 'of Magh Line' King of Aileach and Tara 1160 Archking of Ireland | sl. 1166, b. at Armagh | |_________________ | | | | 109 Muirchertach Nial Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill King of Cinel 1167 1167 divided Tyrone with Nial MacLochlainn Eogain sl. 1196 sl. 1177 | | 110 Domnall MacLochlainn Nial Ruadh Ua Neill King of Cinel-Eoghain 1223 Caim Eirge 1241 | Brian of Catha Duinn slain 1260 Downpatrick Note tha the pedigrees of MacLochlainn and O'Neill are now in perfect harmony; the generations match up as they should; Nial MacLochlainn and Aodh 'the lazy youth', the two competitors in 1167, now appear in the same generation. And Brian of Catha Duinn is only one generation removed from his competitor, Domnall MacLochlainn of Caim Eirge. Abbe Mac Geoghegan's "The History of Ireland" 1758 Yet another version of the descent of the O'Neills is to be found in Abbe Mac Geoghegan's history of Ireland, written in France in 1758 and dedicated to the Irish Brigade. According to O'Curry (Lectures on the Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History) the Abbe made copious use of the Book of Lecan in preparing his history, which MS. was at that date housed in Paris. p. 257 "We shall now resume the thread of our history, and the reign of Moriertach MacLochluin. Chapter XVI. Great men have sometimes great defects, and their virtues are frequently obscured by their vices. The monarch of Ireland was a pious prince, zealous in the cause of religion, and a protector of the church and its privileges, but his ruling passion was anger, which sometimes degenerated into madness. Eochad, prince of Ulad, or Dalrieda, now the county of Antrim, was one of those who felt the effects of his passion. Being desirous to shake off the yoke, and to get free from the dominion of the monarch, his formidable enemy entered his principality, and putting all to fire and sword, forced him to seek safety by flight; whereupon Gelasus, primate of Ireland, continualy occupied in preserving peace between the princes of the country, prevailed upon Moriertach the monarch, and the other princes and nobles of Tir-Eogain, Oirgiell, and Ulad, to come to Armagh, where he concluded, to all appearance, a solid peace between the monarch and the prince of Ulad, of which he ws himself a guarantee, together with Dunchad O'Caruell, prince of Ergallie, or Orgiell. The prince of Ulad paid homage to the monarch, gave him hostages, and was restored to his estates. This peace, however, though in appearance solid, was of short duration. The monarch, either thinking himself not sufficiently revenged, or having had some fresh motive of displeasure, caused Eochad's eyes to be taken out, and the hostages he had given him to be put to death. The prince of Ergallie, finding himself insulted and aggrieved by the infraction of a treaty to which he had been a guarantee, resolved to take revenge. For this purpose he collected all the forces he could muster, and being joined by the inhabitants of Ulad, Ive-Bruin, and Conmacne, his allies, he marched at the head of nine thousand armed men into Tyrone, where, at Litterluin, he unexpectedly attacked the monarch, who was sacrificed, with several of his nobles, to the vengeance of an injured people. Keating and Bruodine assert that this monarch died a natural death, after a peaceful reign of eighteen years. He was the last monarch of the illustrious tribe of the Hy-Nialls, who had filled the throne of Ireland, with but little interruption, from the fourth century. From this monarch are descended the O'Neills. They founded three principal houses in Ulster, namely, those of Tyrone, the Fews, and Claneboy." This statement of the Abbe's states in no uncertain terms that the O'Neills were descended from Muirchertach MacLochlainn, the High King of Ireland, slain in 1166 A.D. On what source could the Abbe have based his statement? Irish scholars inform us he relied heavily from the Book of Lecan, a copy of which was in France where he wrote his history. But the Book of Lecan shows nothing but the traditional pedigree for the O'Neills. We may draw several implications from the above source material. 1. The Clanna Aodh Buidhe and the O'Neills of Tyrone may have been distinct lines within the Ua Neill. It is quite possible that the Clanna Aodh Buidhe were descended, as Keating states, from Aodh of Craeb Tulcha Ua Neill - and that the O'Neills of Tyrone were descended from Muirchertach MacLochlainn, as the Abbe MacGeohegan states. Both bore the surname Ua Neill or O'Neill - but their pedigrees were artificially joined sometime prior to the writing of the Book of Lecan; and probably at the same time a Milesian pedigree was fabricated for the MacSweeneys, said to descend from Flaithbertach an Trostain. If true, this means that the traditional pedigree for the O'Neills belongs to the Clanna Aodh Buidhe or the O'Neills of Clannaboy; the O'Neills of Tyrone, a separate branch, were in descent from Muirchertach MacLochlainn. Aodh 'the lazy youth,' described as a rigdomna Erren in the Annals, was probably the son of this same Muirchertach MacLochlainn. | 102 Domnall Ard Macha 'of Armagh' +980 |_______________________________________________________________ | | 103 Muirdaigh Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha' (Laud 610) +1004 King of Aileach | | 104 Lochlan Domnall an Trogdam Ua Neill | 1024? | | | | 105 Ardgar MacLochlainn Flaithbertach of Locha Hodha King of Tuloch-og | King of Aileach | d. 1064 at Tuloch-og | b. Armagh | | | 106 Domnall MacLochlainn Conchobhar na Fiodgha Ua Neill King of Aileach | High King of Ireland | d. 1121 at Derry | | | | | 107 Nial MacLochlainn Tadgh an Glinne Ua Neill King of Cinel-Conaill | d. 1119 | | | | | 108 Muirchertach MacLochlainn Muirchertach Ua Neill King of Ireland 'of Magh Line' King of Aileach and Tara 1160 Battle 0f Magh Lughadh Archking of Ireland | sl. 1166, b. at Armagh | |_______________________________ | | | | | 109 Muirchertach Nial Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill Aodh Ua Neill King of Cinel 1167 1167 divided Tyrone with Nial | Eogain sl. 1196 MacLochlainn sl. 1177 | | | | 110 Domnall MacLochlainn Nial Ruadh Ua Neill Aodh Meith Ua Neill King of Cinel-Eoghain 1223 1230 Caim Eirge 1241 | | | | MacLochlainn | | Brian of Catha Duinn Domnall oge slain 1260 Downpatrick d. 1241 | O'Neill of Tyrone | Aodh buidhe O'Neill d. 1283 O'Neill of Clannaboy