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MacFHIRBHISIGH, Dubhaltach.  -

Leabhar Genealach. Edited, with translation and indices by Nollaig Ó Muraíle. List of subscribers. Five volumes. Dublin: De Búrca, 2003/4. Quarto. Full buckram gilt. Over 3,600 pages. In presentation box.

The great Connacht scholar Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh (c.1600-1671), from Lackan, County Sligo, compiled his monumental Great Book of Genealogies in Galway at the height of the Cromwellian Wars in the mid-seventeenth century. The work has long been recognised as the most important source for the study of Irish family history, and it is also of great importance to historians of pre-17th century Ireland since it details the ancestry of many significant figures in Irish history - including: Brian Boroimhe (d.1014); Ulick Burke, Marquis of Clanricarde (d.1657); James Butler, Duke of Ormonde (d.1688); Somhairle Buidhe (Sorley Boy) MacDonnell (d.1589); Randal MacDonnell, Marquis of Antrim (d.1683); Garrett Óg Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare (d.1536); Diarmuid Mac Murchadha (d.1171); Myler Magrath, Archbishop of Cashel (d.1622), Murrough O’Brien, Baron of Inchiquin (d.1674); Feagh MacHugh O’Byrne (d.1597); Rory O’Conor.(d.1198); Red Hugh O’Donnell (d.1602); Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone (d.1616); Owen Roe O’Neill (d.1649), and many, many more.

Both in terms of size and significance the Great Book of Genealogies is on a par with that other great seventeenth century compilation, the Annals of the Four Masters; and O’Donovan did edit a thirty-page extract from the book, making it the centrepiece of his second greatest work, The Genealogies, Tribes and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach (1844). But while quite a few other (almost invariably brief) extracts from the work have appeared in print over the past century and a half, some 90% of the Book of Genealogies has never hitherto been translated or published.

Published by De Burca Rare Books.


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