Clare County Library
Clare Genealogy
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Maps | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

Genealogy of the O’Cormacain Family of Thomond by John P. McCormack

        
Genealogical Extracts

1. From "Irish names and surnames" by Rev. Patrick Woulfe.

O CORMACAIN --- (O'Cormacan, O'Cormakane, O'Gormacan, Cormocan, Cormican, Gormican, Cormack, Cormick, MacCormack, MacCormick, etc.) Descended from "Cormacain", a diminutive of "Cormac", a common personal name. The name of at least four distinct families in different parts of Ireland, viz: (1) of Roscommon. This family appears to have been connected with the church of St. Coman. Fionn O'Cormacain was one of the four hostages given by Cahal Crovderg O'Connor, King of Connacht, to King John, when the latter visited Ireland in 1210. (2) of Thomond, a branch of the Dal gCais. These appear to have been an ecclesiastical family and erenaghs of the parish of Moynoe, in Co. Clare. Three of them were bishops of Killaloe in the 13th and 14th centuries. (3) of Galway, a family formerly seated in the parish of Abbey Gormican, in the Barony of Longford, where they founded the abbey from which the parish derives its name. (4) of Down, an eccliastical family who were erenaghs of Iniscourcey.
The name appears to have been sometimes corrupted to O'Gormacain, was often shortened to O'cormaic, and is now in many places disguised under the Anglicised form of Mac Cormac.

O CORMAIC --- (O'Cormack, O'Cormick, Cormac, Cormack, Cormick, etc.) (1) A branch of the Orghialla, seated in the Barony of Tirkeeran, Co. Derry, until dispossessed by the O'Kanes.
(2) A branch of the Corca Laoighdhe, in South-West Cork, where the name was common in the 16th century.
3) A Dalcassian family, probably the same as O'Cormacain. (NOTE: O'Cormaic, or Ui Cormaic, in this instance is the clan name for the O'Hehirs of mid-Clare. Fr. Woulfe is mistaken.)
(4) A Co. Down family also probably the same as O'Cormacain.

MAC CORMAIC --- (MacCormac, MacCormack, MacCormick, Cormac, Cormick, Cormack, etc.) A common surname in all parts of Ireland.

MAC CORMACAIN --- (Maccormiken, MacCormack, Maccormick, etc.) A rare Connacht surname. The anglicised form is shortened in Co. Mayo to MacCormack and MacCormick.

2. From "Genealogical histories of Irish families" by Rooney.

The MCCORMICK family: the McCormick family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son, Heber. The founder of the family was Cormac Cas, son of Olliol Ollum, King of Munster, A.D. 177, and his consort Sabia, daughter of Conn of the Hundred Battles, King of Ireland, A.D. 148. The ancient name was Cormicain and signifies "Son of Crown." The possessions of the clan were located in the present counties of Cork and Tipperary.

The CORMAC family: The Cormac family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son, Heremon. The founder of the family was Fiacha Baiceada, son of Cathire More, King of Ireland, A.D. 144. The ancient name was Cormac and signifies "Son of Wrestler." The possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Carlow.

3. From "Irish families" by MacLysaght.

MacCormack: A common name throughout Ireland. There was a minor sept of the name in Co. Longford. In 1570, 1598 and 1600, MacCormacks are recorded as leading gentry in Co. Cork and one, of Muskerry, was influential enough to raise a large force to assist Desmond in the Elizabethian Wars. The Four Masters record the deaths of several prominent MacCormacks of Fermanagh; the last of these died in the year 1431. Possibly the MacCormacks in Co. Armagh were descendants of these.

MacCormack adopted in place of O'Cormack and O'Cormacan by small septs in Clare, Galway, Roscommon, Cork, Down and Derry.
There was a principal MacCormick family in the years 1857 and 1858. (from “Ulster Journal of Archaeology”.)

4. From "Irish pedigrees" by O'Hart.

In 1539, one Roderick MacCormac was the Guardian (Abbot) of Donegal, and, as such, witnessed an agreement between O'Donnell and Teige, son of Cathal Oge O'Connor, in which O'Donnell gave the wardenship of Sligo to O'Connor.
Taken from "King William and Queen Mary's Forces in Ireland in 1690": Colonel O'Cormack was listed number 15 on the list of officers.

5. From "Some Virginia families" by McIlhany.

Dr. John McCormick emigrated from Ireland to Virginia between 1730 and 1740. He was a graduate in medicine of the university of Dublin. He died in 1768.

McIlhany quotes from "History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley" by Norris: "The early members of the Mccormick family in Virginia were singularly unobtrusive people, content in the happiness derived from their own family relations, being extremely clannish ... Both the men and women of the family ... were without guile, strictly honorable, affectionate, domestic and courteous. One of their marked characteristics was their great regard for the truth.

"Province McCormick (died 3 March 1826) was a Colonel in the War of 1812.

Samuel McCormick, born 29 March 1789, died 1860, served in the War of 1812

6. From "Historic families of America" by Walter W. Spooner.

Arms of the McCormick family (quoted from Burke):
Arms: argent, a fesse dancette gules between three eagles displayed azure, all within a bordure engrailed sable.
Crest: a dexter hand holding a spear in pale proper.
Motto: SINE TIMORE.

The dexter hand holding a spear points clearly to the incident related of Ceallach McCormac, a kinsman of King Cormac, who revenged an insult by killing his enemy with the latters's own spear, and the accidental wounding of the king by the ferrule, compelling him, in consequence, to abdicate in accordance with an existing law or custom. These circumstances leave no doubt as to the origin of the crest.

O'Hart carries the descent (from Cormac MacArt) down to one Creamthan, son of Breassal, father of another Cormac, and from him down through several generations to one Niall O'Cormack of Maonmuighe, progenitor of the Cormacks of Galway.

Cornelius MacCarmic, Bishop of Rapho, died in 1399 and John MacCarmic "did obedience to the Archbishop of Armagh in the chapel of the manor of Dromiskin, the 2nd of May, 1414, Old Stile, and died in 1419, as Bishop of Rapho."

John McCormac, of the house of Corcard (in Co. Longford) was appointed to the See of Rapho. He died in 1419.

In 1433, Gillapatrick MacCormac of Fermanagh, chief of his name, and Murtogh, son of Phillip MacCormac, were slain by Donogh MacCormac and his people.

Menelaus MacCormac was consecrated Bishop of Raphoe on 15 July 1484, and died on 5 May 1515. He was buried in the habit of a Franciscan in the convent of that order in Donegal.

7. From "History of Milesian families" by DeCourcey.

DeCourcey gives the arms with the three eagles as the arms of the McCormicks of the Dal-Cas, and the arms with the two lions and the chalice as the arms of the O'Cormacs of the Dal-Cas. The last named arms are also given as those of the O'Cormacs of Co. Carlow.

8. From "Irish family history" by Cronnelly.

From History of Clanna-Rory:
McCormick (Clan Conmac) --- the McCormaics or Cormacks deduce their descent from a member of the house of O'Ferrall of Annaly or Longford, and they were formerly chiefs of Corcard, in that County. (from Annals of Four Masters --- "A.D. 1342, Fergal, son of Gilla Chroist Fionn MacCormaic, Bishop of Ardagh, a wise and pious man, died.")

From History of Dal-Cais:
O'Cormacan or O'Cormacain -- The O'Cormacains deduce their descent from Cormac, a descendant of Aenghus, son of Carthain Fionn, son of Blod, son of Cas, a quo Dal-Cas. They were chiefs of a district on the borders of Clare and Galway; also of an estate in the principality of Siol Murray, in the Co. of Roscommon. About the close of the 13th century, a branch of the Roscommon family settled in the country forming the present Barony of Longford, in the county of Galway and became possessed of the tract forming the parish of Abbey Gormagan. Here the chief of this religious family founded an establishment.

William O'Cormacain was appointed to the Archiepiscopal See of Tuam in 1386 by Pope Urban IV; He died in 1394 and was interred in the church of the Virgin Mary at Tuam.


Back Arrow
Genealogy of O'Cormacain
Home Arrow
Home
Forward Arrow
Excerpts from the Annals