About the Book

The 'Family of O'Neill' and its ancestors extending back nearly 3,700 years in Ireland is the best recorded and, until the early 17th century, was the longest reigning royal family in Europe.

From its first use as a surname, the name of O'Neill was guarded and protected and used by those only of agnatic descent from Niall Glundubh, the 170th Ard Ri (High King) of Ireland, and continues to this day in various forms and spellings, but quite recognizable nonetheless throughout the five continents.

The Ancient and Royal Family of O'Neill , by Desmond O'Neill, is

'The most comprehensive unitary compilation of records relating to the O'Neill family of Ireland, garnered from a plethora of ancient and modern sources."
This huge compilation continues the ancient and proud tradition of the monks and scribes of old. It contains 538 pages, hand-written throughout in the calligraphy script of Cecilia Lennon-Brannigan of Camlough, Co. Armagh, Ireland.

The genealogical contents are outlined in catena or linked form as well as long lists set out on a Province, County, Barony, Parish, and Townland basis. It is printed on goat-skin text parchment paper guaranteed for 500 years and handbound on a goat-skin leather cover is a work of art, a collector's item, an investment and heirloom to be passed down the generations of your family for centuries to come.

Further contents include: O'Neills of Tyrone, Ivowen (Tipperary), Clanaboy, The Fews (Armagh), The McShane/Johnsons, East Cork, etc., outlined in catena form.

Also O'Neills in ... The fiants of Elizabeth, The Patents of James 1. Prerogative, Wills, Inventories, Probates, and Grants. Wills on a diocesan basis, Diocesan administrative bonds, Prerogative amd Diocesan Marriage Licence bonds. Banns, Marriages, Christenings, and Burials- Dublin Churches and St. Columb's, Derry, Uppercross and Newcastle Baronies, Co. Dublin, 1650 A.D. Hearth Money Rolls, 1663/9, Franciscan Petition Lists, 1670/1, The Irish Jacobites, 1689/90, Census of Elphin Diocese, 1749, 'Religious Census', 1766, Ulster refugees to Mayo, 1795/6, Flax Seed Premium Entitlement Lists 1796, The Pages of History, 1400 - 1817, The Tithe Applotment Books 1825/35, and Griffiths Survey 1856/64

While it is difficult to find an Irish history book which does not have an 'O'Neill' involved, a 16 page bibliography of history books, annuals, manuscripts, etc. provides an interesting list of further reading for the researcher or student.

Most O'Neills, or those with spelling variations of the name, throughout the world will find ancestors and related families with little effort.


Desmond O'Neill commenced the genealogical research of his family (his mother was also an O'Neill) as a casual hobby in 1970, little realising how addictive such as exercise could be. Desmond, born in Co. Mayo, soon learned that his paternal ancestors settled in the Barony of Gallen in the winter of 1654/5, transplanted from the Fews of South Armagh by the Cromwellians. The Ancient and Royal Family of O'Neill is the result of the twenty-five years of painstaking research which ensued on the O'Neill name. Throughout his working life, Desmond was involved in Engineering as a Designer and Manager.
Celicia Lennon-Brannigan in the ancient tradition of the Lennons of Fermanagh - they were noted historians and scribes -completed the lengthy test of this tome in her calligraphy script over a period in excess of six years. Also in the tradition of the Lennons, Cecilia is a natural artist... a painter in water and oils and an expert player of the button melodeon....as many tourists from Australia, Canada, U.S.A. and the U.K. can testify when enjoying a cup of tea during an impromtu 'Céili'.

This CD-ROM facsimile of the original manuscript of The Ancient and Royal Family of O'Neill , organized as a 400-Mbyte HTML document incorporating 1614 JPEG images, was produced by Desmond O'Neill's daughter, Keelin O'Neill, and her husband, David St. G. Vernon.

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The Ancient and Royal Family of O'Neill
All contents copyright (C) 1996
Desmond O'Neill, 12 Cluain na Mara, Omeath, Co. Louth, Ireland.
All rights reserved.