The Ui Chathain and Angus Og (mac Donald)

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The...@aol.com

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Feb 9, 2004, 6:03:50 PM2/9/04
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Monday, 9 February, 2004


Dear Todd, Stewart, et al.,

I noted in recently reviewing a book by Sean Duffy on Robert _the_ Bruce and 14th century Ireland a reference to a Scots-Irish marriage which may be helpful in the ancestral hunt.

This was a reference to Angus Og (mac Angus) mac Donald, ancestor of the subsequent MacDonald Lords of the Isles in Scotland. He is noted in SP as having married Agnes, daughter of Guy O'Cathan of Ulster; beyond this reference, I do not recall any further detail in SP, except that there were no further details concerning the O'Cathan family.

Duffy, in his book, refers to this same marriage, stating that Angus Og married into the family of the Uí Chatháin kings of Ciannachta (located in northern Ulster). I find a number of references to this same family on the Internet, primarily having to do with later individuals, and the fact that the Kane family alleges a descent from this 14th cent. family.

If you, or anyone of the list, might have additional details concerning this family (and in particular the 'Guy O'Cathan' referred to in SP), this would be of interest to many (and any) MacDonald descendants.

Cheers,

John *

* John P. Ravilious

Stewart Baldwin

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Feb 9, 2004, 6:49:57 PM2/9/04
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The O Clery Book of Genealogies (Analecta Hibernica 18, 1951) has an
Ua Chatháin genealogy on pp. 38-9 that present several cadet branches
(some of whom would seem to be in the period you are talking about,
judging from a rough count of generations), but no Guy. They are
shown to be descended from the Uí Néill king Fergal mac Máel Dúin (d.
722) of the Cenél Eogain.

Stewart Baldwin

Doug McDonald

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Feb 9, 2004, 7:41:35 PM2/9/04
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The...@aol.com wrote:
>
> Monday, 9 February, 2004
>
> Dear Todd, Stewart, et al.,
>
>
> This was a reference to Angus Og (mac Angus) mac Donald, ancestor of the subsequent MacDonald Lords of the Isles in Scotland. He is noted in SP as having married Agnes, daughter of Guy O'Cathan of Ulster;

...


>
> If you, or anyone of the list, might have additional details concerning this family (and in particular the 'Guy O'Cathan' referred to in SP), this would be of interest to many (and any) MacDonald descendants.


The Clan Donald DNA study people are interested in this connection.
See www.familytreedna.com, click on surname projects and look
under "D" for Donald.

There are female line descendents to 1759 on Leo's web site. I
can't find any later ones. But they must exist.

On the other hand, male line ones are a dime a dozen, me
likely included. There sill soon be enough people studied
to figure out almost exactly when each mutation from the original
Angus Og Y chromosome happened.

This study is interesting: it shows that, brother or other very
close paternity excluded, there really are very long lines that
are as the documentation says they should be. I personally
have to wait for the 25 marker results to see if I personally
am really likely a descendent in the male line.

Doug McDonald

siabair ~^~

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Feb 9, 2004, 10:24:27 PM2/9/04
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The...@aol.com wrote:
> This was a reference to Angus Og (mac Angus) mac Donald,
> ancestor of the subsequent MacDonald Lords of the Isles in Scotland.
> He is noted in SP as having married Agnes, daughter of Guy O'Cathan
> of Ulster

The O Cathains were a prominent family up until the Plantation of Ulster in
the seventeenth century, occupying the tier immediately next to the O
Neills. I am inclined to believe that Guy is a rendering of Con Muighe
(pronounced /cooey/), of which there are several in the O Cathain genealogy
cited earlier by Stewart. The obvious candidate is Con Muighe na nGall who
would have been alive at the right time (his father died at the battle of
Downpatrick in 1260) and whose genealogy is given as:

Con muighe na nGall m Magnusa chatha duin m Ruaidri m Domhnaill m
Eachmharcaigh m Raghnaill m Iomhair m Gilla Crist m Concionaedh m Diermada
m Cathusaigh m Cathain (a quo .h. Chathain) m Drugain m Concobhair m
Fergail m Maile duin m Maile fithrigh m Aedha uaiiriodhnaigh m Domnaill
ilcealccaigh m Muircertaigh m Muirethaigh m Eogain m Neill noigiallaigh

-cut and pasted from http://members.aol.com/Lochlan2/conor.htm

The genealogy needs the usual authentication (cross checking to the annals,
etc) but it should be pretty firm back to an early time.

--
siabair (Old Irish) = 'ghost', 'phantom', 'spectre'
/shabba/ as in 'Mr Loverman' by Shabba Ranks


Phil Moody

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Feb 10, 2004, 10:53:49 AM2/10/04
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"Doug McDonald" wrote:

> The Clan Donald DNA study people are interested in this connection.
> See www.familytreedna.com, click on surname projects and look
> under "D" for Donald.
>
> There are female line descendents to 1759 on Leo's web site. I
> can't find any later ones. But they must exist.

PLM: I am a descendant through the female line. The MacDonnells of Lundie
were a Cadet line of the MacDonnells of Glengarry, but due to financial
hardships after the "45", the Lundie branch removed themselves to America in
1773. They became United Empire Loyalists for the most part and were
subsequently granted land in Canada - along with my McGillis ancestors.
Donald Ban Mor McGillis married Mary MacDonnell of Lundy (Lundie) and they
had a large brood of Bairns who survived to adulthood and there are
innumerable descendants from this couple.

Cheers,
Phil

Doug McDonald

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Feb 10, 2004, 12:15:39 PM2/10/04
to
Phil Moody wrote:
>
> "Doug McDonald" wrote:
>
> > The Clan Donald DNA study people are interested in this connection.
> > See www.familytreedna.com, click on surname projects and look
> > under "D" for Donald.
> >
> > There are female line descendents to 1759 on Leo's web site. I
> > can't find any later ones. But they must exist.
>
> PLM: I am a descendant through the female line.

Excellent! I assume you mean complete all female line ... you should
get your MtDNA tested, as this will show the MtDNA of Agnes
O'Cathan.


Doug McDonald

Phil Moody

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Feb 10, 2004, 2:01:50 PM2/10/04
to
"Doug McDonald" wrote:

> > PLM: I am a descendant through the female line.
>
> Excellent! I assume you mean complete all female line ... you should
> get your MtDNA tested, as this will show the MtDNA of Agnes
> O'Cathan.

PLM: No - I did not mean to imply an unbroken female line. My descent is as
follows:

Mary MacDonnell of Lundy m. Donald McGillis
|
Angus McGillis m. Marguerite Vent-de-Bout (Cree native Notinikaban)
|
Isabella McGillis m. Edward Wells, son of John Wills and Josephte Grant.
|
Edward Wells m. Marie DeMontigny
|
Alexina Wells m. Frank Ouellette, son of Antoine Ouellette and Angelique
Bottineau.
|
Loucille Ouellette m. Carl Shellabarger (he may not be the father of
Loucille's son Donald, per tradition).
|
Donald Shellabarger m. Mary Stark
|
Lala (Layla) Mae Shellabarger m. Donald L. Moody.
|
Philip L. Moody

Doug, my blood may not be suitable for the DNA testing you had in mind?

Cheers,
Phil

----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug McDonald" <mcdo...@scs.uiuc.edu>
To: <GEN-MED...@rootsweb.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2004 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: The Ui Chathain and Angus Og (mac Donald)

Doug McDonald

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Feb 10, 2004, 2:16:36 PM2/10/04
to
Phil Moody wrote:
>
> "Doug McDonald" wrote:
>
> > > PLM: I am a descendant through the female line.
> >
> > Excellent! I assume you mean complete all female line ... you should
> > get your MtDNA tested, as this will show the MtDNA of Agnes
> > O'Cathan.
>
> PLM: No - I did not mean to imply an unbroken female line. My descent is as
> follows:
>

Oh. I'm asking you folks out there: does anybody have an all-female
line?

I have not found any on the Web so far. The royal-noble-gentry
lines all poop out in the 18th century or earlier. That's on the
net,
of course. And I have tried looking for all-female line descendents
of a list of six "fairly recent" all-female-line ladies from Leo's
database in the "usual suspect" one line pedigree trees for the
general public, and found nothing. I didn't just look for
descendents for the 6 ladies, but for descendents of their
grandmothers.

Doug

Phil Moody

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 7:30:10 PM2/10/04
to
I will see what I can find.

Cheers,
Phil
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug McDonald" <mcdo...@scs.uiuc.edu>
To: <GEN-MED...@rootsweb.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2004 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: The Ui Chathain and Angus Og (mac Donald)

John Ravilious

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Feb 12, 2004, 1:13:24 AM2/12/04
to
Wednesday, 11 June, 2004

Dear siabair, Stewart, et al.,

Thanks for your responses and references.

Siabair, the website you referred to provides a number of
extracts from O&#8217;Clery, including genealogies showing the
descents
from Niall &#8216;of the Nine Hostages&#8217; to the early chiefs of
O&#8217;Cathain,
O&#8217;Chairillan (O&#8217;Carolan of Derry ), O&#8217;Baighill
(O&#8217;Boyle of Magh Ith),
O&#8217;Muiredhaigh (MacMurray of Donegal), and others. As to the
O&#8217;Cathain
descent under discussion, your suggestion of Con muighe na nGall as
being most likely the &#8216;Guy [Con muighe]&#8217; O&#8217;Cathan
referred to in SP
as father-in-law of Angus Og mac Angus mac Donald is convincing. The
chronology supports this suggestion:

1. Magnusa chatha duin (father of Con muighe) is identified in
the Annals of Ulster as one of the Gaelic chiefs slain at
Downpatrick in 1260:

&#8216; U1260.1
The battle of Druim-derg [was fought] (in a place which is
called Dromma-derg) at Dun-da-leathglas by Brian Ua Neill and
Aedh, son of Feidhlimidh [Ua Conchobair], against the
Foreigners of the North of Ireland, wherein were killed many
of the nobles of the Gaidhil, namely, Brian Ua Neill and
Domnall Ua Cairre and Diarmait Mag Lachlainn and Maghnus Ua
Catha[i]n and Cian Ua Inneirghi and Donnsleibhe Mag Cana and
Concobur O'Duibhdirma and Aedh, his son, and Amlaim Ua
Gairmleaghaidh and Cu-Uladh Ua hAnluain. But one [notable]
thing [happened]: fifteen men of the nobles of Clann-Cathain
were killed on that spot. &#8216; [1]

2. Angus Mor mac Donald (father of Angus Og) and his eldest
son Alexander joined Robert de Brus of Annandale and
others in an agreement known as the &#8216;Turnberry
Band&#8217;, 20
September 1286 [2]. Assuming that Angus Og, 3rd son of Angus
Mor, was a minor at that date in 1286, placing him as
husband of a granddaughter of Magnusa (slain in 1260) is
quite reasonable.

Geographical considerations also favor this identification, as
the Ui Cathain held lands in Coleraine in northern (coastal) Ulster;
most conducive to close relations to the Hebridean Lords of the
Isles.

~ It is also interesting to note that the genealogy given by
O&#8217;Clery for the Ui Cathain traces 21 generations from
Niall
&#8216;of the Nine Hostages&#8217; to Magnusa chatha duin, who
was
slain at Downpatrick in 1260. The certainty of the earlier
generations is especially open to discussion, but if one
wanted to estimate the time span from Niall
&#8216;nogiallaigh&#8217;
to Magnusa chatha duin (assuming an average 28 years per
generation), this would place Niall as living approx.
A.D. 600-700. One wonders how this works with the
chronology from recent scholarly studies of the earlier
Ui Neill. Moncreiffe (The Highland Clans) places Fergal
mac Maelduin, King of Ailech as having been slain in
battle in 722: the problem here is, the 13 generations
to Magnusa chatha duin would then average 41 years per
generation, somewhat excessive for such a lengthy
descent.

Cheers,

John


NOTES

[1] The Annals of Ulster, Year 1260
from CELT: The Corpus of Electronic Texts
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100001B/index.html

[2] Red Book of Menteith II: 219-220, citing Historical Docs.
Scotland, i:22


"siabair ~^~" <sia...@htmail.cm> wrote in message news:<c09itn$ise$2...@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk>...

siabair ~^~

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Feb 12, 2004, 4:35:44 AM2/12/04
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John Ravilious wrote:
> the problem here is, the 13 generations
> to Magnusa chatha duin would then average 41 years per
> generation, somewhat excessive for such a lengthy
> descent.

How many of the intervening generations are dateable from the annals? Do
the dates proceed in a reasonable manner?
I have not performed any dating but would make the following observations

1. The section containing names of Viking origin (Raghnall and Iomhar)
occurs after such names entered the stock of Irish names so there is no
anachronism.

2. The first appearance of an O Cathain in the annals is in 1138, when
Raghnall son of Iomhar dies ('Gleanings From Ulster History' by S O
Ceallaigh, page 10).

3. The earliest appearance of the genealogy from Drugan onwards is in the
late genealogical collections such as O Clery ('Gleanings From Ulster
History' by S O Ceallaigh, page 10).

4. The average generation length within the Ui Neill cousinhoods of
Aileach, Mide and Brega has been calculated as 36.3 ('Date Guessing and
Pedigrees' by M Miller, Studia Celtica, volume X/XI (1975/76), page 100).

Having performed this brief investigation I am now a lot less confident
that the O Cathain lineage should be taken at face value. It looks to me as
if they may be one of the wave of families who came to prominence in the
north of Ireland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries from obscure
origins (eg: O Donnell, Maguire, MacMahon, etc) displacing an establishment
of older provenance (eg: O Cannain, MacLochlainn, etc), the suspect section
of their genealogy being:

Iomhair m Gilla Crist m Concionaedh m Diermada m Cathusaigh m Cathain m
Drugain

What a difference a day makes!

siabair ~^~

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Feb 12, 2004, 5:06:14 AM2/12/04
to
siabair ~^~ wrote:
> Having performed this brief investigation I am now a lot less
> confident that the O Cathain lineage should be taken at face value.
> It looks to me as if they may be one of the wave of families who came
> to prominence in the north of Ireland in the twelfth and thirteenth
> centuries from obscure origins (eg: O Donnell, Maguire, MacMahon,
> etc) displacing an establishment of older provenance (eg: O Cannain,
> MacLochlainn, etc), the suspect section of their genealogy being:
>
> Iomhair m Gilla Crist m Concionaedh m Diermada m Cathusaigh m Cathain
> m Drugain

To set against all this pessimism, the genealogical collection in Laud 610
(compiled circa 1050) does appear to mention the O Cathains (in the guise
of Hui Eochathan) as descending from Drugan:

Conchobor mac Fergaile dano, da mac dec lais .i. ... Drucan...
.....
VIII. Drucan, a quo Hui Eochathan 7 Hoi Longsig.

If the Hui Eochathan are the O Cathains, their broad descent from Drugan is
attested from a time before they came to prominence so the pendulum swings
back again!

siabair ~^~

unread,
Feb 12, 2004, 12:46:18 PM2/12/04
to
siabair ~^~ wrote:
> To set against all this pessimism, the genealogical collection in
> Laud 610 (compiled circa 1050) does appear to mention the O Cathains
> (in the guise of Hui Eochathan) as descending from Drugan:

I just had a look at the digitised Laud 610 online

http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=bodleian&manuscript=mslaudmisc610

folio 76 verso, column 1, lines 13-14 "Drucan, a quo Hui Eochathan 7 Hoi
Longsig" so the transcript of Laud 610 we have been using thus far is
correct. This leaves the connected questions

1. Did the eponymous ancestor Eochathan became Cathan in the later version
of the genealogy?

2. Did the surname O Eochaththan become O Cathain?

Now I have never come across Eochathan as a personal name so maybe it is
just a scribal error for Cathan. A start might be made if someone can look
up the index in Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae by MA O Brien to see if
Eochathan occurs as a personal name in another context.

siabair ~^~

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Feb 12, 2004, 12:59:47 PM2/12/04
to
siabair ~^~ wrote:
> 2. Did the surname O Eochaththan become O Cathain?

Correction: the surname should be O Eochathan (only one 'th').

John Ravilious

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Feb 14, 2004, 9:59:01 AM2/14/04
to
Saturday, 14 February, 2004


Dear siabair, Stewart, et al.,

Having some limited time to peruse the Annals of the Four
Masters, and the Annals of Ulster (courtesy of CELT) has provided some
added documentation for the individuals in the Ui Chathain pedigree.


1 Imhar mac Gillechrist O'Cathain
----------------------------------------

chief of Uí Chatháin
'king' of Ciannachta[1]]

Children: Raghnaill mac Iomhair (-1138)


1.1 Raghnaill mac Iomhair O'Cathain
----------------------------------------
Death: 1138[2]

chief of Uí Chatháin
'king' of Ciannachta

' M1138.6
Raghnall, son of Imhar Ua Cathain, lord of the Craebh, Cianachta, and
Fir-Li,
fell through treachery and guile, by the Ui-Eoghain of the Valley.'
Annals
of the Four Masters, 1138[2]

'Raghnaill m[ac] Iomhair' [ O'Clery, genealogy of Uí Chatháin[1]]

Children: Eachmarcach mac Raghnaill (-1195)


1.1.1 Eachmarcach mac Raghnaill O'Cathain
----------------------------------------
Death: 1195[2]

' M1156.14
Aedh, son of Ruaidhri Ua Canannain, lord of Cinel-Conaill, was
slain by Ua Cathain and Feara-na-Craeibhe, by treachery.' Annals of
the Four
Masters, 1156[2]

' M1175.5
The Kinel-Enda were defeated, and a great slaughter made of them by
Eachmarcach O'Kane, and Niall O'Gormly.' Annals of the Four Masters,
1175[2]

' M1181.7
The men of Moy-Ithe, together with O'Kane [Eachmarcach], and the
Kinel-Binny
of the Valley, mustered an army, and crossed Toome. They plundered all
the
territories of Firlee and Hy-Tuirtre, and carried off many thousands
of cows.'
Annals of the Four Masters, 1181[2]

' M1195.4
Eachmarcach O'Kane died in St. Paul's church. ' Annals of the Four
Masters,
1195[2]

' Eachmharcaigh m[ac] Raghnaill ' [ O'Clery, genealogy of Uí
Chatháin[1]]

Children: Randall mac Eachmarcach (-1178)
Domhnaill mac Eachmarcach


1.1.1.1 Randall mac Eachmarcach O'Cathain
----------------------------------------
Death: 1178, d.v.p.[2]

' M1178.4 (pp. 38-39):
Conor, the son of Conallagh O'Loony, assumed the chieftainship of
Kinel-Moen;
and Donnell, the son of Donnell O'Gormly, was banished from Moy Ithe
into
Inishowen, to Donough O'Duibhdhiorma. In three months afterwards, the
Kinel-Moen
deposed Conor, the son of Conallagh, and gave back the chieftainship
to
Donnell, the son of Donnell O'Gormly. The people of Donnell O'Gormly,
namely, Gilla
Caech O'Ederla, and the O'Flanagans, treacherously slew O'Loony in
Donnell's
own house, even while he was under the protection of the Erenagh of
Urney, who
was with him at the time. Upon this the Kinel-Moen drove Donnell
O'Gormly from
the chieftainship, and set // up Rory O'Flaherty as their chieftain:
but
the three sons of this O'Flaherty acted a treacherous part towards the
Kinel-Moen;they slew Donnell, the son of Donnell O'Gormly, Tiernan,
the son of Randal
Mac Donnell, and eight other gentlemen of the Kinel-Moen. Randal, the
son of
Eachmarcach O'Kane, had been slain by the Kinel-Moen in the beginning
of this
summer, and in revenge of this were slain Galagh O'Loony and Murtough
O'Petan;
and it was in revenge of this, moreover, the aforesaid act of
treachery was
committed against the Kinel-Moen.' Annals of the Four Masters,
1178[2]

1.1.1.2 Domhnaill mac Eachmarcach O'Cathain
----------------------------------------

' Domhnaill m[ac] Eachmharcaigh ' [ O'Clery, genealogy of Uí
Chatháin[1]]

Children: Ruaidri mac Domhnaill


1.1.1.2.1 Ruaidri mac Domhnaill O'Cathain
----------------------------------------

' Ruaidri m[ac] Domhnaill ' [ O'Clery, genealogy of Uí Chatháin[1]]

Children: Magnus chatha duin (-1260)


1.1.1.2.1.1 Magnus chatha duin O'Cathain
----------------------------------------
Death: 1260, Battle of Downpatrick[3]

' M1247.4
Eachmarcach O'Kane, Lord of Kienaghta and Firnacreeva, was slain by
Manus
O'Kane, after having gone on a predatory excursion into his country as
far as
Armoy in Dal-Riada.' Annals of the Four Masters, 1247[2]

slain at the Battle of Downpatrick, together with Brian O'Neill:


" U1260.1
The battle of Druim-derg [was fought] (in a place which is
called Dromma-derg) at Dun-da-leathglas by Brian Ua Neill and
Aedh, son of Feidhlimidh [Ua Conchobair], against the
Foreigners of the North of Ireland, wherein were killed many
of the nobles of the Gaidhil, namely, Brian Ua Neill and
Domnall Ua Cairre and Diarmait Mag Lachlainn and Maghnus Ua
Catha[i]n and Cian Ua Inneirghi and Donnsleibhe Mag Cana and
Concobur O'Duibhdirma and Aedh, his son, and Amlaim Ua
Gairmleaghaidh and Cu-Uladh Ua hAnluain. But one [notable]
thing [happened]: fifteen men of the nobles of Clann-Cathain

were killed on that spot." [Annals of Ulster, A.D. 1260[3]]

' Magnusa chatha duin m[ac] Ruaidri ' [ O'Clery, genealogy of Uí
Chatháin[1]]

Children: Con Muighe


1.1.1.2.1.1.1 Con Muighe O'Cathain
----------------------------------------

' Con muighe na nGall m[ac] Magnusa chatha duin ' [ O'Clery,
genealogy of Uí
Chatháin[1]]


~ also called "Guy O'Cathan". The account in SP for MacDonald, Lord
of the
Isles identifies him as 'Guy O'Cathan, of Ulster' . It is evident
that his
Gaelic name Con Muighe [pronounced 'Guwey' or 'Gooeh') was heard and
transcribed
as the French name "Guy".
Cf. discussion on SGM, "The Ui Chathain and Angus Og (mac Donald)"[1].
also Sean Duffy, The Irish Wars of Robert the Bruce, 1306-1329.

Children: Agnes
Diarmaid


1.1.1.2.1.1.1.1 Agnes O'Cathan
----------------------------------------

' Agnes, daughter of Guy O'Cathan'[4]

Spouse: Angus Og MacDonald
Death: bef 1337[5]
Father: Angus Mor MacDonald (-1296)
Mother: NN Campbell

Children: Eoin (-1387)
Mary
Fingola


1.1.1.2.1.1.1.2 Diarmaid O'Cathain
----------------------------------------

cf. O'Clery, genealogy of Uí Chatháin[1]]


1. siabair, John P. Ravilious, Stewart Baldwin and others, "Re: The Ui
Chathain and Angus Og (mac Donald)," February 2004, cites SP,
MacDonald Lord of the
Isles; also O'Clery Genealogies.
2. "Annals of the Four Masters," University College Cork,
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/L100005/, project CELT: The Corpus of
Electronic Texts, M1247.4:
slaughter of Echmarcach Ua Cathain by Magnus Ua Cathain.
3. "Annals of Ulster," University College Cork,
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/L100005/, project CELT: The Corpus of
Electronic Texts, U1206: entry re:
the Battle of Downpatrick.
4. Sir James Balfour Paul, ed., "The Scots Peerage," 1904-1914 (9
volumes).
5. Richard Borthwick, "Re: Sutherland of Dunbeath," 5 February 1999,
GEN-MED...@rootsweb.com, cites CP XII (Sutherland, Earls of),
Munro & Munro, Acts
of the Lords of the Isles.

siabair ~^~" <sia...@htmail.cm> wrote in message news:<c0geuq$261$1...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>...

Stewart Baldwin

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Feb 14, 2004, 6:06:28 PM2/14/04
to
It seems to me that there are two serious problems that would need to
investigated more carefully before the suggested descent of the
MacDonald Lords of the Isles from the Uí Néill king Fergal (d. 722) is
accepted.

1. The identification of "Guy" and "Cú Mhaighe"

According to the book "Irish Names" by Donnchadh Ó Corráin and Fidelma
Maguire (of whom the former is a well known and respected scholar in
Celtic Studies and the latter is his wife, a history teacher), the
Anglicizations of the name Cú Mhaighe are Quintin/Quinton, Cooey, and
Hughey. Guy is not mentioned as an Anglicization for this name, nor
does the list of variant forms at the back of the book list any other
Irish name which is Anglicized as Guy. Thus, we need to see some
evidence for this identification that goes beyond an observation that
the two names kind of/sort of have a similar sound. [Additional note:
The "Cú" in this name should not be rendered as "Con" when men of this
name are discussed in the English language, as "Con" is the genetive
form of "Cú". In Irish genealogies of the form "name1 son of name2
son of name3 ...", the first name generally appears in the nominative
and the remaining names in the genetive, and the genetive forms should
be converted into the appropriate nominative forms when these names
are discussed in English. Similarly, nom. Raghnall, gen. Raghnaill
and nom. Eachmarcach, gen. Eachmarcaigh]

Also, the primary evidence for the marriage of Guy's daughter clearly
needs to found and examined.

2. The chronological problem at the early end.

Fergal mac Máel Dúin, the Uí Néill king of Ireland, died in 722. The
genealogy from the O Clery Book of Genealogies places has nine
generations ahead of Raghnall mac Iomhair, who died in 1138 according
to the material John posted from the Annals of the Four Masters. Nine
generations in 418 years makes an average of 46+ years per generation.
Of course, it would have been better to base such an average on dates
of birth (which we don't know) rather than dates of death. If
Raghnall died at a greater age than Fergal, that would lower the
number 418, and therefore lower the average, and if Fergal died at a
greater age than Raghnall, that would raise the average. Now,
Fergal's father died in 681, so Fergal (even if posthumous) was at
least 40 at his death, and Raghnall's son Eachmarcach died in 1195, 57
years after his father, meaning that Raghnall was unlikely to have
been much beyond middle-aged at his death (and was possibly quite a
bit younger), leaving not much room to argue for lowering the average.
Now, having a father be 46 years older than his son is significantly
above average, but insufficient to cause concern if the evidence for
the relationship is good. However, a running average that large over
nine generations, although not impossible, is much less likely, and,
in my opinion, large enough to cause significant concern in cases like
this. The updating of Irish genealogies was fairly haphazard, with
the prominent families tending to have their genealogies updated more
often. When a cadet branch of a well known line emerged into
prominence after several generations of obscurity (which appears to be
the case here), and their genealogy was updated, it was easy to
accidently omit one or more of the intervening generations, even in
those case where the line of descent was largely true in basic outline
(the accidental adding of names could happen, but seems to have been
much less common). In cases like this where the number of intervening
generations is uncomfortably small during a period of poor
documentation, I am inclined to have significantly less confidence in
the pedigree, unless more of the intervening details can be backed up
by earlier sources (which I have not attempted).

Stewart Baldwin

siabair ~^~

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 7:01:51 PM2/14/04
to
Stewart Baldwin wrote:
> It seems to me that there are two serious problems...
>
> 1. The identification of "Guy" and "Cú Mhaighe"...

> we need to see some evidence for this identification that goes beyond an
observation that
> the two names kind of/sort of have a similar sound.

Yes. Perhaps some 'special relationship' indicated in the annals (eg: the
MacDomhnaills making their fleet available to Cú Mhaighe).


> 2. The chronological problem at the early end...

> When a cadet branch of a well known line emerged into
> prominence after several generations of obscurity (which appears to be
> the case here), and their genealogy was updated, it was easy to
> accidently omit one or more of the intervening generations, even in
> those case where the line of descent was largely true in basic outline

The Eochathan (Laud 610) versus Cathan (O Clery) anomaly remains
unexplained so it could also be a straight fabrication in which Eochathan
and Cathan were conflated, allowing their lineage to be stitched onto
Drugan.

siabair ~^~

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 7:30:12 PM2/14/04
to
siabair ~^~ wrote:

>> 1. The identification of "Guy" and "Cú Mhaighe"...
>
>> we need to see some evidence for this identification that goes
>> beyond an observation that the two names kind of/sort of have a
>> similar sound.
>
> Yes. Perhaps some 'special relationship' indicated in the annals (eg:
> the MacDomhnaills making their fleet available to Cú Mhaighe).

I just did a search on the English versions of the Annals of Ulster and the
Annals of the Four Masters at CELT for O Cathain entries (searching on the
editors' standardised spelling in English in each case) and found no
entries indicating any 'special relationship' with the MacDonalds from 1260
to 1378 in the Annals of Ulster and from 1260 to 1372 in the Annals of the
Four Masters.

--

John Ravilious

unread,
Feb 15, 2004, 9:30:40 AM2/15/04
to
Sunday, 15 February, 2004


Dear Stewart,

Thanks for the corrective post - having little knowledge of
Gaelic, correcting the name of Cú Mhaighe is much appreciated.

Much as the pronunciation of Cú Mhaighe ("gooey", &c.) resembles
what we would expect "Guy" to sound like ca. 1250, it is possible that
this is a red herring - what the source SP used for this would be
interesting to examine (having no detailed notes as to that item from
SP here). I note the following alleged extract from the Book of
Clanranald:

"Aonghus Og, son of Aonghus Mor, son of Domhnall, son of
Ragnall, son of Somerled, the noble and renowned high chief of
Innsigall. He married the daughter of Cuinnbhuighe O'Cathan. She was
the mother of Eoin, son of Aonghus, and it is with her came the
unusual retinue from Erinn, viz., four-and-twenty sons of clan
families, from whom sprang four-and-twenty families in Alban." [1]

If anyone has knowledge of the reliability of the "Book of
Clanranald" (evidently an 18th century rendering of older records),
that would be of much interest.

Cheers,

John


NOTES

[1] extract from Book of Clanranald, provided by
Clan MacIntyre (Electric Scotland website)

Clan MacIntyre Irish Connection:
http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/m/macintyre_irish.htm

sba...@mindspring.com (Stewart Baldwin) wrote in message news:<402e9e2f...@news.east.earthlink.net>...


> It seems to me that there are two serious problems that would need to
> investigated more carefully before the suggested descent of the
> MacDonald Lords of the Isles from the Uí Néill king Fergal (d. 722) is
> accepted.
>
> 1. The identification of "Guy" and "Cú Mhaighe"
>
> According to the book "Irish Names" by Donnchadh Ó Corráin and Fidelma
> Maguire (of whom the former is a well known and respected scholar in
> Celtic Studies and the latter is his wife, a history teacher), the
> Anglicizations of the name Cú Mhaighe are Quintin/Quinton, Cooey, and
> Hughey. Guy is not mentioned as an Anglicization for this name, nor
> does the list of variant forms at the back of the book list any other
> Irish name which is Anglicized as Guy. Thus, we need to see some
> evidence for this identification that goes beyond an observation that
> the two names kind of/sort of have a similar sound. [Additional note:
> The "Cú" in this name should not be rendered as "Con" when men of this
> name are discussed in the English language, as "Con" is the genetive
> form of "Cú". In Irish genealogies of the form "name1 son of name2
> son of name3 ...", the first name generally appears in the nominative
> and the remaining names in the genetive, and the genetive forms should
> be converted into the appropriate nominative forms when these names
> are discussed in English. Similarly, nom. Raghnall, gen. Raghnaill
> and nom. Eachmarcach, gen. Eachmarcaigh]
>

<<<<<<<<<<< SNIP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Stewart Baldwin

unread,
Feb 18, 2004, 12:08:42 AM2/18/04
to
I checked Séamas Pender's Guide to the Irish Genealogical Collections
(Analecta Hibernica 7) to see what manuscripts were listed for Ua
Chatháin (and variants), and found the following listings:

cl Chathán m Fergalaig:
O'Clery, 57.

uí Chathán:
MacFir, 128.
O'Clery, 52.
RIA, 23 D 9, 289; 23 M 17, 103; 190.

sl ingine uí Chathán:
O'Clery, 23.

No references for Uí Eochantháin (or any obvious variants) were found.

The references to O'Clery refer to the manuscript page numbers, not
the edition from Analecta Hibernica 18. The one from page 52 is the
one which we have already discussed. The one from page 57 is clearly
related to the account from Laud 610 already mentioned, listing the 12
sons of Conchobar mac Fergail and the dynasties which descend from
them (but I see no explanation for the "m Fergalaig" of Pender's
index). From page 43 of AH18 we have:

§551. Drughan, a quo .h. Chathain et hui Loingsicch.

Compare the corresponding line from Laud 610:

VIII. Drucán, a quo Hui Eochathán & Hói Longsig.

Based on the similarity here and in the previous and following lines
between O'Clery and Laud, it is clear that both were based on the same
ultimate source, but that various changes and corruptions have crept
in between that ultimate source and what we have today. The main
problem, of course, is whether the original reading was Uí Chatháin or
Uí Eochatháin. [Note: I also checked CGH, which states that Conchobar
mac Fergaile had 12 sons, but only names one of them (Diarmait). The
only Uí Chatháin/Chattáin mentioned is a Leinster dynasty. None of
the six Catháns in the index are Uí Néill, and there is no Drucán or
Drugán. No individual Eochathán or dynasty __ Eochatháin appears.
However, CGH 135 does give a later Cenél Eogain dynasty Muinter
Echadáin descended from Ailill son of Eochaid son of Domnall son of
Áed Findliath (Rawl B 502, 140a) and three Echodéns from the
Airgialla.]

The item from O'Clery p. 23 is on pp. 11-12 of AH18:

§170. Domhnall mac Neill gairbh mic Aodha mic Domhnaill oicc, .ix. mic
leis .i. Conchobar, et Seaan an einigh, et Felim (:tri mic ingine ui
Buighill); .u. mic ingine ui Cathain .i. Aengus, Diermait, Dondchad,
Domhnull occ, Magnass airchideochain Doire; et Toirrdelbach, mac
d'ingin [i] Iarlaithi.

Thus, this item is not directly relevant for our purposes, stating
only that five of Domnall's nine sons were by a daughter of an
otherwise unidentified Ua Chatháin.

As for the other references, I do not have access to the RIA
manuscripts listed or to the original manuscript of MacFirbis, but
O'Curry's copy of the MacFirbis manuscript is available on microfilm
at the Family History Library at Salt Lake City, and I have a copy on
indefinite loan at the Family History Center in Columbus, Georgia
(about 40 miles from where I live), which I checked today. It gives
the following information on page 128:

Muirc[h]eartac[h][,] Cu_cairn & Cong[h]alac[h] mec Loingsíg[h] m.
Flait[h]bear[taigh] m. Cat[h]áin m. Drúgáin m. [Con]c[h]ab[h]air m.
Fearg[h]aile _Re_10.

G[ene]l[ach] Ui C[h]at[h]áin. Dom[h]nall ball[ach] m. Ruaid[h]rig[h]
m. Mag[h]n[us]a m. Donc[h]uid[h] an enig[h] m. Seaáin m. Aib[h]ne m.
Diarmada m. [Con]_m[h]uig[h]e na coille m. Diarmada m.
[Con]m[h]uig[h]e m. Mag[h]n[us]a m. Ruaid[h]rig[h] m. Dom[h]naill m.
Eac[h]m[h]arcuig[h] m. Rág[h]naill m. Íom[h]air m. Gioll[a] [Crist] m.
Con_c[h]ionuid[h] m. Diarmada m. Cat[h][us]aig[h] (no mec Loíngsig[h]
mec Flait[h]b[h]urt[aigh]) m. Cat[h]áin m. Drúgáin m. Conc[h]ab[h]air
m. Fearg[h]aile _Re_10.

[I have put all expansions of abbreviated forms in brackets. The
"_Re_10" is apparently some sort of cross-reference: I also saw an
"_Re_9" after another name on another page.]

The first genealogy from MacFirbis gives a handful of early
collaterals. The only major difference between the second MacFirbis
genealogy and the main genealogy in the O'Clery manuscript is the
parenthetical comment with the alternate genealogy, which suggests
that one of MacFirbis's source suggested that Diarmait was son of
Loingsech son of Flaithbertach son of Cathán rather than being son of
Cathassach son of Cathán. The one additional generation would ease
the long average generation somewhat to a still longish 42 or so.

Stewart Baldwin

siabair ~^~

unread,
Feb 18, 2004, 6:45:27 AM2/18/04
to
Stewart Baldwin wrote:
> I checked Séamas Pender's Guide to the Irish Genealogical Collections
> (Analecta Hibernica 7) to see what manuscripts were listed for Ua
> Chatháin (and variants), and found the following listings:
>
> cl Chathán m Fergalaig:
> O'Clery, 57.
>
> uí Chathán:
> MacFir, 128.
> O'Clery, 52.
> RIA, 23 D 9, 289; 23 M 17, 103; 190.
>
> sl ingine uí Chathán:
> O'Clery, 23.

<snip excerpts from O Clery and MacFirbis>

(From what I have seen elsewhere the RE notation in MacFirbis looks to be
the result of cross-referencing to a king list with RE = Ri Eireann).

I saw copies of the two RIA manuscripts a few years ago (concerning another
matter). From my brief notes both date from the eighteenth century and so
the texts within are of limited value in the absence of a modern edition
with an introduction, stemma, etc.

Given the unresolved Uí Chatháin v Uí Eochatháin anomaly and the lack of
support from the annals for the part of the genealogy in which the anomaly
arises (ie: Iomhair m Gilla Crist m Concionaedh m Diermada m Cathusaigh m
Cathain m Drugain) I would say that that the lineage is not authenticated
beyond Raghnall son of Iomhar who died in in 1138 per the annals.

Of course this still leaves questions concerning the identification of Guy
with Cú Mhaighe and the authenticity of the Scottish source containing
reference to Guy.

Rory Cain

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Sep 23, 2021, 12:28:10 AMSep 23
to
"Guy" is an angliisation of the Gaelic name ConMuighe "hound of the Plain"), which in common parlance was often shortened to CuMoy and from thence to Cooey. The father of Una aka Agnes O Cathain was generally known as Cooey na NGall O Cathain. He was the son of Magnus Catha Duin O Cathain (Magnus" of the Battle of Down" O Cathain, who was killed at the Battle of Down in 1260. The Irsh chiefs wore their saffron kilts in battle against armoured foreigners. Cooey learned that lesson and adopted armour himself, hence his epithet of "na nGall" (of the Foreigners'). His tomb slab in Dungiven priory bears the effigy of an Irish chief in armour.
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