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Historical Origins of the O'Donoghues

There are fifteen recognised Ó Donnchadha tribes and septs listed below. Subscribing members can access considerable detail on the historical background to each of these tribes by clicking on these links.

Irish history and mythology is some of the best recorded in the world. Because of the work of the Irish annalists and genealogists we are able to identify where our ancient forebears may have come from. Also we are told what their tribal names are and the names of the septs that developed from those tribes. MacLysaght describes a sept as 'a collective term describing a group of persons, who, or whose immediate and known ancestors, bore a common surname and inhabited the same locality'. This is not the same as a Scottish clan, which were differently constituted, although the word 'clan' does tend to be used synonymously with an Irish sept.

In these pages the Irish spellings are used. Ó means basically 'from' but in genealogical terms means 'grandson or descendant of'. Uí is the genitive singular and so Donnchadh Uí Láegairi means Donogh of the O'Leary tribe/sept or descendants of Leary. Ua is the genitive plural and therefore Ua Donnchadha means in its simplest 'of the Donoghues'. Sometimes one sees this as Hua Donnchadha. One finds a great variety of spellings in the old Irish records, and I have stuck with those in my book 'Heroic Landscapes: Irish Myth & Legend'.

We continue to undertake historical research to generate new information, and combined with the Y-DNA project, this will lead potentially to a continuing expanded understanding of the ancient roots of our name and our families.

Where local societies or associations are in place to bring together people from the same tribal group or location a direct link can be found below

A macro tribal history of Ireland

1 ) Eoghanacht Raithlinn/Uí Eachach Mhumhan/Cinéal Laoghaire Sometimes referred to as The O’Donoghues of Desmond
     Additional document - The Royal Order of Ónaghts Ó Donnchadha

2 ) Eoghanacht Chaisil of County Tipperary

3 ) Eoghanacht Ninussa of County Clare

4 ) Uí Dhonnchadha of Ossory

5 ) Uí Dhúnchadha of counties Wicklow and Dublin

6 ) Uí Dhonnchadha of Teallach Modharáin

7 ) Uí Chormaic of County Galway

8 ) Uí Dhonnchadha of Breifne represented by The Donohoe Clan Society
     Additional link - http://www.donohoeclan.org

9 ) Uí Fhiachrach of counties Mayo and Sligo

10 ) Clann tSealbhaigh

11 ) Eoghanacht Locha Léin

12 ) The O’Donoghues Mór of Lough Léin

13 ) The O’Donoghues of the Glens

14 ) Uí Dhúnchadha of Fine Gall of County Meath

15 ) Uí Dhonnchadha of the Déisi Mhumhan of County Waterford



If you wish quickly to assign yourself to any of these territorial groups please select from this drop down list and you will be registered under your chosen heading.