Fourteen adult students in Molloy College's Irish Studies Institute have just completed a research seminar in Ancient Irish Genealogy during which they identified their ancient finte (extended families), clanna (‘clans’), tuatha (‘peoples’), ancestor-heroes, origin legends, history of their ancestral kinships, and rights and privileges under Brehon law.  In some cases, these researchers were also able to identify their ancestors’ pre-Christian ancestor-gods.

A major part of the seminar included learning how to use ancient and modern Irish sources from the learned tradition of Seanchas which includes ancient Irish genealogy, clan history, and clan rights and privileges under Brehon Law. Molloy’s researchers became practiced in the use of manuscripts such as Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh’s 17th century Book of Genealogies, the 12th century Book of Leinster, the 11th century manuscript known as Rawlinson B.502 (which may be the long-lost Book of Glendalough), the 12th century Book of Rights, various annals compiled between the 7th century and the 17th century, and more.

The fourteen researchers were:

Peter Chojnowki and Joe Sullivan, who descends from the early Christian people known as the Eoghanachta (‘Descendants of Yew-Born’) who took the Kingship of Munster from the Corcu Loígde (‘Seed of the god Lugh’) about the 5th century A.D.;

Tadhg Ó Dálaigh Bogner and Frances O’Daly McNamara, of the famous hereditary learned family of Ó Dálaigh, a branch of the early Christian Corcu Ádhaimh (‘Seed of Adam’) of the pre-Christian Cenél Maine (‘Kinship of Maine’);

Cindy Sobiesiak, of the hereditary ecclesiastical family of Mac an Airchinnigh (‘Son of the Erenagh’) of the Dál gCais (‘Share of Cas’), and John Fogarty who is continuing his evaluation of the accuracy of the claimed descent of the Uí Fhógartaigh from the Dál gCais Leithet Lachtmaige in the territory of the Éile;

Christina Hamm, who evaluated her possible descent from the Mac Eachmhileadha (‘Son of the Steed-Soldier’) extended family of Co. Down who are a branch of the Cruithin, the earliest pre-Christian, Celticized people of Ireland whose name we know.  The Romans called the Cruithin ‘Pictii’, ‘the painted ones’;

Walter Kehoe, who descends from the early Christian royal dynasty Uí Fáeláin (‘Descendants of the Wolf’) of the pre-Christian Laighin (‘Broad Spears’) who gave their name to Leinster;

Greg Noone, of the Cenél Cairbre (‘Kinship of Cairbre’) of the Uí Néill (‘Descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages’).  Niall is the famous, pre-Christian king reputed to have captured and brought St. Patrick to Ireland; descended from the pre-Christian Connachta (‘Descendants of Conn’) who gave their name to Connaught:  Brian Kilgannon of the Uí Bhriúin Seola (‘Descendants of Brion in Seola’), Michel King of the Uí Ruairc royal dynasty of the Uí Bhriúin Bréifne (‘Descendants of Brion in Bréifne’), Robert Lynch of the Uí Fhiachrah Muaidhe (‘Descendants of Fiachra of the Moy River Valley’), Tom McDonough of the royal Síol Mhuireadhaigh (‘Seed of Muireadach’) dynasty who provided late kings of Connacht and the last High-King of Ireland; and Brigidann Turadek of the royal dynasty of Ó Dubhda of the Uí Fhiachrach In Tuaiscirt (‘Descendants of Fiachra in the North’).

Some of these genealogies go back to before the Fall of Rome and have been confirmed by modern DNA analysis. The research was completed under the direction of Jerry Kelly, one of the Institute's Instructors in Irish Gaelic and Gaelic Culture. There is no other seminar like this in North America.

The Molloy Irish Studies Institute’s 12-week Fall program, including its Ancient Irish Genealogy seminar and its certificate program in Irish Language & Gaelic Culture. Irish Language & Gaelic Culture classes cost $160 and the Ancient Irish Genealogy seminar costs $240.  Various discounts apply including the Institute’s two-for-one program.  Registration in the Ancient Irish Genealogy research seminar is limited to 14 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Molloy’s Irish Language & Gaelic Culture classes are open to both school-age children and adults.  Children are especially welcome and receive a 25% discount.

For detail and registration,  see and contact Cathy Muscente at 516-323-4710.