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- HISTORY of The Healy Name - Page 1 -


In my research for my Irish Roots and the origin of the Healy Family name I have come across a number of documents and interesting facts. So that I can share my findings with other Healy Family members I have posted that data in this section called "Healy Roots" and offer it free as long as it is for personal use and not used for sale.

If anyone should find more information and would like to share it with others, I would be happy to post it here on the Healy Family Network and give credit to it's source.

Many people send me information about the Healy Name and it's association through history. On the following pages I have included much of that information for your reference in researching your particular Healy Family line.

Because the different Healy Family branches are represented in different parts of Ireland, Scotland and England over the centuries it takes a great deal of time to trace each family line.

As you do your own research and come across documentation and details to confirm or clarify any information on this web site I would be greatly appreciative if you would send me a copy with a description and reference to your source. In this way we all will benefit from all the Healy Research being accomplished.

Help build our Healy Clan traditions and culture.

Thank you, Edward E. Healy
~ Contact EEHealy ~

Old Gaelic Name - Anglicized name - Early County Origin

” hEilidhe - Healey - Co Sligo
” hEaladaighthe - Healey - Muskerry, Co Cork
” hEilidhe - (O) Healy - Co Sligo
” h…alaighthe - (O) Healy or Healihy - Co Cork

The Healy Clan can be traced back to the arrival of the Milesian Celts in Ireland about 500 B.C. Healy is one of the 50 most common names in Ireland today. The original homes of the Healys were in County Cork and County Sligo, but descendants now are distributed throughout Ireland, America and Australia.
( The Healy Story : heritage of an Irish name... by Donal Healy )

Download PDF Document outline of Healy Name in History - CLICK HERE

Shield          Coat of Arms for the 
O' H E A L A I T H E   F A M I L Y !


"Saepiens Dominabitur Astris"
"The wise man will be governed by the heavens."


Eladach or Ealathach was a personal name in frequent use among the Ui Echach of Munster (see 0' MATHGHAMHNA). The Annals of Inisfallen record that Eladach son of Dunlang was killed in a battle in Muskerry in 828.

According to the genealogies he was of the kingly line of the U' Echach, one branch of whom was known as Clann tSealbhaigh, being descended from Sealbhach. According to Duan Cathain, Sealbhach had four sons, one of whom was Cochlan and another Ealathach.

Since Ua Selbhaigh and Ua Cochlain were names prominently associated with the see of Cork, it is likely that the Ui Ealathaigh were of the same group, especially since they too functioned as a hereditary ecclesiastical family later on - though in the diocese of Cloyne.

The parish of Donaghmore or Donoughmore (Domhnach M6r), whose patron is Laichtin, lies on the southern slopes of the Boggeragh mountains. It is now partly in East Muskerry and partly in Barretts barony, in the former Muscraighe Mittaine territory.

Much of the land in Donoughmore belonged to the church, having, apparently, been donated by the Ui Ealathaigh. They, in turn, were entitled to be airchinnigh or erenaghs of the church, i.e. laymen who cultivated the church lands as freeholders and who were responsible for the upkeep of Laichtin's church.

In 1301 Thomas Ohellethi was vicar of Donoughmore while John Ohellethi and Nicholas Ohellechi were clerics also in the diocese in Cloyne.

A royal pardon granted in 1317 to Dermot Mac Carthy, chief of the Irish of Desmond, included the names of Thomas (deacon), Gilbert and Gregory Ohelehit.

Around 1366, according to the Pipe Roll of Cloyne, Master Gilbert Ohelghy, Patrick Ohelghy, Malachy Ohelghy, Philip Ohelghy, Nicholas Ohelghy, Matthew Ohelghy, John Ohelghy and four others were the tenants of the Lord Bishop of Cloyne at Donoughmore.

They swore on oath that they were 'true men of the Blessed Colman of Cloyne and that so were their ancestors, and that they cannot be moved from the land of the church itself without leave of the Bishop. The preponderance of Norman personal names is probably due to the influence of such families as the Cogans, the overlords of Muskerry in the 13th century.

Master Gilbert Ohelghy (who was probably vicar of the parish) also held half a carcucate in Balytayg near Donaghmore while Cornelius Ohellohy held one messuage, five acres, near the church. Not unexpectedly there were many clerics of the name in the diocese of Cloyne. Philip 0 Haylle was one in 1406, and in 1414 Thomas O Healghy was a canon of Cloyne.

A petition by Maurice Yhelayd, cleric of Cloyne, in 1461 stated that a canonry with the prebend of Domnachmore was vacant by the resignation of the former canon, Thomas Yhelayd. But whether Thomas had resigned or had been forced out is debatable.

In 1473 Thomas Ohelay, clerk, got a mandate to have a canonry of Cloyne and the prebend of Donaghmore, detained for fifteen or twenty years by Maurice Ohelay, clerk. Possession seems to have been nine points of the law, as eight years later Thomas Ohelahy got another mandate to be put in possession of Donaglimore, now being held by Donatus Ohelahy, priest, 'from fear of whose power the said Thomas cannot safely meet him in the city or diocese of Cloyne.

In 1492 Johannes Ihellahyg was a canon of Cloyne diocese and occupied the prebend of Donaghmore - a prebend which seems to have been exclusive to the family.

After the Mac Carthys became lords of Muskerry in the 14th century the 0 Healys were forced to pay them a head-rent. A list of the lord of Muskerry's lands in 1600 included four 'countries in Muskrye' - 0 healiey, 0 herliey, 0 longe, 0 cromin - all apparently with ecclesiastical connections. The 0 Healys are recorded as holding 12 ploughlands. When an 0 Healy chief was inaugurated, he had to pay £4-9s to Mac Carthy.

In the Elizabethan Fiants are recorded pardons granted to numerous 0 Healys of Donoughmore, usually as followers of the Mac Carthys of Blarney or of Carraig na Muc (Dripsey).

In 1601, for example, Sir Cormac Mac Dermod's followers included Thomas oge 0 Hialihie, alias 0 Hialihie, of Donoughmore - apparently the then chief of the sept. Along with him were pardoned Denis, Donnell, Morrice, John, Philip, John oge', William, Dermod and Donogh 0 Hiallihie, all of Donoughmore and all described as 'gentlemen'. Later in the year, it was reported that Donnough 0 Healey was in the army of Spain.

Followers of Callaghan mac Teig of Carraig na Muc in the same year included Donell mac Morrish 0 Hialeigh of Donoughmore, John mac Thomas oge 0 Haleighie of Kilcullen (par. Donoughinore; he was probably a son of the chief; Dermod mac Thomas oge 0 Hyalyhy of Ballycunningham was pardoned in 1577), Morris mac Shane mac Thomas, of same, Morris mac Shane 0 Hialaii of Carhoo (par. Magourney), John oge beg 0 Hallihey of same, and John oge 0 Hallihie entarmyn of Donoughmore.

The soubriquet an tearmainn means 'of the termon', i.e. church lands of sanctuary. This maybe the John 0 Hiallihie of Donoughmore who in 1588 sent a petition to the Privy Council seeking pardon for the 'poor and ignorant offenders in those parts' for their share in the rebellion of the late Earl of Desmond.

A John 0 Healy, 'one of Cormac's old thieves', was also mentioned in connection with Cormac Mac Carthy, lord of Muskerry, who was imprisoned at Cork in I602. John was appointed to go to England in order to bring home Cormac's eldest son from Oxford.

Carew got wind of the plot and 0 Healy was captured on board ship before leaving Cork - but not before he had thrown all his letters and money overboard. Because he would not confess as to the letters and money, he too was lodged in Cork gaol. When Cormac was eventually pardoned in March 1603, his loyal follower 'John Hialihy, of Blarney, gentleman', was pardoned along with him.

Inquisitions of the early 17th century show us that the 0 Healys were still flourishing in Donoughmore at that period. One was taken in 1625 into the lands of Donald 0 Healehie of Ballycunningham, Kilcullen and Coolmona, who died in 1619. John was his son and heir.

The lands were held of Cormac og Mac Carthy (late of Oxford). Donald 0 Healehie of Kilcullen and Oliverius 0 Healy of Fornaght laid claim to the lands. (Donald may have been the Donell 0 Healehy of Fornaght pardoned in 1591 while Oliverius was probably the Oliver Healy, gentleman, mentioned in the marriage settlement of Cormac og's daughter and Sir Valentine Browne).

Another inquisition, dated 1638, dealt with the lands of Thomas mac Meater 0 Healyhy and Johanna ny Meater 0 Healyhy, alienated to Viscount Muskerry, and one in the following year dealt with lands which Thomas 0 Healihy of Gowlane alienated to William 0 Riordan of Clodagh.

Certain difficulties arose with regard to former church lands after the reformation period. A document in Brady's Records describes Donaghmore as the most considerable episcopal demesne in the diocese - excepting Cloyne itself. It was one of the see's earliest possessions and was let on lease as a fee farm to the 0 Helihies (now Helys) at 6s.8d per plowland, who tenanted part and let out the rest to the chiefs or heads of clans 'in that part of the country which comprehends the Bogra mountains, the wildest and most uncivilized district in the county of Cork'.

Bishop Lyon (1583-1617) instituted a suit against its possessors but nothing came of the negotiations. Bishop Synge (1638 - 1652) renewed the suit against the tenants of the whole eighteen ploughlands. The bishop's plea was that the Pipe Roll of Cloyne reckoned Donaghmore expressly as the bishop's manor and that Bishop Bennet soon after 1500 lived in the manor house there; that as the English were lords in chief, the 0 Helihies who were hibernici could only have been tenants at will or villani.

The Helys on the other hand contended that their land was freehold and had continued in their family for 500 years, that they owed suit and service not to the church but to Lord Muskerry, and that they paid composition to the king which no church land ever did.

This was in 1639 and eventually one of the 0 Healys agreed to take a lease from the see, delivering up to the bishop the celebrated shrine of St. Laichtin's arm which was the symbol of power in the manor. (This is now in the National Museum, Dublin.)

The 1641 rebellion, however, put an end to further suits and Lord Muskerry retained his overlordship. At least one of the family, William Healy, became a Protestant clergyman (though a MS of 1615 says of him: 'William 0 Hialyhy noe graduate; his wife and children goe to Masse'). He became chancellor of Cork diocese from 1610 to 1632 and resided at Athnowen (Ovens).

His example was not followed by Patrick 0 Healihy, a priest, who with six others in 1628 attacked and beat Edmund Murphy or Murfield, servant to the Protestant bishop, who was endeavouring to collect tithes at Dunisky in Muskerry. 0 Healihy called him 'a devilish heretical churl and the servant of the devil'!

A John Hialihy was sworn a freeman of Cork in 1631 - perhaps a son of the Thomas O Hyalliyhie who had a house in Cork in 1582.

The Civil Survey gives us full details of the 0 Healy lands in Donoughmore parish in 1641. Thomas mac Daniel Healihy, Irish papist, of Gowlane, held Gowlane, Lackanbane and Ballygirriha, 880 acres in all, but mortgaged to Lord Muskerry for £400.

On the lands was 'an old decay'd House, with a ruinous grist mill' wliich perhaps indicates the site of a former 0 Healy castle. Fornaght was held by Oliver Healihy but West Kilclogh (par. Matehy) had been purchased from John Healihy fitz Philip by Zachariah Travers of Cork. Lower Kilmartin belonged to Maurice mac Thomas Healihy and Upper Kilmartin to Dermod 0 Healihy, deceased. Donogh mac Thomas Healihy held Ballykervick and Monataggart while Thomas mac Meater held Barrahaurin. Coolmona ('both Coolmonys'), Killeenleigh, Ballycunningham and Kilcullen all belonged to Daniel mac Shane Healihy. In every case a chief rent was payable to the lord of Muskerry.

All of these 0 Healys must have joined Lord Muskerry in the 1641 rebellion since the entire group (described as 'gentlemen') were declared outlaws in 1643, together with John of Castlemore, Thomas of Mashanaglass and Donogh 0 Hialighy of Ballyburden (near Ballincollig), 'a doctor of Physic'.

At the end of the war an allegation was made that Dr. Healy was involved in the deaths of English settlers who formed part of a convoy from Macroom to Cork in 1642. Even after the rebellion had ended and the plantations were completed, a contemporary account listed 'all the Hialihyes and their children, brethren and followers' among those who were 'plotting for troubles'. They were given as 'in carbry' - possibly in error for Muskerry.

As we might expect, the 0 Healy lands were declared to be forfeited during the Cromwellian period but when Charles II was restored in 1660 Lord Muskerry (now Earl of Clancarty) had his estate restored, with a proviso enabling him to grant leases at low rents to the representatives of those freeholders who had 'gone out' with him in 1641.

Thus leases were granted to Morris Healihy (Kilmartin Upper), Daniel Healehye (Kilcullen) and to Dermot and Donnogh Healihy (Coollicka). However, the confiscation to the crown of the Clancarty estates after the Williamite wars set aside these leases.

In 1697 the Protestant bishop of Cloyne again laid claim to the lands of Donoughmore but to no avail.

Finally, in 1703, Bishop Crowe purchased the lands for £4,020 and leased them to suitable tenants.

One of these was Mathias Earbery of Ballincollig who took a lease of Gowlane. His daughter, Prudence, in 1719 married Francis Healy of Gertrough - perhaps Gortroe in the neighbouring parish of Kilshannig. Francis seems to have conformed to the established religion.

Their son, John Healy or Hely, a barrister, in 1751 married the grandniece and heiress of Richard Hutchinson of Knocklofty, near Clonmel, and changed his name to Hely-Hutchinson.

He was M.P. for Cork from 1761 to 1790 and became Secretary of State for Ireland. His eldest son and heir, Richard Hely-Hutchinson supported the Act of Union and was created Earl of Donoughmore.

In the House of Lords the Earl supported Catholic Emancipation while his brother, Christopher, championed the Catholic cause in the House of Commons. It was a later Earl of Donoughmore who moved the ratification of the Irish treaty of 1921 in the House of Lords.

The rest of the now landless clan scattered to various parts, many Joining the Wild Geese abroad. John Healy, born in Donoughmore, was in 1690 in 0 Mahony's Dragoons and later a Major-General in the Spanish army. A Captain Healy of the Irish Brigade was wounded at Fontenoy and a Lieutenant Healy wounded at Laffeldt. Don Francisco Haly was a sub-lieutenant in the regiment of Ultonia in Spain in 1718 while Don Tomas (1725) and Don Guillermo Healy (1759) were cadets in the same regiment.

Among the Co.Cork gentlemen outlawed in 1691 for 'treason beyond the seas' (i.e. adherence to King James) were: Daniel Heally, Kilneally, called heir of land of Kilcullen; Thomas Mac Morris Healy, Kilmartin, called heir of land of Upper Kilmartin; John mac Thomas Healy, Barrahaurin; William and Maurice Healy, Ballygirriha; John Hely, Fornaght; William and John mac Oliver Healy of Gortacrohig (par. Aghabulloge).

A Thomas Healy of Muskerry in the 19th century settled in Bantry where he taught Greek and Latin. He also taught his children that their family had been despoiled under the Penal Laws and that the bronze reliquary of St. Laichtin's hand had been in the guardianship of his people.

His grandsons, Tim and Maurice Healy were noted Irish members of the Westminster parliament around the turn of the century and Tim Healy was chosen to be the first Governor-General of the Irish Free State in 1922.

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Copied From: GenForum.Genealogy.com/healy/messages/49.html
Posting by: Kieran J. Healy, 31 October 1998

Note: This information may not be complete and any information to fill in the missing spaces would be appreciated. Please e-mail any Information On Any Family Members. - Return to HealyClan Front Page

Send Comments to: Edward E. Healy



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