(contributed by John McLaughlin)
A History of the Clan Eoghan or Eoghanachta, Descendants of Eoghan More or Eugene The Great,
Compiled from all the Available Sources of Irish Family History by Richard F. Cronnelly (Irish Constabulary Force) Dublin, 1864
The O'Keefes are a senior family of the Eoghanachta
of the race of Heber, deriving their descent and surname from
Caomh, by some called Art Caomh, or Art the Handsome,
according to the following pedigree, copied from a paper
in the possession of the late Sir William Betham Ulster
King of Arms:-
1. Art oge O'Keefe, son of
2. Art, son of
3. Donnal, son of
4. Art, son of
5. Donal, so of
6. Art, son of
7. Donal, son of
8. Art, son of
9. Conor, son of
10. Owen, son of
11. Manus, son of
13. Hugh, son of
15. Donal, son of
16. Hugh, son of
17. Donogh, son of
18. Caomh, son of
19. Fionguine, son of
20. Gorman, son of
21. Artri, son of
22. Cathal, son of
23. Finghin, son of
24. Cugan-Mathair, son of
25. Cathal, son of
26. Hugh, son of
27. Cairbre Crom, son of
28. Criomhan Areamh, son of
29. Eochy Fionn, son of
30. Angus, son of
31. Nadfraoich, King of Munster
In some Irish Genealogical MSS., however, the pedigree
of Art Oge is thus given:-
Art Oge, son of
Art, son of
Domhnal, son of
Manus, son of
Donal, son of
Donal, son of
Art, son of
Conor, son of
Eoghan Fionn, son of
Manus, son of
Finghin, son of
Donal, son of
Hugh, son of
Donchadh, son of
Caomh, son of
Finghin, Vide Supra
And in the Genealogical Book of Duald M'Ferbis, the
learned antiquary and genealogist, we find the pedigree
given somewhat differently: It runs as follows:-
1. Art [oge]
2. Art, [ sl. 1583 - Four Masters]
5. Mahon, [Eoghan (Owen) - Four Masters - 1582-1583]
7. Art, [See the Four Masters Annal Entries Below]
20. Caomh, a quo O'K.
21. Finghin Cingegan,
24. Cathal Ghrasth,
28. Hugh Flan Catrach
29. Cairbre Crom, Vide Supra
Pedigrees of other branches, from the Book of M'Firbis.
1. David, Thomas, Conor,
Corc and Tadg, sons of
2. Dermod, son of
3. David, son of
4. Thomas, son of
5. Maldoon, son of
6. Maldoon, son of
7. Finghin, son of
8. Hugh, son of
9. Finghin, son of
10. Donal, son of
11. Hugh, Vide Supra
Pedigree of Art O'Keefe
1. Art, Eoghan, Corc
and Donal, sons of
2. Donal, son of
3. Airt, son of
4. Art, son of
5. Donal, son of
6. Finghin, Vide Supra
Descent of the Chief Branches of the Family of O'Keefe:
Art, son of Donal O'Keeffe, No. 2 of the first pedigree
given in this article, died on the 21st March, 1582, "seized in
fee of the castle, town and lands of Dromagh, containing
one quarter of land o Cullyne, of one quarter of land of
Dwargan, and one quarter in Claragh, all situate, lying,
and being in the Barony of Duhallow, in the county of
Cork, and held from the queen in capite." He married
Helena, the daughter of Conor, son of Donogh Mac Tadg
Roe O'Callaghan,, by whom who died 18 Oct. 1593, he
left issue, Manus, married to the daughter of Sir Donogh
Mac Carthy Reagh; Hugh; Donal; a daughter married
to Murrough an Marte M'Sweeny; and
Art Oge O'Keeffe, born A.D. 1547, died May 31, 1610.
This chieftain married Honoria, the daughter of Dermod
Mac Donel Cartie of Inishkeen, in Barbery, by his wife
Ellinor, daughter of Sir Cormac Mac Carthy Reagh, by
whom he left issue Daniel, called of Ballymacquirk;
Donogh, of Cuilbeggan, who died May 14th, 1614, leaving
a son Donnl. born 1601, and his successor,
Manus O'Keeffe of Dromagh, "chief of his nacion," born
1567. He left two sons, viz. Hugh and his successor,
Donal O'Keeffe of Dromagh, who married thrice, first
the daughter of his kinsman, Arthur O'Keeffe, secondly
the duaghter of Thomas Creagh of Limerick; and thirdly
a duaghter of Lord Viscount Roche of Fermoy, by whom
he had issue, Hugh, Conor, Ellinor, Caemh, Arthur, and
Donal of Dromagh, who was a member of the Catholic
Convention of 1647, and obtained the command of a
company of Foot in the Confederate army. He married
Johanna Everett, alias Butler, by whom he left a son,
Daniel O'Keeffe of Dromagh, who commanded a company
of foot in the service of james II, at Aughrim, where he
was slain. He married twice, first Elizabeth Roche and
secondly, Anne, dughter of Dominick Sarsfield of Cork,
by whom he had a son,
Daniel Oge O'Keeffe, who was an ensign in Boiseleu's
Infantry, and distinguished himself on many a "far foreign
field from Dunkirk to Belgrade." Denis; Caemh, called of
Bandon; Arthur; and Mary Anne O'Keeffe. Arthur, here
mentioned, married the daughter of Eoghan Mac Sweeny,
by whom he had a son Daniel O'Keeffe, of Bandon,
who married Mary, the daughter of Cornelius O'Delany, Esq.,
by whom he had issue, Arthur, who died Nov. 5th, 1828;
Keeffe, Cornelius, William, Joseph and Francis. Arthur had
three other sons, viz. Keeffe, Eoghan and Arthur.
Pedigree of Arthur FitzDonal O'Keeffe of Glenville.
1. Arthur, son of
2. Daniel, son of
3. Arthur, son of
4. Eoghan, son of
5. Dermod, son of
6. Donalan laoch, son of
7. Conor, son of
8. Eoghan fionn, son of
9. Manus, son of
10. Finghin, son of
11. Donal, son of
12. Hugh, son of Donogh
From Donal Crodha, or the Hardy, son of Conor, son of
Eoghan Fionn, descended the O'Keeffes of Gleansphreachan,
now Glenville, and Rathcormuck, and also the O'Keeffes of
Duna-Bolg, or Dunbolloge. The Declaration of Royal Gratitude
by Charles II, includes Captain Arthur O'Keeffe of
Gleannsphreachan, above mentioned, and he is named together
with his brother Manus, in the attainders of 1691.
O'Keeffe of Ballymacquirk
Daniel, son of Art Oge O'Keeffe, of the above pedigrees,
had command of a company of foot in the battle of Knockinosa in
1641. He married Mary the daughter of Eoghan
O'Sullivan of Cappanacushy, in the county of Kerry, by
whom he left three sons, viz. Art, who folowed the hard
fortunes of Charles II, in whose service he commanded a
company of fot, and in whose Declaration of Royal Gratitude
he had a proviso made for him; Denis, who son Conor became
Lord Bishop of Limerick and founded three Bourses? in the
College of Lombards, in Paris, for the education of three
Roman Catholic clergymen and
Finghin who died A.D. 1667. This Finghin married Honoria,
the daughter of Bryan O'Connor-Kerry, by whom he had a son,
Daniel of Ballymacquirk, who raised a company of foot
for James II, in whose service he fought and fell at Aughrim.
He married Margaret, the daughter of Nicholas Hutson of
Newmarket, in the county of Cork by whom he had issue,
Arthur, slain at Aughrim, leaving two sons and a daughter,
Nicholas, called after his natural grandfather, an officer
in the army of James II, whom he followed into France; and
Hudson or Hutson O'Keeffe, who settled in Religay, in
the province of Champagne, in France, where he espoused
Reine Jacquemart, by whom he had an only duaghter Jane,
who married Gabriel Deville in 1738. This lady died A.D.
1768, leaving a son, Captain Nicholas Gabriel Deville, born
March 8th, 1741. This gentleman, who was Secretary to
his most Christian Majesty, and one of the Keepers of
the Royal Treasury, married Maria Regina Fauebeux. by
whom he had a son, Gariel Denis Deville, an officer in
the Swiss Guards, and afterwards a Captain in Roll's
Regiment in British pay, 1797.
A Genealogical Poem composed for the O'Keeffes, by
Tadg, son of Daire Mac Bruodin, Historiographer andd
poet to the Dalcassians : translated by Michael Longan.
The reigning house is the family of O'Keeffe,
STrong Dragons of many and great riches;
Men of great judgement from the green plains of Lir,
The mighty defenders of Cashel.
A conquering party that committ4d no mean action,
Natives that were of late exiled;
By those oppressions that afflict the land of Breagh,
Which cause them not to enjoy the inheritance of their fathers.
Many of the blood of O'Keeffe above others,
That spent the most of their time,
As lords and possessors of great Munster,
Enjoying and spreaing the fruits of their conquests.
I recount down from Nadfraoch,
Thirteen men of the wise and learned party;
That gained, without coming to battle,
The first sovereignty of the Province.
Their names, if you wish to kniw,
And the number of yers each man reigned,
I shall disclose the same with truth,
As it is in the Royal line.
Angus of the brave achievements spent
Six and thirty years in that office;
A lordd without blemish in the chair4 of Corc,
It was no shame to allow him the enjoyment.
Thirty years, nothing less,
Eochy, the son of Angus, did spend,
by the will and approbation of all,
In the same Court without controversy.
Twenty years Criomthan was king,
Over the green turf of Munster:
Full of desire to watch for its welfare,
Here, in the chief town of Patrick (i.e. Cashel).
Cairbre Crom, son of the mild Criomhthan,
Thirty years was the period he enjoyed
The sovereignty of Mac Con's Munster
Without the inroads of plundering strangers.
The strong Fergus, their chief buckler,
Their famous and renowned peace-preserver,
His great goodness and munificence were boundless;
Twelve years only was his reign.
Felim, son of Cairbre Crom,
Over them as a round ditch;
Five years and ten was the time
That he had borne the sceptre.
The noble Cathal, son of Hugh,
The lord of pious practice,
During the space of ten years
He wore the crown in Cashel.
Three years, without any vexation,
Cugan-Mathair, son of Cathal;
He well preserved their spoils,
The majestic lord of the Momonians.
The son of Cugan-Mathair,
The brace Finmghin uncontrouled:
No ruling parties dared him app4roach;
Eight years and ten was his reign.
Princely Cathal, son of Finghin,
Obtained from God for his good conduct,
A long and peaceable reign
Of thirty years and one.
Fair Artri, son of Cathal the brave,
Twenty happy long years he reigned;
Faultless was the good man's fame,
As King of Clar Cashel (i.e. the table-land of Cashel).
Thirty years in possession,
Was Ceanfaolu, son of Mochtigearn;
Without a dismal story and blemish,
Till he was bound by death.
Son of Gorman, the munificent Fionghin,
Sixteen years in good repute;
No eveil doer in the island,
During his blessed and happy reign.
Notwithstanding his wars with others,
There did not fail, through an uncommon story,
On the green drop table by wounds
But bold Angus alone.
Caemh (Keeffe) from whom the sept is named,
Donogh that headed the troops,
Equal to a king each man of them,
Their goodness all was genuine.
The son of fair and noble Eoghan,
Conor, the brave lord,
Though not mentioned in the roll,
He well desreved to be elected.
By the oppresion of the barbarous Danes,
And the premature death of those brave heroes
Sorely afflictng the country of Breagh
The glory of this house ws brought low.
If the sons of Heber had not lost
The sovereignty of the famous Cashel,
The family of O'Keeffe would not rest
Without claiming its undoubted right.
Full of happiness without strife,
Many a pleasant day they enjoyed;
Twas no wonder for them to struggle for the Chair of Corc
In more properous times.
In prosperous times they had been
Overtaken by hard Fortune,
Wearied from too much fighting,
And from the oppression of the sons of Lochlin.
For some time until the coming of the English,
In spite of Danish multitudes,
They stood out until then,
On the green soft sod of Cashel.
Many foreigners, many griefs,
Great were the hurts and heavy the afflictions,
The many and successive battles
They suffered on that acdount from time to time.
The possession of the soveriegnty of Keeffe,
Tho' they are entirely deprived ot it
Suppose they declined asserting their right,
They are considered as noble lords.
Arthur, son of Arthur O'Keeffe,
Although not sitting in his Chair,
The man is worthy of that position,
He is the true end of this root.
It is he, without turning back,
I compare with the son of Angus,
Coming in for his inheritance,
The true heir of the family.
To us it is well known,
That one and eight and twenty men
Are just the number of generations
We count from him to Angus.
There came not one before him,
Of the noble root of Keeffe,
That he would not imitate in worthy deeds,
And in governing the fort of Criomhthan.
Though his strong arm cannot regain
His long-lost right from others,
He is in every respect
The true representative of the family.
If Ar4thur was there in their time,
He would be considered their equal;
He would be a much beloved by his subjects,
Prosperous and happy would be his reign.
That he cannot follow their steps,
The sons of Keeffe, patrons of clerics;
And his will not being his own,
There is in him but that one fault.
I defy his enemies to allege,
Or his friends to ascertain,
That he ever refused or requested
O'Keeffe seeks not for the protection of men.
It is not the reign of his branchy sept,
That saves him from any blemish,
From himself Arthur is best,
Though strong his root is the kingdom.
But for the oppresion of his blood,
And the heavy hand of his adversaries,
If every branch of the sept were to be examined,
He would be reckoned one of their noblest.
What ennobles Arthur, son of Art,
Are, magnaminity, bravery, his defence of the sept;
Earning fame for his posterity,
And the pure and untainted blood of his ancestors.
It is not one book that mentions his name,
Nor one party of our learned poets;
Without partiality or flattery,
He is praised by a goodly number.
The many voices of the wise and learned,
And of wriers on every subject,
Are ever singing Arthur's praises,
A man of jewels, rich and happy.
Revenges that are not to be put down in flight,
The beloved of the house of Patrick,
Troops of heroes that received no blame,
A party that warmed the .... place.
All my faults put together,
The day that we reacch the mountain,
Though a great load upon her,
The Blessed Virgin will get cancelled.
The O'Keeffes were hereitary marshals of the forces of
Desmond, and by O'Heerin they are styled chiefs of
Glen Amban, which was, according to Dr. O'Brien, the country
around Blanworth, in the barony of Fermoy, and county of
Cork, and hence they are sometimes styled chiefs of
Fear-Muighe, also of Irluachra, in the barony of Duhallow,
and county aforesaid, the chiefs of which are designated
as follows by O'Heerin:-
"'Keeffe of the handsome brown brows
Is chief of Irluachair of the fertile lands."
A large divsion of Irluachair, called Poble O'Keeffe,
belonged to a senior branch of this family; It contains
about 9000 statute acres, the greater portion of which is
comprised in the now parish of Nohoval-Day, in the barony
of Magohiny, and county of Kerry, and the remaining part
in the barony of Duhallow, in the county of Cork.
This wild district is now known as the crown lands or estate
of Poble O'Keeffe, it having escheated to the Crown in 1641,
in consequence of the part taken by the O'Keeffes in the
disturbances of that period. The chief residences of the lords
of this country were Drumsicane Castle, which stood on the
northern bank of the Blackwater, and about equal-distant from
Drisbane castle, one of the strongholds of the Mac Carthys;
Dromagh castle, the castle of Du-Aragill; Drumtariffe castle;
and the castellated mansions of Ahane, Cullen, and Ballymacquirk.
Donogh O'Keeffe, Marhsall of the forces of
Munster, defeated the Danes at Dundalk; see
article on Ceallachain Cashel.
FInghin O'Keeffe, lord of Fermoy-Feine,
Ceallach O'Keeffe, an anchorite, died.
Hugh, lord of Feara-Muighe-Feine, or
The earl of Desmond made a predatory incursion
into Kerryin the harvest of the year, and he
sent a party of kerns or foot soldiers to plunder Art
O'Keefe in Luachair Deadhaigh, or Irluachair; O'Keefe
pursued the depredators to the Demond's camp, and a
battel ensued, wherein Art O'Keeffe, son of Donal, son
of Art, chief of his tribe, and his son, Art Oge, were
taken prisoners, and his second son, Hugh, slain. Art Oge was
liberated soon afterwards, and was inaugurated as "The
Sir Edward Fitzgerald obtained a grant from
King James I. of one of the castles of Tadg O'Keeffe, with
the lands thereunto appertaining.
On the 22nd of November of this year, died Daniel, the Hero
O'Keefffe; an elegy on his death, consisting of 54 verses,
was composed by Tadg-Gaedhblach O'Sullivan. This O'Keeffe
petitioned Charles II, praying to have those lands restored
to him, of which he was deprived during the Commonwealth, for
his loyalty and services to the House of Stuart. The following
is the petition, the language of which we have modernised, with the
certificates of loyalty and faithful services thereunto attached:-
To the King's Most excellent Majesty
The humble petition of Captain Daniel O'Keeffe,
"That your supplicant's father cheerfully embraced and constantly
adhered to the peace concluded by your Majesty's authority
and did signally advance your Majesty's service, as by
several testimonies ready to be produced may appear.
1582 A.D. Four Masters
In the autumn of this year the Earl of Desmond made an incursion into
Kerry, and remained nearly a week encamped in the upper part of
Clann-Maurice. His foot-soldiers went forth to collect spoils in
Pobal-Ui-Chaoimh. O'Keeffe and the neighbours of that vicinity pursued
them, and continued during the course of the day to follow them through
the sloping fields of Luachair-Deaghaidh, until they had come near the
Earl's camp. When the Earl heard the bustling of the kerns, and the
report of their ordnance, he rose up suddenly, rushed upon O'Keeffe, and
routed him back the same passage by which he had come; and almost all
the pursuers were slain. O'Keeffe himself, i.e. Art, the son of
Donnell, son of Art, and his son, Art Oge, were taken prisoners; and
Hugh, another of his sons, was slain. The son of the Vicar O'Scoly was
also taken prisoner on this occasion, and was afterwards hanged.
1583 A.D. Four Masters
O'Keeffe (Art the son of Donnell, son of Art, son of Owen), an eminent
man, was slain; and his son, Art Oge, was installed in his place.
Art sl. 1583
Art oge O'Keeffe