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Mcgarraghy Surname History
Origin: Mag Oireachtaigh, 'son of Oireachtac' (oireachtac meaning a member of a territorial council under the regional king , involved in treaties and dispositions); a variation of Mag Aireactaig, the name of an ancient and respected Connacht family, of the same stock as the O'Conors. The Geraghty clan was known as Clan Tomaltaigh. The namesake of the clan may have been Tomaltach, an 8th. century ancestor of the Siol Muiredhaigh kings of Connacht. The Mageraghty (originally O'Robuidh) sept were chiefs of Muinter Robhuibh and Clan Tomaltaigh situated in the barony of Roscommon, County Roscommon. Up to the 13th. century, the Mag Aireachtiagh (Mcgeraghty) was head of one of the four royal chiefdoms of Siol Muiredhaigh under the O'Conors. The Siol Muiredhaigh (pronounced Sheel Murray) was the territorial and dynastic name of clans descended from Muireadhach Muilleathan of Magh Aei, King of Connacht, son of Fearghus, who died about 700 A.D. The Mag Oireachtaigh sept's chieftain was one of the 'four royal chiefs' under O'Conor who ruled Connacht and were also high kings of Ireland from time to time. They shared a common ancestry with the O'Conors. As such were closely allied with the them, sharing in each other's battles and territorial claims. O'Conor ruled a confederation of the clans that occupied the Siol Muiredhaigh territory and directly under O'Conor were the four royal chieftains; McGeraghty, O'Flannagan, O'Mulrenhan and O'Finaghty. Each royal chieftains was assigned special honorary duties at official functions. O'Finaghty had the privilege of drinking the first cup at every royal feast, (checking for poison?). O'Murenhan was the royal poet whose duty it was to relate the glorious deeds of O'Conor and the Siol Muireadhaigh. McGeraghty was honoured above the other chieftains and was given special status. At the inauguration of each new O'Conor king, McGeraghty was given gifts of cattle from the new High King. Over the centuries, the Geraghty clan has been involved in many wars and skirmishes. There are abundant records translated from the Irish Annals recording their exploits. Sometimes they joined forces with their cousins, the O'Conors. At other times, they fought the O'Conors, and sometimes the fight was their own. One battle in particular captures my imagination and illustrates the courage, impetuousness and glorious death of Donn Oc MacAirechtaigat at the Battle of Fincharn in 1230 A.D.. After 1404 the Irish Annals make no further mention of the sept. However, in 1585, the Composition Books of Connacht identifies Connor McGirraght as (the last known) chieftain of the sept which at that time was located in O'Kelly's country. There are two theories regarding why the McGeraghty's lost their ancestral land. They may have been expelled by O'Conor from the Siol Muireadhaigh territory after centuries of strife between the two clans, or perhaps the Anglo Irish, (e.g. the Burkes) may have seized the land. In 1235, after a prolonged war of conquest, Richard de Burgh became lord of 25 cantreds of the province of Connacht. The remaining five, near Athlone being reserved for the English King, who immediately leased them for an annual rent to King Felim O'Conor. In 1385 the Siol Muireadhaigh was split between O'Conor Don and O'Conor Roe. In the process, some think that McGeraghty's land holdings must have diminished considerably, or perhaps lost altogether. (The Annals record a bloody battle between O'Conor Roe and Mageraghty, during which Mageraghty's land and dwellings were burned, and the Mageraghty chieftain taken prisoner). Eventually, having lost their ancestral homeland, which according to O'Conor records was originally comprised of fourty-eight townlands, (about 24,000 acres), some of the clan moved to Mayo and Sligo. (Coincidently, in 1052 the annals record a McGeraghty as chieftain of the Calree tribe in Corran, Sligo). Others moved 19 or 20 miles south of their ancestral homeland to O'Kelly's country of Hy Many where O'Kelly allowed McGeraghty to establish a chieftainship on four townlands in Fuerty parish on land owned by the bishopric of Elphin. Of the 33 quarters of land in Fuerty parish, McGeraghty was granted four town lands, i.e. Aghgowre, Buniniber, Aghgad and Clinlergin, occupying in all a total of 1,970 acres. O'Kelly as overlord was allowed to take rents of 20 shillings from each under chieftain for each of the townlands they inhabited. This was the last bastion of the remnants of the Mag Oireachtagh clan. They had lost their prestige as the most illustrious of the four royal chieftains under O'Conor, and their patrimony was diminished from the fourty-eight townlands they had held in their heyday down to the four townlands they occupied in 1585. Instead of being honoured as the kin of the O'Conors, they were now subservient to O'Kelly, their overlord. On April 3rd 1653, the town of Roscommon surrendered to Cromwellian forces. Shortly after, the McGeraghty sept which occupied territory close by the town of Roscommon, was dispossessed. In 1666, the Books of Survey and Distribution record that all the quarters of land held by McGeraghty in Fuerty parish were parceled out to Cromwellian supporters. The remnants of the McGeraghty sept followed their kin who had moved to Mayo and Sligo. One group settled on an Island they named Innish Murray, after their Siol Muireadhaigh territory (anglicized as Sil Murray), another group settled near Crough Patrick, where one family later became keepers of the Black Bell of Saint Patrick. All that remains of the clan's final occupancy is a small village called Baile Mhic Oireachtaigh located a few miles south of the town of Roscommon. It is a reminder of the clan's existence on the four townlands in O'Kelly's country that they occupied until they were finally dispossessed by the military forces of Cromwell. Ironically though, the town may be shown on your road-map as Castlecoote after the conquering English Peer, Sir Charles Coote. But the as you drive nearer to the village, you will still see road signs pointing the way to Baile Mhic Oireachtaigh, and underneath in English, Castlecoote, as is the custom in Eire. The Mag Oireachtaigh left no castles or monuments in County Roscommon. But, in the ruins of Roscommon Abbey there are two tombstones lying side. One is an O'Conor and the other a Mageraghty. And overlooking them both is the resting place of Felim O'Conor, his effigy carved in stone, and around the edge of the tomb are figures of the gallowglass Scots warriors who were the shock troops of his military command. And though perhaps there is no direct connection, it is interesting to note that the Irish Constitution has adopted Oireachtas, the root of the Geraghty name, to describe their National Parliament. The Oireachtas consists of the President, D il Oireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Oireann (Senate). Researched by Dennis Garrity Mumby from various Irish Annals, County Roscommon land records and historical documents, with assistance from Nicholas Geraghty and his records of Castlecoote Hall.
At least one branch of the McGarraghy family is Irish (from Sligo Ireland), Gaelic, and Roman Catholic. Much about the hisotry of the McGarraghy family and the meaning and origin of the surname McGarraghy have been shared on this page.
Mcgarraghy Country of Origin, Nationality, & Ethnicity
Mcgarraghy Meaning & Etymology
Mcgarraghy Pronunciation & Spelling Variations
Last names similar to McgarraghyMcgarragiee, Mcgarragil, McGarragill, McGarragle, MCGARRAH, Mc garrah, McGarraham, Mcgarrahan, Mc Garrahan, McGarrak, Mcgarral, Mcgarrall, Mcgarraly, McGarran, Mcgarrar, Mcgarrassan, McGarrat, Mcgarratt, Mcgarraty, Mc Garraty
Mcgarraghy Family Tree
Here are a few of the Mcgarraghy biographies shared by AncientFaces users. Click here to see more Mcgarraghies
- James Mcgarraghy 1891 - 1973
- Mary G Mcgarraghy 1923 - 2002
- Thomas Mcgarraghy 1894 - 1975
- Thomas J Mcgarraghy 1925 - 2010
- Patrick Mcgarraghy 1887 - 1967
- Thomas K Mcgarraghy 1951 - 2007
- James Mcgarraghy 1900 - 1970
- Betty Mcgarraghy 1914 - 2006
- William A Mcgarraghy 1948 - 2008
- Catherine Mcgarraghy 1910 - 1986