"WHO ARE THE MACDERMOTS ROE"
Origins and Early History

The ancestor of the MacDermots Roe, the most important branch of the MacDermots, was Dermot Dall (Dall meaning blind). Dermot Dall was the son of Conor and the grandson of Cormac, King of Moylurg (1218-1244). He was in the fifth generation of descent from Dermot, King of Moylurg (1124-1159) from whom the MacDermot clan took its name.

The MacDermots Roe are a milesian family. This means that the family descends from Milesius of Spain, the leader of the Gaelic Celts in what is now the Spanish province of Galicia. Milesius' sons invaded Ireland in the second millenium before Christ. Two of them, Heremon and Heber became the first Gaelic kings of Ireland. The descent from Milesius' son Heremon to the origins of the MacDermots Roe is set forth for each generation in John O'Hart's, Irish Pedigrees.

According to the Annals of the Four Masters, in the year 1266 Dermot Dall was blinded by Aedh O'Conor, King of Connaught.1 Aedh was evidently a very nasty fellow as the Annals recount that he, also, blinded a Donnacty, son of Dunn Og the same year.

It is not known what motivated King Aedh to put out Dermot's eyes. However, under tanistry, the Gaelic law governing the succession of kings and chiefs, a person could not succeed to the kingship if he suffered from a significant physical defect. Very possibly Aedh blinded Dermot to ensure that he would never become King of Moylurg.

Dermot Dall was obviously a man of significant stature in the clan because he went on to found a very important sept notwithstanding his being blind. The sept is believed to have taken its name from Dermot Dall's grandson, named Dermot Roe, hence MacDermot Roe. On the other hand, in the Annals of Loch Ce, Dermot Dall is referred to as Dermot Roe. It may be that the he was known as Dermot Roe before his blinding.

The rise of the MacDermots Roe as the principal branch of the MacDermots was, not only, due to the prestige of its ancestor, Dermot Dall, but also, to the fact that the MacDermot Roe held the hereditary position of Biatach General for the Kingdom of Connaught. The head of the MacDermot Clan was hereditary marshal for the kingdom.

The Biatach General was the official responsible for the welfare of the poor and homeless and for the provision of food and shelter for travelers. In 1365, Biatach General MacDermot Roe was killed while fighting with Hugh MacDermot of Moylurg against the MacRanalls of South Leitrim.

Although there is no evidence that the MacDermots Roe were anything but supporters of the MacDermots, the MacDermots Roe expanded beyond Tir Tuathail into other parts of Moylurg. By the 17th century, the MacDermots Roe had substantial holdings as far south as Ballinahow, present day Cavetown. There is evidence of a large MacDermot Roe presence in Ardcarn parish south of the Boyle River. Additionally, the MacDermots Roe had land as far west as Tibohine parish in what was at one time considered the MacDermot Gall country.

As described in Sir Dermot MacDermot's family history, MacDermot of Moylurg, sometime in the 16th century the MacDermots Roe eclipsed the MacManus' for control of the territory known as Tir-Tuathail.3 This territory is located in northeastern County Roscommon and was the heartland of the MacDermot Roe country.

While there are not many details known about the early years of the MacDermots Roe, we do know that the MacDermots Roe split with their "followers" during the great Irish rebellion against Queen Elizabeth led by Red Hugh O'Donnell and Hugh O'Neill. In a report dated September 1597, Sir Conyers Clifford, English President of Connaught wrote "The MacDermots Roe have come in to me and live about the Abbey of Boyle; but their followers are in action with O Ruarke (Brian Og O'Rourke)." Boyle Abbey, whose principal patrons were the MacDermots, was an English stronghold during the rebellion.

O'Rourke, known as Brian Og of the Battle Axes, was the Lord of Leitrim and brought a small army to support Red Hugh in the rebellion. If the MacDermot Roe followers were with O'Rourke, then they fought in support of the forces of Conor Og MacDermot at the Battle of the Curlews on August 15, 1599. The MacDermots played a leading role in this great victory over the English. Clifford was killed and buried by the MacDermots on Trinity Island in Loch Ce.

Among the MacDermots Roe gathered outside Clifford's fort at Boyle Abbey may well have been young Conor, great-grandson of a MacDermot Roe chieftain named Cathal. Like the others, Conor would have been wondering if he had made the right decision. By joining Clifford and spurning Red Hugh had he ensured his family's survival or brought upon them lasting disgrace?

The Rise of Conor MacDermot Roe

The next few years would show that the decision of the MacDermots Roe to go with Clifford and the English was a very prudent if not courageous one. The Battle of the Curlews proved to be the last great victory for the Irish. The rebellion was crushed on December 24, 1601 with the great defeat of the Irish and their Spanish allies on the Cork coast at the Battle of Kinsale. On March 30, 1603, Hugh O'Neill submitted to the English. Eventually, O'Neill and many other Irish leaders fled the country in what became known as "the Flight of the Earls".

It was in the context of this momentous Irish defeat that young Conor submitted a petition to the new English King, James I, for a surrender and re-grant of certain MacDermot Roe lands in Kilronan Parish. The petition was granted on November 20, 1605 and confirmed by the King on June 18, 1607. From that time on, Conor and his descendants held the land under English title.

The English program of surrender and re-grant was one of several "legal" methods by which the Tudors and later the Stuart Kings sought to convert Irish land ownership to an English model and to undermine the Irish clan based social, economic and political system. The surrender and re-grant was particularly useful as it, also, tended to ensure the loyalty of the chieftain who received the grant of land.

Under the ancient Gaelic legal system, known as the Brehon law, the allocation of land was a reflection of the economic and military interdependence of the clan members and their strong ties of emotion and blood. There was a communal aspect to the system. The chieftain did not own outright the clan country. Rather, appurtenant to his office was the chieftain's portion of the clan land. The chieftain was, also, supported by rights of tribute, food rent and military service over the country. His power and wealth were based on family loyalty, tradition and his personal leadership skills.

An essential aspect of the Irish system of land ownership and governance was the Gaelic system of succession known as tanistry. Under this law, a chieftain was not automatically succeeded by his eldest son as under primogeniture. Rather, his successor would be elected by the clan from a three generation zone of male family members.

Thus, the possible successors to a dead chieftain would include anyone whose great-grandfather had been a chieftain, viz. the sons of the late chieftain and all of their first and second cousins. An obvious consequence of this system was great uncertainty as to succession as a large number of descendants vied for the chieftaincy. Another consequence was that it was clear that the chieftain derived his power from the clan in general since their support was essential to succession.

The Irish system was clearly objectionable to the English on two grounds. First, it resulted in too much confusion over land ownership for clear title to be established. Additionally, because of the strong familial nature of the system, it would mitigate against a free market for the conveying of land to persons outside the clan. Clear title and ease of conveyance were, from the English perspective, essential to a modern economy.

A second serious English objection had to do with the ultimate authority behind control of land. It was an integral part of the Gaelic system that power and land control be based upon the clan's consent. In order to solidify English colonial rule, it became necessary that it be based upon a grant from the English government. Thus, the surrender and re-grant technique was part and parcel of the policy that abolished the law of tanistry, as well as, the office of chieftain as it had been anciently understood.

Although the surrender and re-grant was undoubtedly illegal under Irish law, it provided a legal cover for the English to transform Ireland in a way that went beyond the issue of land ownership. By obtaining the MacDermot Roe lands under English title from an English King, Conor had a much different relationship with his family members than he would have had under the Gaelic system. He now owned the land outright and could be assured that it would pass to his eldest son under the newly imposed rule of primogeniture. He, also, knew his power came from the English government not from the consent of his extended family. His relationship with that extended family and others within the MacDermot Roe territory would henceforth be that of a landlord/tenant nature rather that a familial one.

The substantial grant of land to Conor included a large portion of the MacDermot Roe property in Tir Tuathail. Among that property was the family headquarters at Camagh, later called Ballyfarnan, where the family seat of Alderford still stands.

The lands granted to Conor did not include MacDermot Roe properties which may have been numerous. They appear to have included the iron rich portions of Kilronan which were the basis for the MacDermot Roe ironworks. Since the construction and maintenance of ironworks would have required specialized training, it seems logical that these properties had been passed down within Conorís branch for some time irrespective of who was MacDermot Roe chief.

In the aftermath of the 1607 grant to Conor, it appears that the MacDermots Roe, in general, fared well. The relative size and importance of the MacDermots Roe by the early 17th century is seen in the names of the lessors set forth in the 1617 Grant of Brian Og MacDermot. Within the barony of Boyle, there were 19 MacDermots Roe listed on leases out of a total of 41 MacDermots representing almost half the total. The properties covered included a castle and very large parcel leased to Cormac MacDermot Roe in Ballinahow.

As indicated on an unregistered MacDermot Roe pedigree that this author examined at the Genealogical Office in Dublin, the line of Cormac, the other large MacDermot Roe landholder, terminated with Cormac's son, Henry. With the discontinuation of the Ballinahow line, Conor and his descendants were unquestionably the leading branch of the family.

We do not know the exact date of Conor's death, the names of all his children or even the name of his wife. However, it appears that Conor outlived his son Cathal Dubh who married a Burke of County Galway. Thus, Conor was succeeded as head of the MacDermots Roe by his grandson Henry Baccach (circa 1645-1715).

Henry Baccach and Mary MacDermot Roe and their sons

Henry Baccach (Baccach meaning lame) MacDermot Roe and his grandfather Conor successfully navigated their family through the tumultuous mid-17th century in Ireland. In 1667, young Henry Baccach received confirmation of his estates from King Charles II of England under a "Declaration of Innocence" which preserved part of the original 1607 land grant. The Declaration was issued on proof that Henry had not participated in the Irish rebellions against England during the English Civil War.

Henry Baccach married Mary Fitzgerald (circa 1660-1739) and they resided at the family seat, Alderford. They had five sons: (1) Henry who married Anne O'Donnell and had one daughter who died without issue, (2) John who married Julia French and was succeeded by his son Thomas, (3) Thomas, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ardagh, (4) Matthew, a doctor, who married a Miss MacDermot of Ballinvilla, and who had a son Charles, also a doctor, who died in Jamaica and (5) Charles of Alderford who married Eleanor O'Conor, sister of the historian Charles O'Conor of Bealanagare, and who had three sons, Charles, Henry, and Denis and a daughter, Mary.

Henry Baccach and his wife Mary are famous as the principal patrons of Ireland's most renowned composer, Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). O'Carolan, a blind harpist, adapted his beautiful Irish folk melodies to the baroque style of his day. He was crucial to the preservation of the Gaelic musical tradition during the harshest days of English colonialism exemplified by the Penal Laws.

We know quite a bit about Henry Baccach's family through biographical notes on the life of O'Carolan known as the Mundey-O'Reilly manuscript. The material was commissioned by Myles John O'Reilly. His most important researcher was Daniel Early who covered O'Carolan's career from its beginning with the help of the MacDermots Roe to his final days at Alderford. The manuscript was a principal source for Donal O'Sullivan's definitive biography of O'Carolan which includes a chapter on the MacDermots Roe.

While visiting the O'Malley's of County Mayo with his mother and brother John to make arrangements for his upcoming marriage to an O'Malley daughter, eldest son Henry excused himself to make a brief visit to the O'Donnell's of Newport. Although expected to return to the O'Malley's, Henry stayed for a dinner which included O'Carolan and the parish priest. The next morning found Henry married to Anne O'Donnell.

To the chagrin of the family, young Henry took off for Dublin where he immediately mortgaged some of the MacDermot Roe property to raise cash. When he returned to the country it was not to live in Alderford. Rather, he and his wife built a new place called Greyfield on the MacDermot Roe property "where the first wine came in hogsheads".

Young Henry continually partied and spent beyond his means. O'Carolan was a frequent visitor to both Greyfield and Alderford and composed several pieces in honor of members of the family. Henry succeeded in encumbering most of the MacDermot Roe property with new mortgages. When his wife died, Henry moved in with his daughter and her in-laws at Tempo. He died there on June 21, 1752.

Bridget MacManus, a servant of the MacDermots Roe, attended O'Carolan during his final illness and her account of these events as recalled by her son is set forth in the Mundey-O'Reilly manuscript. In 1738, "when Carolan found that his strength began to fail, he knew his end was fast approaching and drew as quickly as he possibly could to his old home as he always called Alderford, where he was sure of being well received." When O'Carolan met Mary MacDermot Roe at the hall door, he said to her in Brigit's presence, "I have come here after all I have gone through, to die at home at last, where I got my first schooling and my first horse."

Mary MacDermot Roe personally attended O'Carolan during his final week long illness. As the end approached, O'Carolan "stretched forth his trembling hand to his kind and best beloved Mrs. MacDermott and repeated the following lines as a farewell forever:

'Mary Fitzgerald, dear heart,
Love of my breast and my friend,
Alas that I am parting from you,
O lady who succoured me at every stage!'
(translated from the original Gaelic)

Among those present at O'Carolan's death bed was Eleanor, the wife of Charles MacDermot Roe. O'Carolan was interred in the MacDermot Roe family vault at Kilronan Abbey. His pall bearers included Thomas (later Bishop of Ardagh) and Charles MacDermot Roe.

From at least 1738, youngest son Charles resided at Alderford with his wife Eleanor O'Conor and their six children. Eleanor had been married at the age of about 12 to her cousin Charles O'Conor of Sligo. When he died, Charles O'Conor left Eleanor with three young children named Denis, Anne and Eleanor. Eleanor then married Charles with whom she had Charles, Henry, Denis and Mary. It would appear that the last four children were born between 1751 and 1759.

The Mundey-O'Reilly Manuscript gives no details regarding Charles' two sons Charles and Henry, but there are many details regarding his daughter, Mary, whose interview (circa 1830) is recorded there. At the age of 18, Mary went to London where she married William Taylor, a merchant. In July 1791, she went to France for 5 years and had the misfortune of being imprisoned during the Reign of Terror.

Mary was liberated from prison on the death of Robespierre. Her husband having died in France, Mary returned to Ireland. She lived with her mother at Knockranny and later Mount Allen, both places part of the MacDermot Roe patrimony. Mary recounted her visits with her mother to the remains of O'Carolan at Kilronan Abbey where Eleanor would frequently renew a ribbon which she placed in O'Carolan's skull. Evidently, Mary was remarried to a man named Coulter as she is referred to as Mrs. Coulter in the manuscript notes.

Charles of Alderford died in 1759 leaving Eleanor a widow. The second son, John, who was a lawyer and a Protestant convert mounted a successful legal challenge to Charles' will. The index to wills for the Diocese of Ardagh shows that Charles' will was admitted to probate in 1759. The index states that Charles died in residence at Alderford.

With the success of the will challenge, John evicted Eleanor and the children from Alderford. According to Daniel Early's notes, Eleanor was "left with a helpless family bereft of every support" and went to live with relations. Known as "Nelly", Eleanor lived to the age of over 100 "as an example of Christian fortitude and forbearance and always retained her beautiful and majestic appearance."

John was clearly not a man to be trifled with. Upon Henry's death, William Knox, Esq. obtained ownership of Greyfield through foreclosure. John, then residing at Greyfield, armed some followers and resisted Knox and the High Sheriff, Edward, Lord Kingston who came to take possession of the house and lands. Several people were killed during a skirmish near Keadue in a field which became known as Pairc a Mhurdair, "Field of Murder". According to Early, had Charles lived, Knox was prepared to give him a reasonable lease on the grounds, Charles "having gained the good will and opinion of Mr. Knox and the Earl of Kingston."

MacDermots Roe in the Modern Era

During the late 18th and 19th centuries the MacDermots Roe grew steadily in wealth and power. John was succeeded by his second son, Thomas who re-built Alderford in 1777. Thomas' great-grandson, Thomas Charles, became Justice of the Peace for Counties Sligo and Roscommon and High Sheriff for County Roscommon. According to De Burgh's Irish Landowners, Thomas Charles owned 2,502 acres in 1875.

As John's Protestant descendants prospered, they, also, became strongly anglicized and integrated with the Anglo-Irish establishment. The extent to which the MacDermots Roe of Alderford identified with the English is illustrated by Ffrench Fitzgerald's entry in Who Was Who. Ffrench describes himself as "Lord of MoylurgÖ (and) head of the Protestant branch of the MacDermot sept". According to Ffrench, the ancestor of his sept is neither Dermot Dall nor Mulrooney. He claims his ancestor to be "the Princes of Leinster" through the marriage of Princess Eva, daughter of Dermot, Prince of Leinster to Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke. Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow, led the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in 1170 and received Princess Eva and Leinster as his reward.

Given their close identification with English colonial rule of Ireland, it is not surprising that the last two MacDermots Roe of Alderford became expatriates as the tide of Irish nationalism rose. Thomas Charles collected his rents in Monaco where he died in 1913. His younger brother and successor Ffrench did likewise and died there in 1917.

Thomas Charles was never married. Ffrench married twice and had two daughters but no son to succeed to the Irish title "The MacDermot Roe". It appears that the title had been granted to Thomas Charles by the former Ulster Office of Arms, predecessor of the Genealogy Office, based upon an application for a grant of arms supported by the 1865 MacDermot Roe pedigree.

It should be noted that the Anglo orientation of some of the MacDermots Roe was not limited to the protestant branch of John the Counselor. We know that Mary, daughter of Charles of Alderford (d.1759) moved to London at 18 and married a William Taylor there. While her interview notes are not clear, it is likely that other members of the family were there for at least some time.

Additionally, Patrick MacDermotRoe, the author's ancestor, obtained a commission in the British Army. According the British Army Lists, on May 8, 1797 Patrick was appointed Ensign in the Irish Brigade, 3rd (Henry Dillon's) Regiment and on July 4, 1805 was appointed Lieutenant in the 99th Foot (Prince of Wales, Tipperary) Regiment. Henry MacDermot of Coolavin (1777-1814), the MacDermot's younger brother was, also, commissioned Ensign in Dillon's Regiment on December 31, 1795.

Patrick was the son of Henry, the younger son of Charles of Alderford (d. 1759). Patrick immigrated to America no later than 1816 and was married to Dorothy Irving. They lived in New York City and Troy, New York. The author descends from his daughter Catherine MacDermot (Roe) Fagan of Troy (May 6, 1827 - January 8, 1916) through Catherine's daughter Henriette Elizabeth Fagan Simpson.

Ffrench MacDermot Roe had three younger brothers: Fitzgerald, William Andrew and Edward Charles who are said to have immigrated to America. This author undertook a search of America for their descendants, but none were found among the American MacDermots Roe.

According to MacDermot of Moylurg, Alderford passed out of the family in 1926. It was sold by Mrs. Minnie Ffrench Cairns, daughter of Ffrench by his first wife. Although not in the MacDermot Roe family, Alderford is still occupied and cattle graze on the surrounding property.

An interesting development in the family during the period of English colonization was the decline in the number of families identified in public records as MacDermots Roe as a proportion of MacDermots. As discussed above, in the early 1600's, 19 MacDermots Roe appeared on leases in the barony of Boyle in County Roscommon out of 41 MacDermots almost half. By the time of the real estate assessment known as Griffith's Valuation, 1848-1864, in all Ireland only about 25 MacDermots Roe appear out of several hundred MacDermots, a tiny percentage.

An example of how dramatically the use of the Roe declined is illustrated by the list of MacDermots who served in the American Civil War (1861-1865). A total of about 1,000 MacDermots served on both sides of the war. It can be assumed that a considerable number were MacDermot Roe descendants. However, a search of the lists of Civil War MacDermots revealed only one MacDermot Roe. He was Colonel James MacDermot Roe of Toledo, Ohio and James was listed in the R's under the surname Roe.

The decline in the use of the Roe accelerated in the 20th century. The current Irish telephone directory shows even fewer MacDermots Roe than were listed in Griffiths in the mid-19th century. In North America today, the surname with the appellation is quite rare.

The reason for the decline in use of the Roe is probably very mundane. The appellation "Roe" is alphabetically confusing. With the standardization of record keeping by bureaucrats in an increasing complex society, the appellation was a big problem. Were you Mr. MacDermot or Mr. Roe? Even if the record keeper understood the distinction between the surname and the appellation, it was still not clear whether he would put a MacDermot Roe under M or R.

Thus, most MacDermot Roe descendants dropped the Roe in the 19th and 20th centuries. A few families retained the Roe while eliminating the alphabetical problem by combining the two words into McDermottroe. In one case, an American branch of the family dealt with the issue by dropping the MacDermot and keeping only the Roe.

The general decline in the use of the Roe poses some difficulty for descendants attempting to retrace their ancestry. However, it is clear that there are hundreds, even thousands, of MacDermot Roe descendants living today in Ireland, North America, Australia and who knows where else.

The Renaissance of the MacDermots Roe

From its decline in the 19th and 20th centuries, the MacDermot Roe sept is making a significant recovery. So far, the author has identified about 20 distinct branches of the family with hundreds of members. Family historians in these branches have traced their MacDermot Roe ancestry back an average of 200 years ñ usually to a particular townland in County Roscommon or Sligo. As these family historians reconstruct the pedigrees of each branch they are able to locate and reconnect close MacDermot Roe cousins thereby expanding the family tree.

Today, MacDermot Roe descendants are living throughout North America, England, Australia and Ireland. They are engaged in a wide variety of occupations. Among these are cattle ranching, dairy farming, law practice, banking, antique dealing, television and movie acting and teaching. The surname has been preserved in a variety of forms including MacDermotRoe, MacDermott-Roe, McDermott-Roe, McDermottroe, McDearmon and Roe.

The revival of the MacDermots Roe is complemented by the resurgence of interest in Celtic music in general and in the music of Turlough O'Carolan, in particular. In recent years, many new recordings of O'Carolan's music have been released. Among these are two albums by Derek Bell, harpist for "The Chieftains" probably the most famous exponents of Irish traditional music in the world today.

The renewed popularity of O'Carolan's music is a reminder of the invaluable part that the MacDermots Roe played in preserving Irish culture at its darkest hour. O'Carolan immortalized their contribution in such compositions as "Mrs. MacDermot Roe", "Henry MacDermot Roe" and "The Princess Royal". This historic role is a continuing source of MacDermot Roe family pride.

It is somewhat ironic that the same culture of modern record keeping that contributed to the decline in the surname and identity of the MacDermots Roe will, also, ensure its continuation. Computers, unlike clerks, do not grow bored or confused in repeating a long and unusual name. Once your surname, however unusual, has been put into the computer data bank, there it will remain unchanged as long as bytes exist.

It will be very interesting to record the renaissance of this once powerful sept in the modern era. What shape will it take? How may its members renew their ties of family tradition and affection? What role can it play in the global Irish community? This author looks forward to learning the answers to questions like these, questions which hold great importance, not just to the MacDermots Roe, but to all the ancient families of the Irish Diaspora.

Kenneth MacDermotRoe

August 2005
10 Midbrook Lane
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
USA
macdroe@optonline.net

1. Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, The Four Masters, 3rd Edition, De Barca Rare Books, Dublin (1990), Volume III, page 401.

2. Annals of Loch Ce, edited by Wm. M. Hennessy, Longman & Co., (1871), Volume I, page 453.

3. North Roscommon - Its People and Past, Cyril Mattimoe, Roscommon Herald, Boyle, Ireland, 1992, ISBN 0951978209.

4. MacDermot of Moylurg, Sir Dermot MacDermot, Drumlin Publications, Ireland (1996), page 295.

5. Quoted in MacDermot of Moylurg at page 172.

6. A copy of the grant is included in one of the two registered MacDermot Roe pedigrees. See Genealogical Office Manuscript 169, pages 393-404, at page 404 (956 A.D. - 1865), National Library of Ireland, Dublin. Summaries of the grant were, also, published in Great Britain, Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, Volume I, (1605-1606), edited by C.W. Russell and John P. Prendergast, Longman & Co. Publishers, London (1872) as calendar numbers 541 and 547. The other MacDermot Roe pedigree is GOMs 179, pages 329-333 (1744-1865).

7. As part of the terms of submission in 1603, Hugh O'Neill was required to renounce the title of "The O'Neill" which in its incarnation under Gaelic law was understood to be the real source of his power. A History of Ireland, Edmund Curtis, Methuen & Co. (1936), republished (1961) at page 219.

8. MacDermot of Moylurg, pages 460-463.

9. MacDermots Roe of Ballinahow, unregistered pedigree, National Library of Ireland, Genealogical Office Manuscript Room, GO 220, page 385 listed in the Index of Unregistered Pedigrees, Ms 470 as McDermot of County Roscommon and contained in a manuscript volume Milesian, Vol.I, A.D., Index 461, "220".

10. Life of O'Carolan, Mundey-O'Reilly Manuscript, National Library of Ireland, Dublin, Mircrofiilm Positive #4132.

11. Carolan, The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper, Donal O'Sullivan, originally published by Routledge & Keegan, London (1958), republished by Celtic Music, Louth, England (1983, 1991).

12. O'Sullivan, pages 101-102.

13. Index to Diocesan Wills, Ardagh, 1695-1858, National Library of Ireland, Dublin, Microfilm Positive #1722.

14. O'Sullivan, pages 52-53. An account of John's resistance to Knox and Kingston is, also, set forth in the appendix to the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, Volume VI, page 2399.

15. Who Was Who, 1916-1928, A&C Black, London, page 663, republished 1967 as Volume II of a series 1897-1960.