Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1266320631

From: Janet Crawford <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Irish surnames was FTDNA v. ISOGG R1b haplotreecomparison updated
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 11:43:51 +0000
References: <><><F2606FF9AC4747CE939DE33529512691@elizabethod><><><4657C16DA31349CABA8513BC314A6059@elizabethod>
In-Reply-To: <4657C16DA31349CABA8513BC314A6059@elizabethod>

On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM, Elizabeth O'Donoghue
<> wrote:

> I fear we will continue to disagree on this point.  The daughters are not
> mention in genealogical records precisely because their progeny would not
> have been eligible for consideration by the Derbfine when choosing a chief.

Elizabeth, the Brehon Laws were very carefully designed such that, for
each of the provinces, one blood line and one only were entitled to
the kingship and would retain it, barring a war and complete overthrow
of the existing royal line there. A potential king had to have had an
ancestor who had been a king within the derbfine and the derbfine was
based on a male ancestor, and the king had to be a male. Nowhere,
however, does it say that the potential king had to have a father
within the derbfine; the law is quite silent on that. A woman could
inherit a life interest in land controlled by the derbfine when her
father had no sons. She was a female heir, a banchomarbae. Like any
male land-owner, she had other legal rights within the derbfine.
The only restriction SEEMS to have been that if she had married a man
outside of the derbfine, her property, at her death appears to revert
to the derbfine. I am not sure that is entirely true in reality and
look to the "Irish" Fitzgerald lines as examples where they appeared
to have inherited land from their Irish noble mothers at the
No where in the laws does it say that a son of a daughter can never be
elected king, i.e. there is no prohibition against it, nor, in the
case of a royal line daughtering out, would they want or use any such
prohibition against their own best interests.
The best example I can give is King Cormac mac Cuileannain who had a
kingly ancestor within his derbfine, but he, himself, was the son of a
daughter. I will imagine that, if more lines are straightened out, we
would find many examples.
> I'm not suggesting that there were no Picts/Cruithin in Ireland.  While it's
> not impossible that a Pictish tribe in Ireland may have followed a
> matrilineal descent, I would certainly be interested in having examples of
> tribes that took their name from a daughter.

As to this, I will refer you to just about any and all of the mothers
of the Irish saints each of whom appears to have spawned their own
sept name.


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