A brief abstract on how Baronies originated

The political geography of Ireland can be traced with some accuracy from the seventh century AD. At that time Ireland was divided into about 150 different units of government, each one called a tuatha. A tuatha was a autonomous group of people of independent political jurisdiction under a chief called sub-rege.

In the 6th century, Ireland was divided into fifths. The four current Provinces of Ireland were named after the ancient kingdoms, Uladhm Laighean, Connacht and Mumha. The fifths of Ireland as they were known in the very old days were the five providences. Learning was in the west, war in the north, wealth in the east, music or art in the south and kinship in the center (Meath).

In the 12th century, the English Kings began their first of many invasions. The main reasons were to stop the fighting between the many different Irish factions. [ sic. As in most histories written by the rulers, it was to save the people from themselves. ]

The English governed Ireland in a like structure as they did themselves, by dividing the country into shires or counties in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. To correspond with the subdivisions of the English shires into Honors or Baronies, Irish counties were granted out to the Angle-Norman noblemen in cantreds, later known as Baronies, which in turn were subdivided, as in England, into Manors or Townlands. While there are 331 Baronies in Ireland, there are around 60,000 Townlands that range in size from five to several thousand acres.

Most of the following histories are taken for the most part from the writings of the Manorial College of England. It deals mostly with the history of the rulers of that specific barony, not with the events, people or local families.

The following web pages deal with the history of the Barons of Drumahaire and its contiguous baronies. Ireland has over 60,000 townlands in 331 Baronies in 32 Counties in one country.

I am as sure as I can be without hard evidence to point to, that in addition to Drumahaire, all of these Baronies played some role in the history of the McTernan's from the Townland of Sheskin. Only the histories on Drumahaire, Moyfenragh, Tullyhunco and Orhera are started at this point in time.

Barony of Drumahaire, Co Leitrim, Connacht

A great Preston home page with an enormous amount of family data on all the Prestons, US, England and Ireland by F. Preston.

Barony of Tullyhunco, Co Cavan, Ulster. Old name of Teallach Dhonnchadh very near the site of Corann Cruachn the inauguration site of the Kings of Connacht.

Barony of Tirerril, Co Sligo, Connacht

Barony of Boyle, Co Roscommon, Connacht

Barony of Orhera, Co Armagh, Ulster [W6 24' by N54 17']

Barony of Moyfenragh, Co Meath, Leinster, "Territory of the Spears", the land where Dermot MacMurrough was king.

Barony of Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, Connacht

Barony of Mohill, Co Leitrim, Connacht

Barony of Leitrim, Co Leitrim, Connacht

Michael McTiernan

N40 03' 09.4"
W75 24' 14.1"


Last updated Oct. 11, 1998

Return to the beginning