The Barony Of Barrymore
Co. Cork

Updated 5 Mar 2000

Submitted by Anita Sheahan Coraluzzi and posted here with her kind permission.


Robert E. Matheson's 1894 Special Report on Surnames in Ireland" records the name Barry from all provinces numbering 217, with 173 of those in Munster, primarily located in Cork, Limerick & Waterford--but Cork alone containing about half of the entries "in all Ireland".

Diarmuid O'Murchadha tells us the origin of the Norman name de Barra is associated with an area off the coast of Glamorgan in South Wales where once stood an ancient church dedicated to St. Barruc.

William de Barri (c. 1110) owned a castle not far from this area in Wales, and had married into the FitzGerald family. Thus being entwined within the circle of other powerful Anglo-Norman families (ie. the Carews, de Cogan's, Powers, FitzStephen's), the de Barri's were inevitably part of the original Norman invasion into Ireland in 1169.

One of William de Barri's sons, Philip, succeeded him, and about 1180 Philip's uncle, Robert FitzStephen, granted to him the "eastern portion of the Kingdom of Cork". This land included an area called Olethan (pronounced- O Le-han), the former Ui Liathain tribeland, now known as Barrymore.

Through successive generations the Barry's flourished, leaving their mark, and their name, strongly associated with certain areas in Munster, among them; Barryscourt Castle in Carrigtwohill; Rathbarry; the manors and castles of Shandon and Rathanisky, along with Caislean O Liathain (The castle of Ui Liathain) built c.1200,(destroyed by fire 1777), in the area we know of as the town of Castlelyons.

In the centuries following the Bannow Bay invasion of 1169, there were frequent feuds among the various Norman lords. O'Murchadha relates of one such feud, c.1329, wherein "the Roches and Barry's slew about 140 of the Keatings, Hodnetts and Condons, while in 1331 the Mac Carthy's and O'Briens were plundering the Barry's, Cogans and Roches, with, it was said, the assent of the Earl of Desmond".

But it wasn't battles and blood for all of them, as in her work, "A History of the Diocese of Cork", Evelyn Bolster accounts for quite a few of the Barry name associated with the church and governing bodies, among them; William, Lord Barry, sheriff of County Cork, 1445; John Barry, prebendar to the ancient parish of Caherlag, 1481; Nicholas Barry, one of the prebendaries of the ancient parish of Dromdaleague (modern parish of Drimoleague, West Carbery), 1481; and a list of Barry names, men who served as abbots in Tracton Abbey; Raymond Barry, 1482; John Barry, 1499; James Barry, 1501; John Barry, 1542.

There were other "junior" branches of the Barry's in Cork, and O'Murchadha writes: "One gets the impression that the various branches of the Barry's in east Cork, more so than any other family in the county, maintained during the 18th and 19th century a semblance of the former "clan system". Even though the majority were tenant farmers they appear to have been more substantial and independent than most, possibly due to faintly traceable links with the still powerful Earls of Barrymore."

The book "Family Names of County Cork, by Diarmuid O'Murchadha gives a thorough treatment of the main Barry family lines, and also the junior branches. For a comprehensive account of the Barry's and their history, consult Rev. E. Barry's work, "Barrymore, Records of the Barry's of County Cork from the earliest times to the present time, with Pedigrees." 1902, on LDS film # 1279254. Also on this same film (Item #7 in the JCHAS of 1895), there is a contributed paper titled--'Seige of Rathbarry Castle, 1642'. (From a manuscript in the British Museum) Edited by Herbert Webb Gillman, with photographs, description and history.

For a Barrymore rental list; See Liam O'Buachalla, Tenant-Farmers of the Barrymore Estate, 1768 in JCHAS, Vol. 51, 1946, pp. 31-40. "This estate included no less than 107 holdings.....and the notices printed here supply the names of townlands, farms, tenant farmers, land agents, middlemen.....' The lands were in the parishes of Castlelyons, Carrigtwohill, Caherlag, Middleton, Templerobin, & Templeusque.

The Barony of Barrymore is situated to the east of Cork City. In the Griffith's Valuation for the Barony, it is included in the Poor Law Unions of Cork, Fermoy and Midleton. Griffith's also lists the following settlements:

Settlement              Classifcation   Civil Parish

Watergrasshill          Town        	Ardnageehy, Kilquane
Glenville               Village     	Ardnageehy
Brooklodge              Village     	Ballydeloher
New Glanmire            Village     	Caherlag
Carrigtohill            Town        	Carrigtohill
Bridebridge             Village     	Castlelyons
Castlelyons             Town          	Castlelyons
Queenstown (Cobh)   	Town        	Clonmel, Templerobin
Newtown                 Village     	Clonmult
Carrignavar             Village     	Dunbulloge
Knockraha               Village     	Kilquane
Clashvodig              Village     	Little Island
Island Crossroads   	Village     	Little Island
Rathcormack             Village     	Rathcormack


Civil Parish RC Parish Church of Ireland Ardnageehy Watergrasshill Ardnageehy Ballycurrany Lisgoold Carrigtohill Ballydeloher Glounthane Killaspugmullane Ballyspillane Midleton Midleton Britway (2pts) Castlelyons Ahern Caherlag (2pts) Glounthane Rathcooney Carrigtohill(2pts) Carrigtwohill Carrigtohill Clonmel Cobh* Clonmel Clonmult Imogeela Clonmult Coole Castlelyons Coole Dunbulloge Glanmire/Watergrasshill Dunbulloge Gortroe Rathcormac Gortroe and Dysart Inchinabacky Midleton Inchinabacky Kilquane Glounthane Killaspugmullane Kilshanaghan Watergrasshill Killaspugmullane Killaspugmullane Watergrasshill Lisgoold Lisgoold Lisgoold Lisgoold Little Island Glounthane Rathcooney Mogeesha Carrigtwohill/ Midleton Mogeesha Rathcormack Rathcormac Rathcormack St. Michael's Glanmire Glanmire Templebrodan Lisgoold Templebrodan Templenacarriga Lisgoold Templenacarriga Templerobin Cobh* Clonmel Templeusque Glanmire Kilroan *Cobh - formerly Cove to 1845, then Queenstown, Cobh since Independence Most of the Parishes of Cloyne have been indexed by Mallow Heritage Centre

RC Parish Records:

Carrigtwohill Cloyne 1817 1817 Castlelyons Cloyne 1790 1830 Cobh* Cloyne 1812 1812 Glanmire Cork 1806 1803 Glounthane Cork 1864 1864 Imogeela Cloyne 1833 1833 Lisgoold Cloyne 1807 1821 Midleton Cloyne 1819 1819 Rathcormac* Cloyne 1798 1829 Watergrasshill* Cork 1836 ___
*Photos from at the Cork Local Ireland site:

Cemetery Inscriptions:

Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaelogical Society (Richard Henchion):
Ballycurrany Vol. 83 pp.78-82
Ballinacurra Vol. 95 pp.124-144
Clonmult Vol 81 pps.94-117, Vol 82 pp.10-29
Clonmel (Old Church), Cobh, 1698-1984, L Cassidy (ed.), Cobh, 1984
Lisgoold: JCHAS No. 237, 1978


A list of local history books about East Cork has been compiled by Brendan Sisk


O'Murchadha, D., "Family Names of County Cork", Glendale Press, 1985 ISBN-0-907606-30-X
Begley, D., "Irish Genealogy, A Record Finder", Heraldic Artists Ltd., 1987 ISBN-0-9502455-7-7
Bolster, E., "a History of the Diocese of Cork, from the earliest times to the Reformation", Barnes & Noble, 1972 ISBN-06-490572-1
McCarthy, T. & Cadogan, T., "Tracing Your Cork Ancestors", Flyleaf Press, 1998 ISBN-0-9508466-8-6
Mitchell, B., "a New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland", Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986 ISBN-8-80631152-5

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