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Archiver > MORE > 2002-06 > 1023898638

From: Lawrence Gordon More <>
Subject: [MORE-L] O'More, History
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:22:01 -0500

Here's a bit of back ground for those of you that might be able to trace
your ancestors to Ireland. This is some quick research from;
The following is a bit long an I apologize, but it dose give an idea of
the acient roots.
Larry More

O'More, Moore
Moore is a very numerous name in Ireland: with some 16,500 of the
population so called it holds twentieth place in the list of commonest
names. The great majority of these (apart from the metropolitan area)
are in Munster and Ulster. It is practically impossible to say what
proportion of these are of Gaelic Irish origin and what proportion of
English extraction, for Moore is also indigenous in England and very
common there (it has thirty-ninth place in their list). It would perhaps
be better to say Anglo-Norman rather than English, since Anglo-Norman
Moores established themselves in Munster soon after the invasion. These
Moores are called de Mora in Irish, a phonetic rendering of the English
name which is derived from the word moor (heathy mountain). The Old
Irish Moores are O Mordha, from the word mordha (stately, noble). The
eponymous ancestor Mordha was twenty-first in descent from Conal
Cearnach, the most distinguished of the heros of the Red Branch. The
O'Mores were the leading sept of the Seven Septs of Leix, the other six
being tributary to them. According to Keating the O'Mores have St.
Fintan as their protector. Of thirteen families of Moore recorded in
Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland (1912), twelve claim to have come to
Ireland as settlers from England or Scotland and one to be an offshoot
of the O'Mores. Judged by the test of resistance to English aggression
the O'Mores may be described as one of the foremost Irish septs. In this
connexion particular mention may be made of Rory O'More (d. 1557) and
his son Rory Og O'More (d.1578), both of whom were distinguished Irish
leaders in the wars against the tudor sovereigns, and another Rory
O'More, a member of the Leix sept, the head of the 1641 Rising and a
staunch ally of Owen roe O'Neill in the subsequent war. It is of
interest to note that he was known in English as Moore as well as
O'More. Of the many Moores who have distinguished themselves in various
phases of Irish life the most famous was, perhaps, Thomas Moore
(1779-1852), the poet: he was of a Co. Wexford family. The Moores of
Moore Hall, Co. Mayo, produced George Henry Moore (1810-1870), the
politician, and his two sons George Moore (1852-1933) the novelist, and
Col. Maurice Moore (1854-1939), author and ardent worker in the
Nationalist cause in the present century. The Moores of Moore Hall
descend from the Moores of Alicante, Spain, who were English in origin.
Father Florence O'More, alias Moore (1550-1616) was a noted Irish Jesuit
in Austria. Rev. Michael Moore (1640-1726) was the only Catholic provost
of Trinity College (Dublin University). Others were noted as economists,
architects etc., and one Rev. Henry Moore (1751-1844) was friend and
biographer of John Wesley. A number of O'Mores of the Leix sept were
officers of the Irish Brigade in France in the eighteenth century. The
descendants of one of them, Murtagh O'More, (who went to France in 1691)
ranked among the nobility of France as lords of Valmont. the family name
of the Earls of Drogheda is Moore: their ancestor came to Ireland under
Queen Elizabeth I. The Moores of Barmeath have been settled there since
the fourteenth century. The grandson of Saint Thomas More claims in his
Memoir that the family of More in England was a branch of the O'Mores of
Ireland: subsequent research suggests that, though they did indeed come
from Ireland, they were of the Barmeath line. The transplantations of
the remnants of this sept to Kerry after their subjugation in Leix, may
account for the frequency of this name More there now. St. Malachy, who
was Archbishop of Armagh from 1132-1148, is described by Gams and other
ecclesiastical authorities as Malachy O'Moore. His surname, however, was
O'Morgair (now obsolete), which is not, in fact, and early form of O

Ó Mórdha - (O) More or Moore - Co Laois - leading sept of the 7 Septs of

Laígsi Laigen - The early genealogy of the Laígsi Laigen cite Lugaid
Loígsech son of Conaill Cernaich. From the Laígsi are said to descend
the O'More chiefs of County Leix (Laios) in Leinster. Also see the
Tribes of Laigen (Leinster).

Seven Septs of Laois
After the arrival of the Anglo-Normans, the Leix (Laois) County was
divided among seven Septs or Clans: O'Moore, O'Kelly, O'Deevy, O'Doran,
O'Lalor, O'Dowling and McEvoy. This confederation began after the 3rd
century CE, when the family group that would become the O'Mores came
from Ulster to Leinster under the leadership of Laoighseach Cean More,
son of Connall Cearnach of the Red Branch, and helped to defend Leinster
under the kingship of Cuchorb, and expelled the Munster forces from the
region. They continued to hold principality over what became Leix
(Laois), so named after Laoighseach, and this confederation continued
through the Elizabethian wars of the 1500's, when the military and
political power of the families were broken and the clans dispossessed
and relocated. Of these seven clans, the O'Mores were the leading
family, holding the position and title of Kings, and then Princes of
Leix, as well
as the Marshell's and treasurers of Leinster since the 3rd century.

County Laois - early septs included O'More (of Ui Laoghis), Fitzpatrick
(of Upper Ossory), O'Devoy and O'Duff (of Ui Crimthainn Áin), O'Dempsey
(of Clanmaliere or Clann Máellugra), O'Gorman (of Ui Bairrche), O'Tracy
(of Slievemargy), O'Dunne (of Ui Riagan), MacEvoy (of Muintir
Fhiodhbhuidhe). The so-called "seven septs of Laois" included O'Moore,
O'Kelly, O'Devoy, O'Doran, O'Lalor, O'Dowling and McEvoy.

Laois, or Leix, county was long known as Queen's county. The slight
notices by Ptolemy respecting the interior of Ireland lead to the
inference that this county was inhabited by the Brigantes; but Whitaker
asserts that the Scoti were the first settlers in it. Afterwards it was
divided into Leix, which comprehended all of that part of the county
contained within the river Barrow to the
north and east, the Nore to the south, and the Slieve Bloom mountains to
the west; and Ossory, which included the remainder. So early in the
middle of the 3rd century the latter of these divisions, with parts of
the adjoining counties, was ranked as a kingdom, and annexed by Conary,
King of Ireland, to his native dominion of Munster, instead of being, as
formerly, attached to
Leinster. Subsequent passages of history prove it to have been a
district of considerable importance. When Malachy was forming a
confederacy of all the native princes against the Danes, the king of
Ossory was specially required to conclude a peace with the people of the
northern half of the island, in order that all should be at liberty to
act against the common enemy;
and in the time of Cormac Mac Culinan he had the command of the first
division of that monarch's army in his unjust and unfortunate invasion
of Leinster, and fell in the battle of Maghailbe, in which Cormac
himself was slain. His dominions were afterwards disposed of by Flan,
King of Ireland. Both Leix and Ossory were visited by St. Patrick. In
the war waged by Roderic O'Conor, King of Ireland, against Dermod Mac
Murrough, King of Leinster, which led to the invasion of Ireland under
Strongbow, the king of Ossory was one of the princes who were specially
summoned by the former of those potentates. The O'More were the
principal dynast of the territory of Leix, and the Mac Gillypatricks or
Fitzpatricks were the kings of Ossory at that time.

The ancient province of Laigin derives its name from the Laigain people
who were among the earlier inhabitants of the area. Included among the
early peoples were the Cauci, Manapii, Coriondi, Brigantes, Domninii and
Usdiae. By the 5th century the Southern Ui Naill encroached on the
Northern borders of the province decreasing its area. The Ui Chennselaig
and Ui Dunlainge tribes were the dominent septs during this period.
Others included the Ui Faelain, Cuala, Ui Garrchon, Ui Drona, Ui
Biarrche and Ui Enachglais, with the sacred capital at Naas.
As its borders expanded in later centuries the territories of the Fine
Gall (Dublin), Ui Dunchada, Ui Failge, Loiges, Osraige, Eile, Fothairt,
Ui Mail and Ui Muiredaig were included. Later the more prominent clans
included the MacMurroughs, O'Tooles, Phelans, O'Connors, Kilpatricks,
O'Byrnes, O'Moores and O'Dempseys.
The arrival of the Anglo-Normans occured in Leinster in 1169/70, at the
invitation of the ousted King of Leinster, Dermat MacMurrough. Earldoms
were established in Kildare (Fitzgeralds) and Ormond (Butlers). The area
of English control around Dublin, referred to as the Pale, expanded into
the province of Leinster next with settlements and fortifications by the
new Anglo-Normans lords. By the 17th century, the Cromwellian campaigns
supplanted these with English rule and land ownership.

Non-Laiginian Tribes

The Loígis (O'More), the Benntraige (O'Coskry), the Fotharta Fea
(O'Nolan), the Fotharta in Chairn (O'Larkin), are considered to have
non-Laigin origins.


The Loígis, Laígsi or Laoighisi, were mercenary tribes of the Laigin and
probably of Cruithin (Pict) origin. The Loígis claim descendancy from
Lugaid Loígsech, son of Conall Cernach. From Conall's line also descend
the Dál n-Araide of Ulster.

An early Laígsi genealogy:
Fachtna m. Milige a quo Baccán m. Brain m. Eircc h-Ubulchind m.
Feidelmid mc Findchada m. Fiachach Uanchind m. Dáire m. Rossa m. Ogomain
m. Fergusa Múlcheist m. Fachtna m. Milige m. Intait m. Lugdach Loíchsi
m. Conaill Cernaich.

The annals cite:
For 875, The plundering of Ui Ceinnsealaigh by Cinneidigh, son of
Gaeithin, lord of Laeighis; and numbers were slain by him.
For 886, Cinaedh, son of Cennedidh, heir apparent of Laeighis, was
For 897, Dunghal, son of Cearbhall (of the Osraighe), was mortally
wounded by the people of Laeighis.
For 898, Cinneidigh, son of Gaeithin, lord of Laighis and of the
Comanns, was slain.
For 926, Cionaedh mac Oghráin, tighearna Laoighisi, do mharbhadh.
For 931, Cathal mac Odhráin, tighearna Laoighisi.
For 933, Maol Muire, mac Cenndubháin, tanaisi Laoighisi, died.
For 958, Ferghal, mac Augráin, tighearna Laoighisi Rétae, died.
For 1014, Cindeidigh mac Fergail, tigherna Laoighisi, died.
For 1017, Cernach Ua Mórdha, tigherna Laoighisi, was slain.
For 1026, Aimhirgin ua Mórdha, tigherna Laoighisi, was slain.
For 1041, Faelan h-Ua Mórdha, rí Laigsi, do dallad la Murchad mac
For 1041, Cu Chiche h-ua Dúnlaing, tigherna Laighisi.
For 1042, Coin Coigcriche Ua Mórdha, tigherna Laighisi.
For 1097, Aimhirgin Ua Mórdha, tigherna Laoighisi (rí Laigsi), died.
For 1098, Mac Gaithin Ua Mórdha, tigherna Laoighisi, was slain.
For 1108, Mac maic Aigenaín, rí Láigse subíta morte periit.
For 1149, Laoighsech Ua Mordha, tigherna Laoighisi & na c-Comann,
For 1153, Niall Ua Mórdha, tigherna Laoighisi.
For 1158, Mac Raith Ua Mordha, tigherna Laoighise.
For 1165, Domhnall Mac Giolla Pháttraicc, tigherna Osraighe, was slain
by Laoighis Uí Mhórdha.

About the time of Ptolemy (c.150 AD) the tribes of the Vennicnii and the
Rhobogdii are translated to be near the modern county of Donegal, prior
to the arrival of the sons of Niall in the 4th century, that is Eoghan
of Cenél Eóghain, Conall Gulban of Cenél Conaill, Enda of Cenél nEnnae
and Cairbe of Cenél Cairpre. Ptolemy also mentions the country of the
Darnii, or Darini, possibly in the present county of Derry, prior to the
rise of the O'Cathains, a branch and tributary to the O'Nialls (Northern
Uí Neill). In the present county of Antrim the Darnii or Darini are also
inferred from Ptolemy, prior to the rise of the Dal Riata in that area.
In the present county of Tyrone, the Scoti and sometimes the Erdini are
said to be translated from Ptolemy's early map, prior to the rise of
power of the Cineal Eoghain (Tir Owen, Tyrone). The present county of
Down and southern Antrim has traditionally been known under the name
Ulagh, with the Voluntii or Uluntii inferred from Ptolemy, prior to the
rise of the Dal Fiatach and Dal nAraide branches of Ulidia. The Uí
Eathach Cobha were also prominent in Down in descent from the Dal
nAriade. Modern county Armagh, the home of the ancient capitol of Ulidia
(Uladh), that is Emhain Macha, was mentioned by Ptolemy as home to the
Vinderii and Voluntii, prior to the establishment of Oirgialla by the
three Collas in the 4th century. It has also been translated from
Ptolemy that the Scoti inhabited modern county Monaghan, and that the
Erdini (Ernaigh) may have inhabited modern counties Fermanagh and Cavan.

The ancient Uladh genealogies cite Clann Conaill Cernaich, of the line
Ir, a quo Dál n-Araide, and the Úi Echach Ulad, and the Conaille
Murthemni, and the Laígsi Laigen (of Leinster), and the Sogaine (of
Connacht). The Dál Fiatach (Clan Con Ruí, probably named from
Fiatach Finn) and the Dál Riata (named from Cairbre Riada) are cited in
the line of Heremon.

Dál n-Araidhe - sometimes referred anciently with the Cruithne of
southern Co. Antrim and northern Co. Down. Dalaradia, considered a part
of ancient Ulidia, was the name of the territory in southern County
Antrim (and part of Down) where St. Patrick was held as a slave during
his young manhood.
An early geneaolgy of the Dal Araide is cited as:
Domnall m. Conchobuir m. Echrí m. Flathroí m. Áeda m. Loingsich m. Meicc
Étich m. Lethlabair m. Loingsich m. Tomaltaich m. Indrechtaich m.
Lethlabair m. Echach Iarlathi m. Fiachnae m. Báetáin m. Echdach m.
Condlae m. Cóelbad m. Cruind Ba Druí m. Echach m. Lugdach m. Rossa m.
Imchada m. Feidelmid m. Caiss m. Fiachach Araidi [m. Áengus Goibnenn m.
Fergus Gallen m. Tipraiti Tírech m. Bressal Brecc m. Ferb m. Mál m.
Rochride m. Cathbad m. Giallchad m. Condchad m. Findchad m. Muiredach
Finn m. Fiachu Findamnas m. Iarél Glúnmár m. Conall Cernach]

As noted in the name Loingsich (above) and the citings in the Annals for
the 11th and 12th century, the Lynch sept were medieval chiefs of Dal
Araidhe, although cited by Edward McLysaght with connections to the Dal
Riada, their close neighbors and later allies. The O'Lynn (O'Floinn)
sept is also noted in 1176.

Legendary chiefs of Dal nAraide: Cermna -- Sobuirche -- Sétna Artt --
Fiachu Findscothach -- Ollam Fótla -- Fínnachta -- Slánoll -- Géde
Ollgothach -- Berngal m. Géide -- Ailill -- Find m. Blátha -- Sírlám --
Argatmár -- Áed Ruad -- Díthorba -- Cimbáeth -- Macha (queen) --
Rudraige -- Bressal Bódíbad -- Congal Cláringnech -- Fachtna Fáthach --
Éllim m. Conrach -- Mál m. Rochride -- Cóelbad m. Cruind.

The Annals cite:
For 10 AD, Tibraide Tireach, from whom are the Dal Araidhe.
For 356, Caolbhadh, mac Cruinn Ba Dhrai, ri n-Uladh.
For 483, Fiachra Lon, son of the king of Dhal Araidhe.
For 558, Aedh Dubh, son of Suibhne, King of Dal Araidhe.
For 626, Fiachna mac Baedaín, ri Dal Araidhe.
For 665, Maelcaeich, son of Scannal, chief of the Cruithne of Dal
Araidhe of the race of Ir, died.
For 696/698, Aedh Aired, chief of Dal Araidhe.
For 787/92, Breasal, son of Flathrai (Bresal m. Flaithri), lord of Dal
For 790, Tomaltach m. Innrechtaigh ri Dal n-Araide, died.
For 824, Eochaid m. Bressail, ri Dal Araide in Tuaisceirt.
For 823/25, Maelbreasail, son of Ailell Cobha (Mael Bresail m. Ailello
Cobo), lord of Dal Araidhe, died.
For 892, Muireadhach, son of Maeleitigh, lord of Dal Araidhe.
For 904, Bec ua Lethlobhair, tighearna Dál n-Araidhe, died.
For 912, Loingsech ua Lethlobhair, tighearna Dal n-Araidhe.
For 978, Cath edir Ultoibh & Dal n-Araidhe, a t-torchoir rí an
Chóiccidh .i. Aodh, mac Loingsich, go sochaidhibh ele lá
h-Eochaidh mac Ardgair.
For 1003, Donnchadh ua Loingsich, tigherna Dail Araidhe.
For 1015, Domhnall mac Loingsigh, tigherna Dail n-Araidhe.
For 1113, Findchaise H. Loingsigh ri Dail Araide.
For 1141, Domhnall Ua Loingsigh, tigherna Dal Araidhe, was slain.
For 1176, Cu Maighe h-Ua Flainn, rí h-Ua Turtri & Fer Lí & Dal Araide.
For 1177, An army was led by John De Courcy and the knights into
Dalaradia and to Dun da leathghlas; they slew Donnell,
the grandson of Cathasach, Lord of Dalaradia.

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