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Clan History

 

McCarthy History:

The Wikipedia article on the Mc Carthys is as follows:

“MacCarthy or McCarthy (Mac Cárthaigh in Irish), meaning "Son of the loving one" or "loving", is a common surname that originated in Ireland. There are several forms extant, including Carthy and Carty. 60% of people with the surname in Ireland still live in County Cork where the family was very powerful during the medieval period.

The origin of the name begins with Carthach, an Eóganacht Chaisil king, who died in 1045 in a house fire deliberately started by one of the Lonergans. Carthach was a contemporary and bitter rival of the semi-legendary Brian Boru, and what would become known as the McCarthy Clan were pushed out of their traditional homelands in the Golden Vale of Tipperary by the expansion of that sept, in the middle of the twelfth century.

His son used the appellation Muireadhach mac Carthaigh (Muireadhach, son of Carthach), a common practice. Muireadhach (anglicized as "Murray") died in 1092. His sons, Tadhg and Cormac adopted MacCarthy as a proper surname. Following the treaty of Glanmire in 1118, dividing the kingdom of Munster into Desmond and Thomond, this Tadhg became the first king of Desmond, comprising parts of the modern counties of Cork and Kerry. For almost five centuries they dominated much of Munster, with four distinct branches: those led by the MacCarthy Mór (Great MacCarthy), nominal head of all the MacCarthys, who ruled over much of south Kerry, the Duhallow MacCarthys, who controlled northwest Cork; MacCarthy Reagh or Riabhach ('grey') based in the Barony of Carbery in southwest Cork; and MacCarthy Muskerry, on the Cork / Kerry border.

Each of these families continued resistance to Norman and English encroachment up to the seventeenth century when, like virtually all the Gaelic aristocracy, they lost almost everything. An exception was Macroom Castle, which passed to the White family of Bantry House, descendants of Cormac McCarthy Laidir. This was burnt in 1922 and is part of the local golf club today.

The number of references to the MacCarthys in the Annals, especially the "Annals of Innisfallen", is very great. Cárthach was the son of Saorbreathach, a Gaelic name which is anglicised as Justin, and in the latter form has been in continuous use among various branches of MacCarthys for centuries. Another Christian name similarly associated with them is Finghin, anglice Fineen, but for some centuries past, for some obscure reason, Florence (colloquially Flurry) has been used as the English form. From the thirteenth century, when Fineen MacCarthy decisively defeated the Geraldines in 1261, down to the present day, Fineen or Florence MacCarthys and Justin MacCarthys have been very prominent among the many distinguished men of the name in Irish military, political and cultural history.

Until the dissolution of the kingdom in 1596, the crown was vested in the hereditary possession of the Mac Carthy (by the law of tanistry).”

The following has been taken from another Mc Carthy family history source:

“No other Irish surname which the prefix "Mac" (or "Mc") approaches MacCarthy in numerical strength. The abbreviated form Carthy is fairly common, but MacCarthy is a name which has very generally retained the prefix. It is among the dozen commonest names in Ireland as a whole, due to the very large numbers of MacCarthys in Co. Cork which accounts for some sixty per cent of them. Charles O'Conor describes the sept as "the most eminent by far of the noble families of the south". The name from the earliest times has been associated with south Munster or Desmond. The third century King of Munster, Oilioll Olum, had two sons Eoghan and Cormac Cas. At his death North Munster (Thomond) was inherited by the latter (whence the Dalcassians), and South Munster (Desmond) by Eoghan. The families which descended from this Eoghan were known, before the introduction of surnames, as the Eoghanacht, and the surnames MacCarthy (in Irish Mac Cárthaigh) is derived from Cárthach, lord of the Eoghanacht, who, the Four Masters tell us, met his death in a house deliberately set on fire by one of the Lonergans in 1045. Carthach was King of Cashel circa 1040, at a time when Donncha, son of Brian Boru, was King of Munster. Carthach was part of the dynasty claiming descent from Eoghan, one of the sons of Olloll Ollum, the semi-legendary, third-century king of Munster. The Eoghanacht, as they were known, had dominated Munster virtually unchallenged until the meteoric rise of Brian, part of the rival Dal gCais, who claimed descent from Cas, another son of Oiloll Ollum. The Eoghanacht resisted the Dal gCais fiercely, with the result that the MacCarthys and the O'Briens, with their respective allies, waged bitter, intermittent war on each other for almost a century and a half. In the middle of the twelfth century, the struggle was finally resolved with the expulsion of the MacCarthys from their homeland in the Golden Vale in Co. Tipperary. They moved south, into the historic territory of Desmond, and it is with this area, which includes the modern counties of Cork and Kerry, that they have been most strongly associated ever since. Despite their displacement, the MacCarthys retained their ability to rule. For almost five centuries they dominated much of Munster, with four distinct branches: those led by the MacCarthy Mór (Great MacCarthy), nominal head of all the MacCarthys, who ruled over much of south Kerry, the Duhallow MacCarthys, who controlled northwest Cork; MacCarthy Riabhach or Reagh ('grey') based in Carbery in southwest Cork; and MacCarthy Muskerry, on the Cork / Kerry border. Each of these families continued resistance to Norman and English encroachment up to the seventeenth century when, like virtually all the Gaelic aristocracy, they lost almost everything.

 

The number of references to the MacCarthys in the Annals, especially the "Annals of Innisfallen", is very great. Cárthach was the son of Saorbreathach, a Gaelic name which is anglicised as Justin, and in the latter form has been in continuous use among various branches of MacCarthys for centuries. Another christian name similarly associated with them is Finghin, anglice Fineen, but for some centuries past, for some obscure reason, Florence (colloquially Flurry) has been used as the English form. From the thirteenth century, when Fineen MacCarthy decisively defeated the Geraldines in 1261, down to the present day, Fineen or Florence MacCarthys and Justin MacCarthys have been very prominent among the many distinguished men of the name in Irish military, political and cultural history.”

 

Sourced - http://www.mccarthyfamily.net/mccarthyHistory.htm