Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T105010

The Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach, commonly called O'Dowda's Country

Author: Duald Mac Firbis

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

John O'Donovan

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber

Proof corrections by Janet Crawford, Beatrix Färber

1. First draft.

Extent of text: 163150 words


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Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T105010


Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


    Manuscript Sources
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy MS 535, olim 23 P 2 olim Book of Lecan. For further details see Kathleen Mulchrone, T. F. O'Rahilly et al. (eds.), Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy (Dublin 1926–70) fasc. 13, 1551–1610. This vellum MS was complied for Giolla Iosa Mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh before his death in A.D. 1418. Digital images of the Book of Lecan can be viewed on the website of the ISOS Project (
  2. Earl of Roden's Library (i. e. Robert Jocelyn (1788–1870) third earl of Roden).
  3. RIA MS 23 P 2, (The Book of Lecan), is available in digitized form on ISOS.
    Internet resources
  1. The printed text on which this edition is based is available at http://www.
  1. See under 'The edition used in the digital edition'.
    Literature, including works mentioned by John O'Donovan:
  1. Richard Verstegan (=Verstegen), A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities concerning the most noble and renowned English Nation (Antwerp 1605).
  2. James Ussher, Antiquitates et Primordia Britannicarum Ecclesiarum (1639).
  3. John Colgan, Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae (Leuven (=Louvain) 1645).
  4. John Colgan, Acta Triadis Thaumaturgae, seu Divorum Patricii, Columbae et Brigidae (Leuven (=Louvain) 1647).
  5. David Comyn and Patrick S. Dinneen (eds), Foras Feasa ar Éirinn le Seathrún Céitinn, D.D. The History of Ireland by Geoffrey Keating, D.D., Books I and II. Irish Texts Society, vols 4, 8, 9 (London 1902–1914).
  6. Richard Cox, Hibernia Anglicana; or the History of Ireland from the Conquest thereof by the English to this present Time. With an introductory Discourse touching the Ancient State of that Kingdom; and a new and Exact Map of the same, 2 vols. (London: H. Clark and Joseph Watts, 1689–90).
  7. Walter Harris (ed), The whole works of Sir James Ware concerning Ireland (Dublin 1739–64).
  8. James Ware, The history of the writers of Ireland in two books, tr. & rev. by Walter Harris (2 vols, Dublin 1746), vol. 2, 145–57.
  9. Charles O'Conor of Belanagare, Dissertations on the Antient History of Ireland (Dublin 1753).
  10. Charles Smith, The Ancient And Present State of the County and City of Cork, 2 volumes (Dublin 1774). Available online at
  11. Gorges Edmond Howard, A Treatise on the Rules and Practice of the Equity side of the Exchequer in Ireland, with the several Statutes relative thereto, as also several Adjudged Cases on the Practice in Courts of Equity both in England and Ireland,with the Reasons and Origin thereof, in many instances as they arose from the Civil Law of the Romans, or the Canon and Feudal Laws, 2 vols.(Dublin 1760).
  12. Thomas Burke (De Burgo), Hibernia Dominicana: sive historia provinciae Hiberniae Ordinis Praedicatorum [...] (Coloniae Agrippinae (= Cologne) 1762).
  13. John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, 4 volumes (London 1754).
  14. James Cowles Prichard, Ethnography of the Celtic Race (London 1817).
  15. John O'Conor of Belanagare, Rerum Hibernicarum Scriptores (London 1814–1826).
  16. Sir Richard Musgrave, Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland, from the Arrival of the English (Dublin 1801).
  17. William Shaw Mason, A statistical account, or parochial survey of Ireland: drawn up from the communications of the clergy, Vol. 2 (Dublin 1816).
  18. John Bernard Trotter, Walks through Ireland in the years 1812, 1814, and 1817 (London: Sir Richard Phillips & Co., 1819).
  19. Edward O'Reilly, A Chronological Account of Nearly Four Hundred Irish Writers (...) with a descriptive catalogue (...) (Dublin: Iberno-Celtic Society 1820).
  20. John Lanigan, An ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century, compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors (...) who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals and other authentic documents still existing in manuscript (Dublin 1829).
  21. John Collins of Myross, pedigree of the late General Richard O'Donovan of Bawnlahan (unpublished manuscript?)
  22. John Collins of Myross, (John O'Cullane), Soliloquy in Timoleague Abbey, or 'The Mourner's Soliloquy in the Ruined Abbey of Timoleague', published, with translation by Thomas Furlong, in James Hardiman's Irish Minstrelsy, vol. ii. p. 235. (The Irish version was edited by T.F. O'Rahilly, Measra Dánta, Miscellaneous Irish Poems, Cork 1927, 158-161; 212-13. CELT is indebted for this reference to Prof. Seán Ó Coileáin, UCC.)
  23. Patrick Knight, Erris in the Irish highlands and the Atlantic Railway (Dublin: M. Keene 1836).
  24. Samuel Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (London 1837) (available online at
  25. P. Louis Lainé, Généalogie de la Maison de McCarthy: Anciennement Souveraine des deux Momonies ou de l'Irlande méridionale (...) publié dans le cinquième volume des Archives généalogiques et historiques de la Noblesse de France (Paris 1839).
  26. George Petrie and John O'Donovan, 'On the History and Antiquities of Tara Hill', Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, 18 (1839) 25–232.
  27. John O'Donovan (ed), The Banquet of Dun na nGedh and the Battle of Magh Rath [Fled Dúin na nGédh; Cath Maighe Rath] (Dublin 1842).
  28. John O'Donovan (ed. and trans.), The Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many, commonly called O'Kelly's Country, from the Book of Lecan with translation and notes and a map of Hy-Many (Dublin 1843; reprinted by Tower Books, Cork 1976; reprinted by Irish Genealogical Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri, c. 1992).
  29. George Petrie, The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland anterior to the Anglo-Norman invasion, comprising an essay on the origin and uses of the Round Towers of Ireland, Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 20 (Hodges & Smith: Dublin 1845).
  30. John O'Donovan (ed. and trans.), The genealogy of Corca Laidhe, in: Miscellany of the Celtic Society, 1 (Dublin 1849) (Available on CELT).
  31. Thomas Moore, The history of Ireland, 4 vols. (London 1835–1846).
  32. John O'Donovan (ed. and trans.), Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616. Edited from MSS in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy and of Trinity College Dublin with a translation and copious notes. (Dublin 1848–51; repr. 1856, 1990).
  33. Historiae Catholicae Iberniae compendium: domino Philippo Austriaco III, Hispaniarum, Indiarum, aliorum regnorum atque multarum ditionum regi Catholico monarchaeque potentissimo dicatum a D. Philippo O'Sullevano Bearro, Iberno (Lisbon 1621, reprinted Dublin 1850).
  34. John O'Donovan (ed. and trans.), The topographical poems of O'Dubhagain and O'Huidrin (Dublin 1862).
  35. Whitley Stokes (ed), The Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick, with other documents relating to that Saint, edited with translations and indexes, 2 vols. (London 1867); vol. II, 357–375. (Available on CELT in file L201060.) Saint Patrick's Confessio is also the subject of a website hosted at the RIA,
  36. Mervyn Archdall, Monasticon hibernicum; or, A history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland. Edited, with extensive notes, by the Right Rev. Patrick F. Moran. (2 vols, Dublin, 1873–76).
  37. Standish Hayes O'Grady, 'Betha Cellaigh', Silva Gadelica I, 49–65, English translation, 'Life of St. Ceallach', Vol. II, 50–69. (London 1892).
  38. Denis Murphy (ed), The Annals of Clonmacnoise (Dublin 1896).
  39. Kathleen Mulchrone, Caithréim Cellaig, Medieval and Modern Irish Series, vol. 4 (Dublin: DIAS 1933).
  40. R. I. Best, The Yellow Book of Lecan, Journal of Celtic Studies 1/2 (1950) 190–192.
  41. Polydore Vergil, The Anglica historia of Polydore Vergil, A.D. 1485–1537: edited, with a translation by Denys Hays (London 1950).
  42. Hans P. A. Oskamp, The 'Yellow Book of Lecan' proper', Ériu, 26 (1975) 102–121.
  43. William O'Sullivan, Ciothruadh's Yellow Book of Lecan, Éigse, 18 (1980–81), 177–181.
  44. Sarah Sanderlin, The manuscripts of the Annals of Clonmacnoise, PRIA (C), 82 (1982), 111–123.
  45. Kathryn Grabowski and David N. Dumville, Chronicles and annals of medieval Ireland and Wales: the Clonmacnoise group of texts (Woodbridge 1984).
  46. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, The celebrated antiquary Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh (c.1600–71): his lineage life and learning (Maynooth 1996, revised reprint Maynooth 2002).
  47. David Edwards, (ed), Regions and rulers in Ireland, 1100–1650: Essays for Kenneth Nicholls (Dublin 2004).
  48. Pádraig Ó Riain, A dictionary of Irish Saints (Dublin 2011).
    Literature: History, Genealogy and medieval society in Ireland
  1. Roderic O'Flaherty, A chorographical description of West or h-Iar Connaught, written A.D. 1684; ed. J. Hardiman (Dublin 1846).
  2. Roderic O'Flaherty, Ogygia seu, Rerum Hibernicarum chronologia: Ex pervetustis monumentis fideliter inter se collatis eruta, atque e sacris ac prophanis literis primarum orbis gentium tam genealogicis, quam chronologicis sufflaminata praesidiis. (...) (London 1685). (An English translation by the Reverend James Hely was published in Dublin 1793).
  3. John O'Donovan ed. and tr., 'The circuit of Muircheartach mac Neill', in Tracts relating to Ireland i (Dublin 1841).
  4. Eoin Mac Neill (=John Mac Neill), 'Early Irish population-groups: their nomenclature, classification, and chronology', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy (C), 29, (1911–12) 59–114. (Available on CELT.)
  5. Toirdhealbhach Ó Raithbheartaigh (ed), Genealogical tracts: being a collection of excerpts in the Book of Lecan (Dublin 1932).
  6. Lambert McKenna (ed), Iomarbhágh na bhFileadh (The Contention of the Bards), 2 vols. (20/21) (London: Irish Text Society 1918).
  7. T. F. O'Rahilly, Early Irish History and Mythology (Dublin 1946).
  8. John V. Kelleher, 'The pre-Norman Irish genealogies', Irish Historical Studies 16 (1968) 138–153.
  9. Francis John Byrne, Tribes and tribalism in early Ireland, Ériu 22 (1971) 128–166.
  10. Gearóid Mac Niocaill, Ireland before the Vikings (Dublin 1972).
  11. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Ireland before the Normans (Dublin and London 1972).
  12. Kenneth W. Nicholls, Gaelic and gaelicised Ireland in the Middle Ages (Dublin 1972, new edition 2003).
  13. Kenneth W. Nicholls, The Irish genealogies: their value and defects, Irish Genealogist 5/2 (1975).
  14. Michael O'Brien (ed), Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae, reprinted Dublin 1986.
  15. Francis John Byrne, Irish kings and high-kings (New York 1973, second edition Dublin 2001).
  16. Francis John Byrne, 'Senchas: the nature of Gaelic historical tradition', in John Barry (ed), Historical Studies 9 (Belfast 1974), 137–159.
  17. David N. Dumville, 'Kingship, genealogies, and regnal lists', in: P. H. Sawyer & I. N. Wood (eds.), Early medieval kingship (Leeds 1977) 72–104.
  18. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, An chléir agus leann dúchais anallód: an ginealas, Léachtaí Cholm Cille 16 (1986) 71–86.
  19. John Bradley (ed), Settlement and society in medieval Ireland: studies presented to F. X. Martin (Dublin 1988).
  20. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Early medieval Ireland: 400–1200 (Dublin 1995).
  21. Gerard Moran and Raymond Gillespie (eds.), Galway history and society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county (Dublin 1996).
  22. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, 'Creating the past: the early Irish genealogical tradition', Peritia 12 (1998) 177–208.
  23. Alfred P. Smyth (ed), Seanchas: studies in early and medieval Irish archaeology, history and literature in honour of Francis J. Byrne (Dublin 2000).
  24. Patrick J. Duffy, David Edwards, and Elizabeth FitzPatrick (eds.), Gaelic Ireland, c.1250–c.1650: land, lordship, and settlement (Dublin 2001).
  25. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, 'Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland', in Roy Foster (ed), The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland (Oxford 2001) 1–52.
  26. Nollaig Ó Muraíle (ed and trans), The great book of Irish genealogies, compiled (1645-66) by Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh. 5 vols. (Dublin 2003).
  27. Paul MacCotter, Medieval Ireland: territorial, political and economic divisions (Dublin 2008).
  28. Trinity College Library, MS 1440, Historia et Genealogia Familiae de Burgo. Edited by Tomás Ó Raghallaigh, Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 13 (1926–1927)
    Literature: John O'Donovan and the Ordnance Survey
  1. H. Richardson (ed.), Ordnance survey memoirs for the parishes of Desertmartin and Kilcronaghan 1836–1837 (Magherafelt 1986).
  2. Michael Herity (ed.), Ordnance Survey letters: letters containing information relative to antiquities collected during the progress of the Ordnance Survey [by John O'Donovan, Eugene Curry, Thomas O'Connor, Patrick O'Keeffe and others], with an Introduction and prefatory matter (Dublin 2001-).
  3. Gillian M. Doherty, The Irish Ordnance Survey: History, Culture and Memory. Dublin 2004.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. The Genealogies, Tribes and Customs of Hy Fiachrach, commonly called O'Dowda's Country. Now first published from the Book of Lecan, in the Library from the Royal Irish Aademy, and from the genealogical manuscripts of Duald Mac Firbis, in the library of Lord Roden; with a translation and notes, and a map of Hy-Fiachrach. John O'Donovan (ed), First edition [524 pages] Irish Archaeological SocietyDublin (1844)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The electronic edition represents the Introductory Remarks (pp v–xii); and main body, i. e. odd pages 3–339; plus odd and even pages 343–473, and 476 of the Appendix, of the translation, including extensive textual notes, which are tagged note type="auth" n="" and included in the wordcount above. While O'Donovan used letters of the alphabet for the footnotes, these have been numbered subsequently in the CELT edition. Care was taken to modify any cross-references given by O'Donovan accordingly. However, should you notice any errors in footnote numbers, please contact Beatrix Färber. O'Donovan's references to literature have been made consistent where necessary. In Latin passages, all diacritics used in the printed edition are omitted. U,u standing for V,v and vice versa is normalized to enhance word searches. Occasional instances of -ij have likewise been normalized to -ii. Where O'Donovan cites passages that are available in editions on CELT, these have been used, or linked to. For one or two corrections of the translation supported by the Irish version, corr sic resp="orig" has been used. Where, in the Appendix, O'Donovan supplies passages of Irish text with facing English or Latin translation, these passages could not be presented in columns, as it was done in the printed edition. However, the tag mls unit="column" n="" illustrates in which column the texts originally appear. Some of the paragraphs in these passages are quite long. Therefore they have occasionally been broken up into smaller segments purely to facilitate comparison. Some of the longer text extracts supplied in the Appendix may be found in separate files online at CELT (which see). A map included in the printed edition is at various points mentioned by O'Donovan. This map was not available and we invite anybody who can furnish a good exemplar to contact us.

Editorial Declaration


The translation and notes have been proof-read twice.


The electronic text represents the edited text in line with CELT practice. Text in Latin or Irish is marked. Normal CELT conventions have been applied in regard to text divisions, word segmentation, and capitalization in proper names. Some typographical errors in the translation are corrected using corr, with the original spelling retained in its sic attribute. The editor's Addenda et Corrigenda (pp 473ff) have been integrated, and the list is omitted from the file.


Direct speech is tagged q. Citations are tagged cit. This element contains bibl and qt elements.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, this break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the genealogy; div1=the section; div2=the sub-section. Paragraphs are marked; page-breaks are marked pb n="". MS foliation is not indicated in the printed edition.


Names are not tagged.

Profile Description

Created: Date range: c.1645–c.1666 [Irish text, based on older material]. (1844 [translation])

Use of language

Language: [EN] Introduction, translation and footnotes are in English.
Language: [GA] Some words are in (Middle ) Irish.
Language: [LA] Some words in the notes are in Latin.
Language: [FR] Some words in the notes are in French.
Language: [GR] A few words in the Introduction and notes are in Greek.

Revision History