Lynch Laws and Lynch Family History
by Michael O'Laughlin at the Irish Roots Cafe

Some Related Spellings of the Name

From the Guide to the Various Spellings of Irish Family Names:  Leyns, Lynchy, O’Lynch, MacLychy, Linch, Linsy. de Lench, O Loingshigh, Lynche.

History of the Name

The Lynch family may descend from the Norman family of  ‘de Lynch’ or from the old Irish family of O Loingsigh.  Near Limerick we find O Loingsigh with the Danes, cited  by O’Heerin: ” The O’Lynches, men of lands, dwell in that
wood opposite the foreigners.”….

O’Lynch is given as a chief in Down and parts of Antrim by O’Dugan. The “O’Loingsys or O’Lynches” were said to be numerous in Sigo and Mayo, and separately in Co. Cavan and in Meath…..

Norman Lynch Families

The Norman families of the name are found settled near Trim in Meath, from whence some settled in Galway in the 15th century. (note the placename of Lynches Knock in Meath). This family was one of the 14 tribes of Galway, and many served as mayors of Galway city. 

The Lynch Law

James Lynch, mayor in 1493, hung his own son for the breaking of a law which required the death penalty. The story was commemorated at the gate of the old jail , and put down in writing there. Lynch’s Castle, built in 1320, is close by.
It is interesting to note that the origins of the term “Lynching and Lynch Law’ are also said to have come about from actions of one named Lynch in America. This is attributed to Col. Charles Lynch (d. 1796).

copyright 2010, IGF, based in part upon The Book of Irish Families, great and small

The Irish Book of Arms

Shows the following illustrated arms connected to this family name:

1) Lynch of Partry House, Co. Mayo, more anciently of Co. Galway.

2) Lynch- Staunton of Clydagh, Co. Galway

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The Free Master Index of Irish Names at Irishroots.com finds the family in these books (among others):

There are 185 references contain Lynch, including

1) Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters, which gives O’Lynch of Meath, O’Lynches in Cavan, Lynches of Galway, and MacLynchys….

2) T. Lynch and Judge Lynch, Lynch brothers among 9 references in Irish Families on the California Trail.

3) Lynch as Linshie in the Special Census of Ireland, as found in: Pynnars Survey of Ireland

4) Several of our county books include this numerous name, with a large entry in the 'Families of County Galway, Ireland'.

…….So end my notes for today.

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Mike O’Laughlin

Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora, County Clare, and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk, County Kerry. He also bears Sullivan, Buckley, Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots.

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