Naughton Family History

The Naughtons in Ireland


Bill Naughton

E-Mail Address: [email protected]


This narrative summarizes an ongoing effort to trace the history of the Naughton (originally Ua Neachtain or O'Neachtain) family line in Ireland: from its legendary origins in Normandy to its ancestral leadership position within Ulster Province and later within the Hy-Many (Ui-Maine) kingdom in Connaught Province, to its rule of the extensive plains of Maonmagh in County Galway until the Anglo-Norman conquest, to its forced movement to southern County Roscommon where it ruled the Faes or Fews (woodlands] between Ballinasloe and Athlone--historically known as "Naughton Country"--and to the later movement of Naughtons to other parts of Ireland and abroad. I hope you enjoy it.

A special note of thanks goes to Michael Naughton of Aurora, Colorado, whose generous sharing of his own extensive research and collection of resource material on the Naughton line provided crucial information for this narrative. [NOTE: You will notice spelling variations as we quote various authors, not only of the surname Naughton--originally Ua Neachtain or O'Neachtain in Gaelic but also spelled Naghten, Naughtan, Naughten, Naughtin, Nocton, Nattan, McNaughton, Norton and other variations--but also of Hy-Many (spelled Ui-Maine, Hi-Maine, Hi-Many, etc.), Maonmagh (also spelled Maenmagh, Maonmaighe, Magh Maoin, Monivea, etc.) and other variations. I used what seemed to be the more commonly used spelling. Incidentally, Irish friends tell me that, contrary to the silent "gh" commonly heard in the United States, "Naughton" is pronounced with a guttural "g" or "c" in Ireland, similar to "Nacton." ]

The Arrival of the Laigin in Ireland

The Naughton family line in Ireland traces itself back some two thousand years to ancient settlers who arrived before the Gaels themselves, according to Thomas Cairney's Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland. Cairney tells us that the direct ancestors of the Naughtons belonged to the ancient Celtic Laigin or Dumnonii ethno-tribal group that moved from the western region of Normandy sometime during the first century B.C. as the Romans increased their pressure on Gaul. (Other sources claim that they may have crossed over as early as 300 B.C..) The Laigin settled first in southern Britain and then in Ireland, where they gave their name to the southeastern province of Leinster. Over time, the Laigin became overlords of the western province of Connaught (or Connacht), as well as of southeastern and central regions, later spreading to other parts.

Of the various family groupings of the Laigin, the ancestors of O'Neachtain were members of the royal elite, tracing descent from Cormac Ulfhada, High King of Ireland in the 3th Century--whose own line traces back through Heremon to Milesius, King of Spain--and Colla da Chrioch, grandson of Updar, King of Scotland. Colla da Chrioch (or Facrioch), meaning Colla of the Two Countries (Ireland and Scotland), was the first King of Ulster after its conquest in the 4th Century by him and his two brothers--known in Irish history as the Three Collas. He founded the Kingdom of Orghialla (or Oriel, Uriel), and his clan ruled over that kingdom--comprising the modern counties of Monaghan, Armagh, and part of Louth--down to the 12th Century. Many noble families of Ulster descended from this clan. For more on the Laigin and Three Collas, see Cairney's book online by CLICKING HERE.

Naughton Ancestors Move to Western Ireland

About 457 A.D., Colla de Chrioch's great-great-grandson and a direct ancestor of the Naughton line, Maine Mor (Maine the Great), decided to establish his own kingdom by seizing an extensive area in southwestern Connaught Province held by the pre-Celtic tribe of Firbolgs. Specifically, the region extended on the north to the River Shannon above Lough (Lake) Ree in County Roscommon, on the south into County Offaly, westward to Lough Graney in County Clare, back north to include all of eastern County Galway to the River Suck at Ballymoe and east across County Roscommon to the River Shannon. (Roughly represented on the map.)

The Irish historian John O'Dugan described the expanse of the kingdom in his "Topographical Poems":

"The great third of Connacht is that plain
Of Hi-Maine of great assemblies
Extending from the Shannon of fairy flood
To Cnoc Madha: it is no small kingdom."

The area and kingdom became known as Ui Maine or Hy-Many, meaning the land possessed by the descendants of Maine.

Maine Mor ruled his kingdom for some fifty years, and his eldest son, Bresal, ruled for another thirty years. Bresal's eldest son, Fiachra Finn, assumed the throne upon his father's death and ruled for 17 years. He was described in a 13th Century poem as "a tower in conflict and battle." Under normal conditions, his eldest son, Amlaibh--the direct ancestor of the O'Neachtains (Naughtons)--would have ascended to the throne of Hy-Many. But his father, Fiachra Finn, was murdered by Fiachra Finn's youngest brother, Maine Mall, and another brother, Conall, assumed the throne--and, over time, the ruling line within Hy-Many was established among the O'Kelly line of the family.

The O'Neachtain Territory of Maonmagh

Despite losing the kingship, the descendants of Amlaibh were recognized as the senior branch of Hy-Many, and they ruled extensive plains in southern Galway surrounding Loughrea, known as Maonmagh. That line was known as the Hy-Fiachrach Finn. According to a history of the O'Neachtain/O'Naghten family written in 1788 by Edmond O'Naghten, the ancestor of the original O'Neachtain built the town of Loughrea. As he described it, "they erected a noble palace and church, and fortified the place with several strong Castles and Walls, one of which Castles through which was one of the gates of the town and called Latimor Castle and Gate O'Naghten appropriated to his own use and defense, and had his Arms cut in stone over the gate, with an inscription of the time it was erected." The O'Neachtains reportedly also built Rae Roddy Castle, a stone fortress not far from Loughrea.

Because of their ranking status, John O'Donovan points out in his Tribes and Customs of the Hy-Many, the ancestors of the O'Neachtain were recognized as the hereditary door-keepers of the Kings of Connaught and as the chief commanders of the Cavalry of Hy-Many. O'Donovan also tells us that the High King of Ireland "gives a subsidy to the chiefs of Hy-Fiachrach Finn more than [or in preference to] the king of Hy-Many."

About 650 A.D., the Hi-Fiachrach Finn divided into two family groupings, later coming to be known as the O'Neachtains and the O'Mullallys, as surnames began to be used in the beginning of the 10th Century. O'Donovan makes it clear that the O'Mullallys were "next to O'Naghten in point of seniority of descent." Denis O'Mullally, in his History of the O'Mullally and Lally Clann, similarly recognizes the seniority of the O'Neachtains:

"...allow us to give honor where it is due...the O'Mullallys...are junior to the O'Neachtains but only to them alone in all Hi-Maine and all Connacht of those of Heremonian descent. All honor to the O'Neachtains."

John O'Dugan, the Irish historical poet of the 14th century, described the two families:

"The chiefs of Maonmagh the champions,
Whose estate is the fertile plain,
Two who defend that district
Are O'Naghten and O'Mulally;
Their warfare is heavy in battles;
The land is theirs as far as Ui Fiachra."

John O'Hart, in his Irish Pedigrees, lists descendants Fiachrach Finn (with some variations in spelling) as follows:

  1. Fiachra Fionn
  2. Amhailgadh, his son
  3. Congal, his son
  4. Inleigh, his son
  5. Tuathal, his son
  6. Oioll, his son
  7. Aeneas, his son (who had a brother, Maoleala--who began the O'Mullally line)
  8. Maolceir, his son
  9. Neachtan, his son (whose name provided the surname to the O'Neachtain line)
  10. Aodh (or Hugh), his son
  11. Fiontain, his son
  12. Fearballach, his son
  13. Fergus Fionn, his son
  14. Connor Catha Brian (also known as Connor), his son, who fought with King Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 and was the first to assume the surname O'Neachtain. He was identified as Number 105 in descent within the Hy-Many pedigree.

Connor Catha Brian O'Neachtain and the Battle of Clontarf

As commanders of the Cavalry of the Hy Maine, the O'Neachtains took part in the many battles against rivals for territory or control. The most important battle, by far, was the Battle of Clontarf, in which the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, fought rival Irish forces whose Viking allies sought to overthrow Boru and complete their conquest of Ireland. The Vikings gathered a sizable invasion force and set sail for Dublin.

Brian Boru, who gave his name to the O'Brien family, was famous in Irish history for becoming king of all Ireland--at least for a time--by defeating his main rival in the O'Neill clan who controlled northern Ireland and part of the south. An agreement between the two kings in 997 left Boru in charge of Connaught, southern Ireland and eastern Ireland, including Dublin. By 1011, after a series of battles, he was in effective control of all Ireland. But his opponents, joined by Viking forces, challenged Boru at Clontarf, on the coast just north of Dublin, on Good Friday, April 23, 1014.

Brian Boru gathered his own allied clans in Ireland, as well as friendly Viking settlers, to defend against the foreign force. Among those who responded were the Hy-Many forces gathered by the clan leader, O'Kelly. One of those who fought with Brian Boru's forces was Connor Catha Brian, the direct ancestor of the Naughton family.

The battle was fierce, with many killed on both sides. Among those dead were Brian Boru himself, the O'Kelly chieftain of Hy-Many and his son, and many others of Hy-Many. But Connor survived, and the forces of Brian Boru forced the Vikings to flee, ending forever their effort to conquer Ireland. Some historians claim that this particular battle prevented the Vikings from continuing their expansion across northern Europe and changed the course of European history.

Connor Catha Brian was famous both for having supported Brian Boru in the defense against the Vikings and for being the first to take on the family surname. He named his line after his own great-great-great-grandfather, 'Neachtain." From then on, the family line was known by the Galeic surname O'Neachtain, later modified to O'Naghten and Naughton.

The Meaning of "O'Neachtain"

We are told that the name "Neachtain" had several possible translations from ancient Gaelic: Edmond O'Naghten in writing his 1788 account of the family history, saw it as meaning "a brave or bold greatness of spirit." In his words:

"The name of O'Neachtain is one of the most Celtick and Antient in Irish History. It retains the Expresisve Idyom of that renowned Language, the word (Neach) signifiying a particular greatness of Spirit or Soul, and the word (Tain) Powerfull and Brave."

John O'Hart, in Irish Pedigrees, gives a similar meaning: "a bold and daring spirit." However, Woulfe, in Irish Names and Surnames, translates it as meaning "bright," "pure," and that O'Neachtain meant "the descendant of the upright one"; and a third, given by John Rooney in A Genealogical History of Irish Families, claimed that it meant "neutral" or "fair"--"the descendant of the fair one."

After noting that Connor--Number 105 in descent in the Hy-Many pedigree--was the first to assume the surname O'Neachtain, John O'Hart continued his listing of his descendants:

106. Amhailgadh (Awly), Connor's son
107. Awly Oge, his son
108. Melachlin, his son
109. Teigh, of Loughrea, his son
110. Hugh, his son
111. Connor, his son
112. Melachlin, his son
113. Awly, his son
114. Donall, his son
115, Creachmhoill, his son
116. Cathal, his son
117. Awly, his son
118. Giollachrioad, his son
119. Roger, his son
120. Giolla (William), his son
(More below.)

The Anglo-Norman Invasion

It is not clear which of the O'Neachtains was ruling Maonmagh when the Anglo-Norman invasion occurred in 1169. But it was a disastrous event that changed the course of Irish history as well as that of the O'Neachtains. During the initial years of the Anglo-Norman invasion, we are told that most local chieftains were able to retain their Galway properties, since Connaught was not the initial area of focus of the Anglo-Normans. Also helping was the fact that the Connaught chieftains recognized England's King Henry II under the 1175 Treaty of Windsor and agreed to pay tithes to him.

But King Henry had to reward English nobles who supported his invasion of Ireland, and he did this by bestowing Irish baronies on them. This resulted in pushing many Irish families off their traditional lands and forcing them into becoming tenants of English gentry. Maonmagh was no exception.

We know that William de Burgh invaded Connaught, including Maonmagh, about 1200, and that his son, Richard de Burgh, with English forces, passed through Maonmagh again in 1235, committing "great plunder." The de Burgh (Burke) family came to be the leading English conqueror and landowner of Connaught. Edmond O'Naghten tells us that Loughrea, where the O'Neachtains lived, was assaulted by...

"Don Burgo...and though obstinately defended and with unparalleled bravery, yet the garrison being reduced to the most miserable want of provisions was obliged to capitulate, and...being obliged to give up everything they had in and about Loughrea to the Conqueror."

O'Naghten added that the O'Naghten Arms were "still remaining over Latimor gate until within this last (17th) century." (See below for more on the O'Naghten Coat of Arms.)

Subsequently, Meyler Bermingham, son of the English Baron of Dudley, who had served as third in command of the first expedition into Ireland led by Richard de Clare "Strongbow," was rewarded by being made Lord Baron of Athenry, north of Loughrea but which most likely included most if not all of Maonmagh. The Irish landowners were simply dispossessed of their properties, but some were given the choice of remaining as tenants of Lord Bermingham or leaving. We know, for example, that the O'Mullallys moved to the area of Tuam and remained as tenants of Lord Bermingham at the Castle of Tolendal. They stayed there until the late 1600s, when family members--also known by the name Lally--moved to France and distinguished themselves in the French Army, ultimately gaining the title of Count Lally de Tolendal.

The O'Neachtains chose to leave Maonmagh and seek another part of Hy-Many where they could remain independent of the Anglo-Normans. They moved northeast to the region between Ballinsaloe and Athlone, in County Roscommon--an extensive woodland that had been traditionally under the control of Hy-Many.

The O'Neachtains in County Roscommon

The general corridor between Ballinasloe and Athlone, between the River Suck and the River Shannon, was known as Na Feadha (woods) or the Fews. The O'Neachtains became chief of the Fews. Their land reportedly centered on Moynure, Carrickynaghtan and Creggane (Drum), near Athlone.

The O'Naughtons were not strangers to that area. The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (most commonly known as The Annals of the Four Masters) tell of an Uareirghe Ua Neachtain who was "one of the noble sages" and "head of the Culdees"--a religious order--at the monastery of Clonmacnoise, which was founded by St. Ciaran about 545 on the River Shannon south of Athlone. Clonmacnoise thrived as a center of learning from the 7th to the 12th century, and many Irish kings were buried there. That particular Ua Neachtain died in the year 1132. We also find references to his grandson, Uaireirghe, son of Mulmora, who died on the 10th of March, 1200, as well as to two William O'Nechtains in the Athlone area in 1237 and 1276. (To read The Annals of the Four Masters online, click Annals of The Four Masters)

On a wall inside an ancient church adjacent to Drum cemetery, southwest of Athlone, is a large inscription in Latin which reads in translation:

"O'Neachtain, the most noble Chieftain from the line of the great Hugonius, the Monarch of all Ireland, built this temple and dedicated it to St. Mary in the year of Our Lord 550. He is buried here under this temple and at last may his illustrious and most ancient family rest in peace."

The photo to the right of Jim Naughton standing next to the inscription was taken by his wife, Kathy Naughton, on May 20, 2001, and is reproduced here with their permission.

John O'Donovan properly questions the correctness of the date 550, since "O'Neachtain" was not used as a surname until the 10th Century--except for the original bearer of the name, "Neachtain," the eight in line from Fiachach Finn. It is more likely a mistaken date on a tombstone from the time when the O'Naghtens ruled the Drum area. The fact that the name, as shown in the photograph, is written "O'Naghten" rather than "O'Neachtain" adds further credence to the assumption that the inscription is of that later period, with the initial "1" simply taken for granted. Perhaps the most powerful evidence, which can be seen at the top of the inscription, is the O'Naghten Coat of Arms, which is shown in the enlargement to the right. It shows both O'Naghten family mottoes "Audax et Sagax" and "Cum Parvo Gladio Vici," which were established long after 550. (See more on the Coat of Arms, below.)

The land between Ballinasloe and Athlone continues to be described as "historic Naughton country." Local maps still show Carrickynaghtan (shown on map, just northeast of the enlarged name) southwest of Athlone. A history of the area tells us that the O'Neachtain family lived in Lisdillure (to the right on the map), near Drum, and that Carrickynaghton was where the chieftain of the Naughton Clan was installed. Irish Brehon Law required that the clan's leader be elected by the clan, rather than receive the title automatically from his father. The O'Neachtain clan chief was apparently elected and installed at Carrickynaghtan. A special platform called a "Coronation Stone" was normally used in installing the chieftain. In fact, "Carrickynaghtan"--originally "Carraig Ui Neachtain"-- means "the Naughton Rock or Stone." According to one history, the new chieftain would stand or place his foot on the ceremonial stone upon being elected to rule the clan. The local historian writes that it is not known what happened to the ceremonial stone of Carrickynaghtan.

Juan Tomás O'Naghten, who wrote an account of the O'Naghten line in the 1980s, confirms that the chief of the O'Neachtains/O'Naghtens originally lived in the townland of "Lissadulure" (Lisdillure--meaning "the Fort of the Foliage". Lisdillure continues to carry that name.) Some also lived in Moynure. The head of the family later moved to the nearby townland of Cluain Railzeac, or Clanrullagh (meaning "the meadow of the oaks").

One of the few remnants from that early time is St. Brigid's Holy Well in Drum, beautifully restored by the Drum Heritage Group in the early 1990s and depicted on the left from a photograph in the Drum Heritage Group's pamphlet. According to the 15th Century Book of Lecan, St. Brigid (450-525) had the children of Hy-Many brought to her various holy wells for baptism. This particular well was also famous for many cures.

During the following centuries, the various O'Naghtens and their clan most likely continued in their status as chief commanders of the Cavalry of Hy-Many and participated in the many wars and battles that were fought by the King of Connacht and Hy-Many against Anglo-Normans and rival Irish clans. A sense of the violent times can be seen in the following listing of just some of the battles mentioned in various annals and histories of the area, including The Annals of the Four Masters, John Hartman's History of Galway and Dennis Patrick O'Mullally's History of O'Mullally and Lally Clann:

--In 1316, the King of Connacht (Felim O'Conor) and leaders of Hy-Many and others in the region sought to drive the Normans under de Burgh and de Bermingham from Connacht but were defeated, with O'Conor and Hy-Many chief Tiege O'Kelly and others slain in the battle of Athenry. It was at this time that the King of England made de Bermingham Baron of Athenry.

--Probably in the 1330s, the Chief of southern Hy-Many (Eoghan O'Madden--a family related to the O'Kellys) defeated Burke (Lord Clanricarde) and seized Maonmagh for a period of time.

--In 1343, Hy-Many was defeated by the Burkes and Berminghams, and 11 sons of Irish chieftains were slain.

--Probably in the late 1370s, the Chief of Hy-Many (William Boy O'Kelly) recovered all of his former land, including Maonmagh.

--In 1375 and again in 1377, the King of Connacht (Rory O'Conor) defeated the Chief of Hy-Many, along with the Burkes.

--In 1385, the chieftains of Connacht invaded Hy-Many and burned the town of the son of Edmond O'Kelly.

--In 1387, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, "Cathal O'Naghtan was slain by O'Conor Roe."

--In 1391, Hy-Many was defeated by the reunited Burkes and Berminghams.

--In 1397, Hy-Many attacked O'Conor Don, the head of one of two rival O'Conor factions claiming the kingship of Connacht. That same year--and possibly in the same battle--the head of the O'Mullally clan was killed in battle against Sir Thomas Burke and Sir Walter Bermingham.

--In 1419, Hy-Many Chief William O'Kelly organized allied chieftains to drive out MacWilliam Burke, but the O'Kelly and many others were slain, as was MacWilliam Burke Clanrickard

--In 1468 and again in 1469, the Galway Burkes and allies attacked the Mayo Burkes and O'Kellys but were defeated.

Such conflict between Anglo-Normans and Irish--and among rival Irish--continued through the 15th and early 16th Century. By then, the descendants of the Anglo-Normans had become known as Anglo-Irish, since they had assumed much of the life style and customs of the Irish. But they were the dominant power in Ireland, controlling much of the land, as well as the local government, and their interests were often in conflict with those of the English Crown. This led at times to the local Irish turning to the Crown for support in their conflicts with the Anglo-Irish. For most of this time, however, the Crown was preoccupied with wars against the French and conflict among rival contenders to power in England and tended to leave Ireland in local Anglo-Irish hands. That was soon to change.

The English Conquest of Ireland

By the time of Henry VIII and his daughter, Queen Elizabeth, the English Monarchy was determined to reassert its authority over Ireland--partly for fear that Irish Catholics would side with France or Spain in their conflicts with England and perhaps serve as a base to overthrow the English Throne. In 1541, Henry VIII declared Crown ownership of all lands in Ireland to be regranted to loyal "Irish subjects." He also applied English law to Ireland and required both the Anglo-Irish and the native Irish to be available for military service for England. Anti-Catholic legislation was also imposed, and rebellious Irish had their lands confiscated.

To ensure loyalty to England, the Crown also implemented a policy of "planting" English settlers in Ireland. Thus began the long-lasting process of "plantations" in Ireland. Yet, Ireland remained in a chaotic state during much of this time, and the English policy of intensifying control in Ireland by imposing the Anglican religion, confiscating land and transplanting Englishmen aroused the fierce resistance of both Anglo-Irish and native Irish. Armed revolts became common. As a result, the local Irish landowners came under increasing pressure both from the English authorities imposing control and from rival Anglo-Irish landowners seeking to increase their own power and seize land by force. It was in such an environment that we find Sean O'Naghten, the last Chief of the O'Naghten Clan.

Sean (Shane) O'Naghten: The Last Chief of the O'Naghten Clan

In the latter part of the 16th Century, Sean O'Naghten was Chief of the O'Naghtens and living in Moynure, in the parish of Drum. In the fall of 1575, Sean's holdings had come under attack by the forces of the Burke family, who plundered his land. Apparently, this was merely one of a number of attacks he had suffered from the Burkes and the O'Rourke families. Other Hy-Many chiefs suffered similar attacks.

Timothy Cronin described it well in The Foundations of Landlordism in the Barony of Athlone, "Caught between the Burkes and the English, the chiefs of Ui Maine were now engaged in a struggle for survival." The Irish had to find ways to protect themselves from attacks by Anglo-Irish, their own Irish rivals and the English Crown. As it turned out, Sean O'Naghten proved fairly adept in protecting--and even enhancing--his position by adopting a policy of at least outwardly accommodating the English authorities and using powerful kinsmen to defend his position.

In dealing with the English, Sean O'Naghten apparently "anglicized" his name to John Norton and actively sought to gain English protection for his properties and position against the rival Burkes and O'Rourkes. His strategy clearly worked. On March 31, 1580, he, along with various O'Kellys, was appointed "justice and commissioner in the province of Connacht and Thomond, to take recognizances and do all things contained in the Queen's instructions and to hear and determine all actions." Sean O'Naghten--under the name John Norton--also held the lucrative and sought-after offices of Constable of the Castle of Athlone and of "Warder for Connacht," both paying substantial salaries. (A photograph of the restored Athlone Castle is shown below. The original can be found on Liz's Postcards from Ireland Website. Cronin's book is available on microfilm at the Longford/Westmeath Library, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, or through Mormon Church Family History Centers on Microfilm #1279274.)

Cronin notes that John Norton was greatly helped by being a kinsman of Sir Edward Waterhouse, who was a member of the English Privy Council which had authority for most Irish affairs, and who also held the position of overseer of the River Shannon, with two galleys, to impose ordinances and fine offenders. As Cronin points out, "while it might be relatively easy to displace Sean O'Naughton, it would be rather more difficult to displace John Norton, who had the backing of his kinsman, Waterhouse." (We have no further information on how Sean O'Naghten was related to Waterhouse, although we did find a brother of Sir Edward Waterhouse, Charles, of "Baltra"--not further identified--in Ireland, married to an Ursula Andrew and having a son, Edward Waterhouse, in Ireland about 1565. And in a lease to "Edward Waterhous of Dublin esq." of the town and lands of Kilmacodrick and New grannge, dated August 17, 1582, a witness to the signing was "Dudley Norton," not further identified.)

O'Naghten's position did not prevent the O'Rourkes from continued attacks on his properties, however. And it appears that the local English authorities also felt the pressure of attacks from the Anglo-Irish who were seeking to protect their own power against English plans. The local English authorities thus encouraged "loyal" Irish subjects in their opposition to Anglo-Irish. In July, 1581, the local English representative, Nicholas Malby, sent "John Norton" to London with a letter of introduction to describe the attacks that O'Rourke had made on his properties the previous November.

In line with his strategy, Sean O'Naghten, along with the O'Kellys and other local Hy-Many chieftains, reached an agreement with Queen Elizabeth on August 6, 1585. In it, in exchange for retaining their landholdings and positions of power, O'Naghten and other Hy-Many chiefs agreed that they shall "behave themselves like good subjects,...put no ymposition or charge upon the inhabyters of the lands, and shall bring uppe their children after the English fashions, and in the use of the Englishe tounge." In essence, they became English subjects, joined the Anglican church--at least outwardly--and agreed to abolish their traditional Irish clan system. As a result, Sean O'Naghten became the last "the O'Naghten." His successors remained heads of the O'Naghten family but without the title of being the official chief of the O'Naghten clan.

It had become fairly common practice among the Irish landed class to have key members of families attest loyalty to the Crown as a means of protecting the landholdings and interests of the particular family. This may have been the basis for Sean O'Naghten's strategy. Perhaps because of the influence of "John Norton," we find other members of the O'Neachtain/O'Naghten family receiving pardons from the English Crown authorites. Those pardons also confirm that a fairly large number of O'Naghtens/O'Naughtons were local "landed gentry" or considered "gentlemen" during those years.

Cronin lists the following Naughtons as receiving pardons on 24 November 1581 in Fiant 3778 for alleged offenses against the Crown (although Cronin points out that the issuance of pardons may have simply been a means for local officials to obtain payment from people under suspicion).

  1. Conchor O'Naighten, of Moynoire gent
  2. Brian O'Neachtain, of Moynoire gent
  3. Hugh O'Neachtain, of Moynoire gent
  4. Brian O'Neachtain, of Moynoire gent
  5. Henry McDonogho O'Neactain, of Cryghe, gent
  6. Brian Carragh McDonoghe O'Neactain, gent
  7. Manus McWm. Og O'Neatain, of Ardkennan
  8. Nellaghlen McDermot Og O'Naighten, of Berrys, gent
  9. Shane McDermot Og O'Naighten, of Berrys, gent
  10. Donogh McHugh O'Naighten, of Berrys, gent
  11. Henry McDonnogho O'Naighten, of Crane, gent
  12. Wm. Bane O'Naighten, of Crane, gent

And in 1590, an additional 11 O'Naghtens were pardoned:

  1. Connor O'Naghten, of Moynure
  2. Hugh O'Naghten, of Kreoghone
  3. Tadhg Mac Hugh O'Naghten, of Kreoghone
  4. Donyle Karrogh O'Naghten, of Ardkeyvane
  5. Conor Mac Manyse O'Naghten,of Ardkeyvane
  6. Mylaghlin Mac Manyse O'Naghten, of Ardkeyvane
  7. Teigh Mac Teig O'Naghten, of Adkeyvane
  8. Teig Mac Shane MacEdmond O'Naghten, of Derrowkey
  9. Moryah Mac James [O'Naghten], of Ballykreggan
  10. Donagh O'Naghten, of Clonacke
  11. Donagh Og O'Naghten, of Kiarrownikeny

Sean O'Naghten died on May 19, 1587. At the time, according to an enquiry of October 26, 1587, he possessed two quarters (a quarter was equivalent to 120 acres) in the Faes (Fews): one quarter in Moynewer (Moynure), with Carrigg-I-Naghten, and one quarter called Carroncriggan, along with an annual income from each quarter. Although his son, Conor (Cornellus) O'Naghten, occupied the two quarters after his father's death, technically the land reverted to the disposition of the Queen of England. In another enquiry on October 23, 1604, the Faes was described as containing 30 quarters of land (3,600 acres). On January 18, 1604, a grant was made to Jane Naghton (widow of Robert O'Naghton of Moynure, who was killed in the wars) of the wardship of John O'Naghton, Robert's son and heir.

O'Naughton Landowners in Athlone Barony in 1617

Cronin also identifies a total of 39 O'Naughtons (taken from the Coote Inquisition of January 2, 1617) who were landowners in 1617 in the parishes of St. Peter's, Drum, Kiltoom and Dysart. Their properties ranged in size from 15 to 365 acres. Those with property of 30 acres or more have their acreage identified in parentheses.

O'Naughtons Who Owned Property in Athlone Barony in 1617

St. Peter's ParishDrum ParishKiltoom Parish
Conor O'NaughtonHugh Mac Mclaghlin O'NaughtonWilliam O'Naughton
Donogh Mac Shane O'Naughton (30)Evelin O'NaughtonBrian O'Naughton (60)
Conor Mac Donal O'NaughtonDonnell O'NaughtonRory O'Naughton (30)
Rory Mac Conor O'NaughtonJohn O'NaughtonDermot Keogh O'Naughton (75)
Moriertagh O'NaughtonTeig Mac Teig O'Naughton (30)Conor Mac Mahowne O'Naughton
Conor Roe O'NaughtonDonogh Mac Dermot O'Naughton (30)Cormock O'Naughton
Rory O'NaughtonTeig Og O'Naughton (140)Dermot O'Naughton
Rory Mac Hugh O'Naughton (37)Moriertagh O'Naughton (105)Donal Mac William O'Naughton (105)
Edmund Mac Hugh O'NaughtonHugh Mac Shane O'Naughton (60)
Dysart ParishRory Mac Henry O'NaughtonJohn O'Naughton (195)
Hugh Mac Teig Roe O'NaughtonDonogh Mac Robert O'NaughtonDonogh Mac Dermot O'Naughton
Conor Mac Teigh O'NaughtonTeig Og O'Naughton
William Mac Donal Mac Rory O'Naughton (60)Brian Mac Shane O'Naughton (30)
Teigh Mac Hugh O'Naughton (30)
Donal Carragh O'Naughton
Hugh Mac Teigh O'Naughton
Brian Carragh O'Naughton
Brian Mac Brian O'Naughton (55)
Conor Boy O'Naughton

What is particularly interesting about these lists is the genealogical data contained in them, especially since many O'Naughtons not only used their surname but included the "Mac" [or "Mc"] identification, i.e., "son of." Thus, William Mac Donal Mac Rory O'Naughton was William, the son of Donal, who was the son of Rory O'Naughton. With so many O'Naughtons in the area, it was not only a matter of family pride but almost a necessity to distinguish one O'Naughton family from another.

The Uprising of 1641 and the Cromwellian Settlement

Unfortunately, English efforts to conquer Ireland intensified. In 1610, a full-scale plantation of Protestant English and Scottish settlers in the northern province of Ulster aroused strong Irish opposition, and further anti-Catholic measures and fears of additional "plantations" led to an Irish uprising in 1641 at the very time of a struggle for power between King Charles I and the English Parliament. Charles I's execution and the rise to power of Oliver Cromwell led to a devastating English war on Catholics in Ireland and the wholesale forced transplantation of Catholic landowners from eastern Ireland to Connaught Province, west of the Shannon River, replacing them with English settlers and others who had fought with Cromwell or helped finance the conquest of Ireland. According to E. M. Johnston in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, Catholic ownership of land was as high as 60 percent in before Cromwell, about 1640, but they held only some 20 percent after Cromwell--essentially in Connaught Province--and the percentage dropped even more as a result of the penal laws.

By 1657, only 13 O'Naughtons were listed as landowners in or near Drum Parish:

  1. John, Drum Parish
  2. Farriagh, Drum Parish
  3. Thomas, Drum Parish
  4. Henry, Drum Parish
  5. Dermot Mac Tadhg, Drum Parish
  6. Murtagh, Drum Parish
  7. Onora, Drum Parish
  8. Dermot Mac Brian, Drum Parish
  9. Daniel, Drum Parish
  10. Manus, Drum Parish
  11. Donogh,Taughmaconnell Parish
  12. Ellice, Taughmaconnell Parish
  13. Katherine, Dysart Parish

The Book of Survey and Distribution for County Roscommon goes into greater detail on the actual O'Naughtons whose land was confiscated under Oliver Cromwell and who received their land, and those O'Naughtons who were later able to prove their loyalty to the Crown sufficiently to have land restored to them. Following is a list of land confiscated (also indicated is land later restored to a Naughton):

John McRobert Naughton: 90 acres in Crannagh, 270 Acres in Clongawna, 440 acres in Moynure
Farriagh Mcteige Naughton: 454 acres in Killmaccollmocke (restored to Donogh Naughton)
Nine Naughtons (Thomas, Henry, Dermot, MacTadhg, Murtagh, Onora, Dermot Mac Bryan, Daniel, Manus): 461 acres in Drum (restored to Laughlin Maule Naughton, Henry and Tadhg Naughton, and other families)
Four Naughtons (John [103], Faragh [126], Daniel [58], and Faragh [221]): 568 acres in Creagh and Shanvoy (restored to: Donnogh Naughton, Laughlin Maule Naughton, John Naughton, and others)
Laughlin Maule Naughton received 35 acres confiscated from others in Sheen
Katherine Naughton: 38 acres in Feevaghmore (restored to John Naughton "et als" 48 acres)

A number of Naughtons were also forcibly transplanted from their homeland in County Roscommon to other parts of County Roscommon or to County Galway where they were decreed new land:

Murtagh Boy O'Naughton, Flackane, decreed 103 acres in Ballymoe, County Galway
William Mac Donal O'Naughton, Knocknenowle, decreed 100 acres in Balymoe, County Galway
Mutagh Boy Naghten, Flughane, decreed 103 acres in Ballintober, County Roscommon
Onora Naughton, alias Brannagh, decreed 77 acres in Moycarnan, County Roscommon
Bryan Mac Shane Naughton, Carrowkena, decreed 40 acres in Moycarnan, County Roscommon
Thomas O'Naughton, Lisdillure, decreed 358 acres in Moycarnan, County Roscommon
Mortagh Boy O'Naghton, Flughan, decreed 103 acres in Roscommon, County Roscommon

During the mid-to-late 1650s, a number of O'Naughtons were able to prove their loyalty to the English Crown and regain previously confiscated land. Following is a listing of O'Naughtons who were restored to properties in Drum Parish:

O'Naughtons Who Regained Property in Drum Parish, Athlone Barony 1654-1658

Thomas O'NaghtenLisdillure558 acres
Henry O'NaughtonTaghof66 acres
Dermot McTeige O'Naughton and Onora O'Naughton Kilmacormack51 acres
Murtagh O'NaughtonCarrowroe52 acres
Dermot McBryan O'NaughtonDrum9 acres
Daniel McLaughlin O'NaughtonArdkennan35 acres
Daniel O'NaughtonCappagh...70 acres
Ferragh and Elinor (wife) O'NaughtonGortnacloch454 acres
John O'NaughtonCarrowmanagh31 acres
Catherine O'Naughton and son JohnCanymore (Carrowmore?)38 acres

Counsellor Norton, who was described as the great-grandson of Feredach O'Naghten (probably the Ferragh and Elinor O'Naughton who owned 454 acres in gornacloch, later served as Chief Justice of Antigua in the West Indies.

The "Thomastown" Naughtons

As previsouly mentioned, the head of the O'Naghten clan had lived in Lisdillure but later moved to Clanrullagh. That estate was renamed in the late 18th Century "Thomastown," most likely by Thomas Mahon O'Naghten, and the entire estate became known as Thomastown Park. During their most expansive time, the land controlled by the O'Naghtens in the Barony of Athlone was bounded on the east and west by the rivers Shannon and Suck, with its northern boundary apparently a line between the two rivers beginning just south of Athlone and its southern boundary a line roughly parallel, beginning north of Ballinasloe. It comprised Ardcarne, Beagh, Bealrean, Carrig-I-Naghten, Carrron Creggan, Cartonferagh, Clanrullagh, Clonark, Clonellan, Corrinroe, Cranagh, Ureagh, Drum, Feahill, Feature, Gortaphenna, Cortmore, Infahfaddah, John's Land, Killine, Kiltoom, where there were ruins of an old O'Naghten castle, Laughlinboole, Littleton, Lissadulure, Marymount, Moyntwer, Moynure, Shegan, Taghduffe, Thormhill, West-park, Moycarnan, and other lands. In the late 19th Century, the Naughton lands consisted of 4,800 acres. (The "old O'Naghten castle" apparently referred to the fortified residence--including a moat and dike--of John McRobert O'Naghten in Ballycreggan, Kiltoom, a kinsman of Thomas O'Naghten of Thomastown. His land was confiscated in 1636.)

Mary Naughten wrote in her account of the Naughtons of Connacht that the Thomastown Naughtons' surname was pronounced "Natton" locally. Those Naughtons included some illustrious members. Following are some of the highlights of that family line as described by Edmond O'Naghten and, more recently, by Juan Tomás O'Naghten (Edmond noting that "all intermarried among themselves"]:

Aongus Neacta ne Cahadh Geamin O'Neachtain--in Gaelic "Aongus O'Neachtain, who fought the battles with his cousins"--may have gained that description from a period about 1392, when Toirdhealbhach Og O'Conchobhair Donn fought against the Hy-Many and seized and occupied the Fews, resulting in the Fews being divided between two rival branches of the Neachtain family.

Aongus Teige Mor ne Cahadh O'Naghten, his second son, was particularly famous for being the chief commander of his father's forces and for his bravery in battle. His name means, in Gaelic, "Aongus Teige the Great of the Battle." According to Edmond O'Naghten, during a particular battle between rival forces claiming a principality called Clan Neacta Glen a Gainenwhomb, Aongus broke his sword while being attacked by two warrior chiefs. Drawing his dagger, he rushed boldly between their long swords and killed both. Such bravery routed the enemy forces and won the battle. Afterward, the local princes and chiefs, with the approval of Aongus's father, declared that he and his descendants should ever after rule that principality and that they should add to their Coat of Arms two long swords and a dagger between them, with the motto: "Cum Parvo Gladio Vici" ("I Conquer With a Small Sword"), in addition to using the traditional O'Naghten crest. (More on the O'Naghten Coat of Arms later.) Aongus married the daughter of O'Kelly, Prince of Aghrim.

Thomas Ban Baniere O'Naghten, the only son of Loughlin Og Fercantad O'Naghten, married a daughter of O'Kelly, descended from the Prince of Hy-Many. He became head of the family at the time of the Cromwellian Settlement and was said to have "lost a considerable property by Oliver Cromwell." His son, Loughlin Mioll (Maule) O'Naghten, played an important role in the future course of the O'Naghten family.

Loughlin Mioll (Maule) O'Naghten lived in Creagh and Clanrullagh. About 1636, he obtained Tumsurra and other properties that had earlier belonged to Sean O'Naghten. And after the 1641 rebellion, as we have seen, he obtained additional properties in Drum Parish and elsewhere in the Barony of Athlone. He married Eleonor Dillon, daughter of Gerald Dillon of the house of the Viscount Dillon of Lesine, County Roscommon. They had two sons, Edmund and Thomas.

When the Catholic James II became King of England in 1685, he tried to reverse the anti-Irish laws by allowing Irish Catholics to occupy important public offices, filling the Irish Parliament in Dublin with Irish, and creating an Irish Army to support him. But he was challenged in 1688, when the rebellious Parliament invited James' son-in-law, William of Orange, to assume the English throne. James sought French aid and the help of his Catholic Irish subjects, and moved his forces to Ireland in the hope of using his loyal Irish Army and French supporters to regain the throne. The English civil war that resulted was decided in a series of battles in Ireland, especially the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 (after which James II fled to France) and the battles of Aughrim and Limerick in 1691.

Loughlin Mioll O'Naghten raised a regiment at his own expense to support King James II and fought actively as a Captain of his forces against William of Orange. Fighting with him were his two sons, Thomas and Edmund (Edward), as part of that regiment, with the ranks, respectively, of Captain and Ensign. The Irish and French fought valiantly in the Battle of Aughrim, County Galway, in July 1691 but lost some 3,000-7,000 men and were forced to retreat. Loughlin and his sons, along with some 100 officers and men from his regiment, were able to make their way to Limerick where they joined the garrison to defend the city against the siege by the Williamite forces. But it was the last battle of the war, and a peace agreement was negotiated. As Edmond O'Naghten described it, the garrison of Limerick so bravely defended the city that they obtained "the most honorable conditions for themselves and their successors and thereby preserved their properties." The final Treaty of Limerick was very generous in allowing those willing to accept the supremacy of King William to retain their landholdings, while those who refused were allowed to sail to France with their men and their families. Some 12,000 Irish went to France, many joining the French Army to continue fighting the English on the continent. They became known in Irish history as "the Wild Geese."

Thomas O'Naghten, Loughlin's elder son, succeeded his father at head of the House of O'Naghten. He lived at Creagh and Clanrullagh, and married Mary O'Dowling, the daughter of Captain Thomas O'Dowling, of Rathpeak, County Roscommon, described as "an ancient princely family possessed of a very ancient estate to which many royalties and dignities were annexed." Thomas had been able to take advantage of the early liberal policies of King James II and served as Governor of County Roscommon in 1688. Following the Battle of Limerick, the English authorities extended to him the benefits of the Treaty of Limerick. Thomas and his wife had seven children, the eldest being named Laughlin O'Naghten. (Other children were John [who had two sons, Thomas, who served on the "Boreas" in the English Navy in 1759, and Luke] and Catherine [who married Frances Heverin in 1743], Mary [who married a Kelly], Eliner, Fergus [who married Mable... and had three children: Thomas, Mary, who married a Fuller, and ...Naghten, who married ... Brabazon] and John Dillon O'Naghten [also known as simply "Dillon"] who married Margaret Lucy O'Kelly, daughter of Mathew O'Kelly of Killahan, County Roscommon, and had three children: Juan O'Naghten y O'Kelly [more about below], Thomas, Mathew and Mabella, who married Redmond O'Fallon, of Athlone, the son of John O'Fallon of Drummullin). Thomas died in 1740.

(Edward O'Naghten, Loughlin Mioll's second son, married the "niece of the illustrious family O'Neill of Shane's Castle, in County Antrim," and had one son, Laughlin, who married Anna O'Madden, of the princely family related to the O'Kellys. They had three sons: Thomas, Edward, and William "Kelly" O'Naghten. William emigrated to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and became Baron O'Naghten. See below.)

Laughlin O'Naghten, Thomas's first son and heir, became an attorney and married Catherine O'Kelly, of Cargins, County Roscommon, in 1728. Her family was descended from the ruling family of Hy-Many. They had six children, the eldest son being Thomas O'Naghten. (The other children were Edmond, Ignatius [who married Mary Burke in 1776 and had two children: Thomas and Catherine, who married Charles Campbell, Captain of the 26th Regiment of Foot], Elizabeth, Mary [who married James Moore] and Elinor.) Laughlin died in June, 1757. Laughlin's marriage to the daughter of a wealthy family brought new prosperity to the family, and it may have been during this period that construction began on a new O'Naghten residence--later known as Thomastown Park House--which remained the principal home of the O'Naghten family until the family line died out in 1944 and the house was eventually demolished by the Irish Government.

The Thomastown Park House

The Drum Heritage Group's outstanding book, Drum and its Hinterland, gives us a detailed description of the Thomastown Park House and grounds, calling it a "stately imposing mansion." The house itself spanned 63 feet across and 37 feet deep, with a slated roof and 23 windows facing the front of the house. The spacious front hall and reception area was surrounded by a huge dining room--the largest room in the house--and a spacious library and an area later converted into an apartment for relatives. The central staircase ascended to the family room, guest quarters, and the main bedroom. The basement included the kitchen and servants quarters.

In front of the house were some 40 acres of open land, known as "the lawn," while the stables, coach house and forge stood to the right of the house. Behind the house was a spacious garden and orchard. Entering the estate's main "Grand Gate," one would travel a quarter mile past the stables and farmland to the house. Next to the large West Gate, which dated from 1758, stood a massive lodge house with a gable, a 12-foot-high stone parapet wall and battlement, and a large window facing the gate. (The picture of Thomastown Park House is found at the entrance of the restored Drum cemetery, courtesy of Edward Egan, who was the principal author of Drum and its Hinterland. The photograph of the West Gate is courtesy of Michael Naughton. More on Thomastown Park may be obtained from the Drum Heritage Group, The Villa, Kielty, Athlone, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Little remains today of the Thomastown Park House and other structures.)

Thomas O'Naghten succeeded his father as head of the House of O'Naghten, inheriting his father's lands and possessions. He became an attorney and served as High Sheriff for County Roscommon in 1762. He married twice but had no children from either marriage. Upon his death in Paris in 1783, Thomas was succeeded by his brother, Edmond,

Edmond O'Naghten, in 1769, married Ann MacMahon, daughter of Bartholomew MacMahon and niece of Thomas MacMahon, of Strokestown, who was Representative and Governor of County Roscommon. They had four children, the eldest being Thomas Mahon O'Naghten. (The other children were Arabella Naghten [who married Charles Burke of Tyaquin, County Galway], William Edward and Ann. William Edward married Margaret Browne of Annaghmore, Co. Galway in 1804 and had 11 children: Thomas Browne Naghten, Edmond [who married Catherine Sproule in Athlone in 1835], Marcus, Charles, Maurice, Richard, Henry, Robert, Ellinor, Ann and Arrabella.) It was this Edmond who wrote a history and pedigree of the O'Naghten family, dated January 20, 1788, and signed "Edward O'Naghten." He died in 1817.

Thomas Mahon O'Naghten, born in Thomastown in 1773, succeeded his father. In October, 1794, he married Ann Helena D'Arcy, grand-neice of the Earl of Clanrichard. Thomas served as High Sheriff of Thomastown in 1801. He prepared an extract of the origin and arms of the House of O'Naghten for the Barons O'Naghten of Hungary--to be discussed below. Their only son was Edmond Henry Naghten. Ann Helena Naghten died on January 7, 1797, at the age of 22 and is buried in the O'Naghten burial ground in Thomastown Park, near an old church where there is a monument erected to her memory. (Shown is a photograph of the O'Naghten mausoleum, courtesy of Michael Naughton.)

The vault is inscribed: "Extremely lamented in the 22nd year of her age, leaving issue Edmond Henry an infant and their only child, with extreme goodness of heart and sincerity. In friendship, charitable without ostentation, affable to the poor, a constant wish to please united with the endearing wife and affectionate sister made her a loss ever to be regretted by her affectionate husband who erected this monument as a small tribute to her many virtues."

Also inscribed are memorials to John Dillon, Esq., J.P. of Johnstown House, who died May 24, 1871, and to the last of the Thomastown Naghtens, John Dillon Naghten, who died June 16, 1944, and his wife, Nora (nee Millar), who died in February, 1964.

Edmond Henry Naghten (also known as Edmund Mahon Naghten), married Ann Arrabella Burke of Tyaquin, County Galway, in 1829. They had four children, of which Thomas Mahon Naghten was the eldest. (Other children were Arrabella, Ann Helena [who married John Henry Blake] and Elizabeth Naghten.) Edmond Henry served as Deputy Lieutenant for County Roscommon in 1846 and as Ex-officio P.L.G. during 1849-51. Edmond Henry Naghten--who also called himself Edward--became famous during the famine years for sponsoring food distribution to the poor in Drum. He died in November 1851.

Thomas Mahon Naghten, born in 1834, served as one of the Magistrates for County Roscommon. In December, 1869, he married Sophia Penelope Dillon, daughter of Colonel John Dillon, of Kingstown, County Dublin, in the Church of Ireland. A listing of landowners in 1876 identified the family of Thomas Mahon Naghten as possessing 4,829 acres in Thomastown Park. A map of the core Thomastown Desmense is shown below.

The Naghtens raised race horses, and "Thomastown Steeplechases" were famous at Thomastown. Drum and Its Hinterland tells us that they usually began in front of the "Big House," continuing over the 40-acre front lawn, making a semi-circle by the Grand Gate, and returning to the front steps of the residence. In 1862, Thomas Mahon Naghten had five horses in his stable, including a famous one named "Thomastown. " Horse racing remained popular, with Thomastown horses winning many trophies. Thomas Mahon Naghten had five children, the eldest being Thomas Mahon Naghten. That son died a minor without issue in England in May 1891, and the second son, John Dillon Naghten, succeeded as head of the house. (Other children were Edmond Henry and two daughters, one of whom married a Kelly of Johnstown House, Drum Parish, and the other married a Kilroy.)

John Dillon Naghten, born on March 12, 1875, in Thomastown Park, reconverted to the Catholic Church and married Nora Millar, of Ballydangan, on 17 February 1914 in the Moore Roman Catholic Church in Ballinasloe. He died without issue on June 16, 1944. He was the last member of the Thomastown Park branch of the family. According to Mary Naughten's account of "the Naughtons of Connacht," the Naughton's power as landlords declined after Ireland gained its independence in 1922, and Thomastown Park was eventually divided by the Land Commission, first in 1933 and, finally, in 1956, when the land was subdivided among the local farmers, many of whose ancestors had been tenants of the Naghten family. The house was demolished, and little remains.

O'Naghten "Flying Geese"

Like many other Irish families, the O'Naghtens had their share of "flying geese"--those family members who fled Ireland rather than accept the English resettlement and demands for religious conformance. Some who were not among the first sons also traveled abroad in search of greater success. Some O'Naghtens distinguished themselves more in other countries than they might have in Ireland under English rule. Three O'Naghten family lines in particular have stood out for their achievements:

William "Kelly" O'Naghten, born in Ireland about 1755, descended through Loughlin O'Naghten, emigrated to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where he began serving in the Army in 1773. In 1802 he was made Imperial Chamberlin and ennobled as a Baron in Hungary in 1816. He died in 1818. Baron O'Naghten had married Catherine, baroness Spleny, daughter of Baron Jean Spleny and Francoise, Countess Klobusiezky. They had five children: Johann von O'Naghten, Baron Joseph von O'Naghten, Baron Franz von O'Naghten, Anna von O'Naghten, and Baron Wilhelm von O'Naghten. His oldest surviving son, Baron Joseph von O'Naghten, was made Imperial Chamberlain in 1811 and also ennobled, and he served as Captain of Hungarian Hussars. In 1818, he visited London as Aide-de-Camp to Prince Hesse Homberg when he married Princess Elizabeth.

John the Baptist O'Naghten--better known as Juan O'Naghten y O'Kelly--was the eldest son of John Dillon O'Naghten and Margaret Lucy O'Kelly, born on June 23, 1748 in Athlone. He travelled to Spain and joined the Spanish Army's Irish Infantry Regiment, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. His eldest son, Juan Tomás O'Naghten y Enríquez, followed in his footsteps, rising to the rank of Colonel and serving as Military and Political Governor of the Island of Ibiza between 1822 and 1826. His two sons also served in the Spanish military service, as did many of their descendants, with service in both Spain and Cuba.

One of those descendants, Tomás O'Naghten y Bachiller, born in La Havana, Cuba on April 2, 1886, technically succeeded as head of the House of O'Naghten when John Dillon Naghten died in June 1944, but he himself died in December 1944 without issue. His brother, Juan Tomás O'Naghten y Bachiller, who was born in La Havana on April 21, 1890, succeeded him as head of the house of O'Naghten. He was a Doctor of Law and member of the Cuban House of Representatives. And he was succeeded by his son, Juan Tomás O'Naghten y de Arango, born in November 1922. Juan Tomás was also a Doctor of Law and a diplomat, serving as Commercial Attache to the Cuban Embassy in London and, between 1953 and 1959, as Economic Adviser of the Cuban mission to the United Nations. With the communist takeover of Cuba in 1959, he moved his family to Miami. It was this Juan Tomás O'Naghten who authored a history of the O'Naghten family. He died in 1989. His elder son, Juan Tomás O'Naghten y Chacón, born in La Habana, Cuba, in 1955 and currently an attorney in Coral Gables, Florida, would be considered the "heir" to the title of head of the House of O'Naghten.

A third O'Naghten "wild goose"--Richard O'Naghten--moved to France and joined the French Army. According to Juan Tomás O'Naghten y de Arango, Richard O'Naghten rose to the rank of colonel and fought in the battle of Ciudad Rodrigo, in Spain, during the Peninsular War, where he died of 56 saber wounds. (More research is being done on this family line.)

The O'Naghten Coat of Arms

There are several slightly different versions of the "Naughton" Coat of Arms. This is not surprising since a "coat of arms" was originally a means of recognition on the battlefield and could be changed by the family chieftain. According to both Edmond and Juan Tomás O'Naghten, the oldest Coat of Arms of the senior branch of the family was described as follows:

Three falcons on a red background, with wings folded, in their natural color, placed in two rows: the top of two, the second of one. The color red stood for bravery. The Crest was a falcon on a wreath, with wings folded. The family Motto was: "Audax et Sagax" (Translated variously as "Daring and Wise" and "Bold and Shrewd").

According to Edmond O'Naghten, those were the arms cut in stone over Latimor Castle and Gate in the town of Loughrea until they were taken down sometime in the second half of the 18th Century. They were also given by Edmond O'Naghten in his pedigree of the family. Gerald Slevin, Chief Herald of Ireland, told Juan Tomás O'Naghten that he was inclined to believe the birds were originally hawks and not falcons, since the hawk was a bird used by the Irish from very olden times in their arms, often indicating heroic accomplishments, since the Gaelic word for "hawk" also meant "hero." The three hawks in the arms could possibly stand for the Three Collas, from whom the O'Neachtains descended as the senior line.

As already related, a modified version of the coat of arms was earned by Aongus Teige Mor ne Cahadh O'Naghten in the 15th Century through his feat of arms. It could be described as follows:

In addition to the three falcons on a red background, a second image, on a green background, consisted of three silver swords, with golden handles, two crossed, pointed upward,surmounted by the third, shorter sword, pointing downward where the other two swords crossed. (The coat of arms depicted above may be slightly incorrect in that the third sword does not appear shorter than the other two. The coat depicted in black and white to the right is more accurate in portraying the short sword.) The color green was symbolic of youth, appropriately combined with red to symbolize the bravery of the youthful warrior. A second Motto, "Cum Parvo Gladio Vici" ("I Conquer With a Small Sword"), was added to "Audax et Sagax": the first one over the Crest, the second one under the Shield.

Those arms were cut in a 16th Century stone tablet in the old church of Drum burial ground. They were also depicted in a parchment prepared by Thomas Mahon O'Naghten, son of Edmond, for the Barons O'Naghten of Hungary.

Captain Thomas O'Naghten quartered the O'Naghten Coat of Arms following the battle of Limerick to give a more anglicized appearance: the falcons on a red background in the top left and lower right quarters, and the three crossed swords on a green background in the other two quarters. These are the arms traditionally identified with the Naughton family and which are shown in the depiction on this page, the original of which may be seen on The Coats Of Arms of Ireland... Website.

O'Donovan, in describing the O'Naghten Coat of Arms, mentions that the Crest has "A side helmet, over which a hawk alighting." That description appears well depicted in the more elaborate black and white drawing above and the drawing of the Naughton Coat of Arms on the left, courtesy of a Naughton family member with Naughton contacts in both County Roscommon and County Galway.

The Barons O'Naghten of Hungary and their descendants were granted a slightly different Coat of Arms by King Francois I of Hungary on March 1, 1816, but based heavily on the Irish O'Naghten arms.

Other Naughton Families in the Drum Area

Although the Thomastown Naghtens were the most famous of the Naughton families, information on that line tends to be focused on the first born or principal heir to the Thomastown estate. Left unmentioned were many other family members who were not direct heirs or who had not accepted English rule and conformed to the Anglican Church. Most of them lost their lands and were forced to flee or live as tenants on the lands of others. Fortunately, various Irish records list some of their names, at least the heads of households. The book Drum and its Hinterland compiled local names from various records, among them the 1795 List of Freeholders, the 1833 Tithe Applotment, the 1855 Griffith's Valuation, the 1883-4 Voters Register and the 1901 census. Following are the Naughtons from those lists, organized by townland:

-- 1833 Tithe List: 1 (Wm. Mac Naghten)
-- 1833 Tithe List: 6 (2 Denises, 2 Michaels, 2 Thomases)
-- 1855 Griffith's Valuation: 5 (2 Denises, John, Mary, Thomas)
-- 1883-4 Voter Register: 2 (Thomas, William)
-- 1901 Census: 2 (Thomas, William)
--1795 Freeholder List: 1 (Ignatius)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (John)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (John)
--1833 Tithe List: 3 (2 Edwards, Peter)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Jeremiah)
--1833 Tithe List: 3 (Edward, John, William)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Edward)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Lawrence)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Lawrence)
--1901 Census: 1 (John)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Bridget)
--Freeholder List: 5 (Denis, Peter, Thady, Thomas, William)
--1833 Tithe List: 10 (Denis, Michael, 3 Patricks, 2 Peters, Thady, Thomas, William)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 10 (4 Catherines, John, 2 Michaels, Patrick, Tim, Thomas)
--1901Census: 8 (Denis, 2 Johns, Luke, Malachy, Patrick, Thomas, William
--1833 Tithe List: 2 (Hugh, Tim)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 3 (Edmund, Hugh, Mary)
--1901 Census: 1 (Thomas)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Hugh)
--1833 Tithe List: 2 (John, Thomas)
--1795 Freeholder List: 1 (Bernard)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Malachy)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Malachy)
--1833 Tithe List: 2 (Pat, William)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Mary)
--1833 Tithe List: 2 (John, Pat)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Peter)
--1833 Tithe List: 2 (Daniel, "Widow")
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 4 (Bridget, Catherine, Patrick, Thomas)
--1881 Kelly Estate Tenants: 1 (Mary)
--1901 Census: 1
--Freeholder List: 3 (Bernard, Denis, Patrick)
--1833 Tithe List: 2 (Denis, Pat)
--1833 Tithe List: 5 (Dinnie, John, Margaret, Matt, Thomas)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 5 (John, Matthew, 2 Thomases, Timothy)
--1883-4 Voter Register: 1 (Thomas)
--1901 Census: 7 (Catherine, Mary, 3 Patricks, 2 Thomases)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Edward)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Edward)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Patrick)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Thomas)
--1793 Freeholder List: 1 (Patrick)
--1833 Tithe List: 3 (Edward, Peter, "Mrs.")
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Thomas)
Mihanaboy (Meehambee):
--Freeholder List: 1 (John)
--1833 Tithe List: 3 (2 Anthonys, John)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 2 (Anthony, Patrick)
Taduff East:
--Freeholders: 1 (Bernard)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Pat)
Taduff West:
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Bryan)
Thomastown Demesne:
--Freeholders: 1 (Edmund)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (Edmund)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Thomas)
--1901 Census: 1 (Sophie)
--1833 Tithe List: 5 (Bryan, Patrick, Thomas, "Widow," William)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 6 (Bryan, James, Malachy, 3 Patricks)
--1883-4 Voter Register: 1 (Malachy)
--1901 Census: 2 (John, Kath.)
--1833 Tithe List: 4 (John, 2 Patricks, William)
--1855 Griffith's Valuation: 1 (Patrick)
--1901 Census: 1 (William)
--1833 Tithe List: 1 (William)
--1749 Synge's Census: 2 (Coner, Hugh)
--1901 Census: 2 (John, Pat)

In her 1891 book, Here and There Through Ireland, Mary Banim describes a visit to Drum and to the ruins of the old church and cemetery. In that book, she published a drawing identified as "Doorway of Old Chapel of the 'M'Naughtens.'" (See below.) She said that the chapel was in the old churchyard, where there were ruins of a chapel which was dedicated to St. Mary and where "a number of the once powerful clan of the M'Naughtens are buried."

The Old Drum Cemetery

Among its many fine works, the Drum Heritage Group has beautifully restored that old Drum cemetery. (See photo, taken by the Drum Heritage Group, courtesy of Linda Harney MacDonald.) There, some 30 gravestones stand with inscriptions to Naghten/Naughton/etc. families. Following is an abbreviated listing (the complete inscriptions can be found in the book Drum and Its Hinterland]:

Naghten Gravestones
Esmy Naghten, died Sept 30, 1732
Edward Naghten, son of Edmond Naghten, Esq., died Aug 16, 1861, age 25
M. Mary Naghten (Burke), wife of Ignatius Naghten, Esq, died June 13, 1795, age 41
Henry Ignatius Naghten, died Nov 1, 1826, age 22
Margaret Naghten (Ward), died Dec 7, 1756, age 71
Denis Naghten, died March 1, 1870, age 81
Michael Naghten, died June 18, 189, age 52
Mary Naghten, died 1752, age 48
John Naghten, died 1735
Thady Naghten, died November, 1841, age 78, and his wife, Sally, died June 1841, age 65, and Patt Naghten, died May 1830, age 9
Catherine Naghten, died December 4, 1841, age 70, wife of William Naghten
Malachy Naghten, died July 17, 1865, age 63, and his daughter, Catherine Fallon, died May 2, 1865, age 28
John Naghten, died December, 1753, age 27
Patrick Naghten, died April 7, 1840, age 45
____ Naghten (Gavin), died June 14, 1776
Dinnis Naghten, Feb 0, 1730. Age 74. And his grandson, John, died March 1758, age 25
Mary Naghten (Flinn), died August 17, 1823, age 26, wife of Denis Naghten
Thady Naghten, died May 17, 103, age 60, father of Patt Naghten
Bryan Naghten, died October 12, 1747, and his son Patrick, 1757
Darby Naghten, died Jan 7, 1814, age 69 and his wife Catherine Naghten (Harney), died September 14, 1821, age 59
Mary Harney (Naghten), wife of Patrick Harney, died December 1, 1821, age 69 (photo of inscription taken by Mariae Tumelty of Walnut Creek, CA, courtesy of Linda Harney MacDonald; original may be seen at the Harney Genealogy Website).

O'Naghten Gravestone: The inscription, in Latin, is the same as that described earlier.

Naughten Gravestones
Michael Naughten, died March 26, 1882, age 72
John Naughten, died May, 1732
John Naughten, died July 2, 1904, age 30, sister Catherine Naughten, died January 13, 1887, age 10, and their father, Thomas Naughten, died March 13, 1914, age 74

Naughton Gravestone
Thomas Naughton, died May 28, 1885, age 70 and his children: John, died February 18, 1882 age 27, Thomas, died January 6, 1903, age 40, Catherine, died November 26, 1888, aged 35

Norton Gravestones
Hugh Norton, died June 15, age 22
Winifred Norton (Berrigan), died April 22, 1881, age 59

Nocton Gravestone
Michael Nocton, died June 14, 1836, age 42, and his brother, Bryan Naghten, died July 18, 1838, age 36

Natthin Gravestone
Conor Natthin, died 1746

Sean O'Neachtain

One of the most prestigious scions of the family was Sean O'Neachtain, the famous 18th Century writer born in Drum Parish in the latter part of the 17th Century. He has been described as "probably the most outstanding Irish poet and writer of prose since Geoffrey Keating." John O'Hart called him "a learned and highly gifted poet." Sean's family, along with other O'Neachtains, lost their landholdings during the Cromwellian forfeitures. He lost 130 acres about 1663 and was forced to work as a traveling laborer in County Meath. He later moved to Dublin and distinguished himself as a writer in prose and verse. His son, Tadhg (or Teig), was also a prolific and famous writer, who was a schoolmaster in Dublin and sponsored a well-known "Naughton School" of Gaelic poetry.

Expansion of Naughtons Elsewhere

Lines of the O'Naghten family settled in other parts of Roscommon, as well in Counties Galway, Mayo, Limerick, Clare and elsewhere, while others moved abroad. By the 18th Century, the Naughtons had branched from southern Roscommon to other sections of the county.

Early records, however, are hard to come by. Even after the Treaty of Limerick, the English continued their attacks on Irish Catholics by instituting so-called "penal laws" which restricted the political rights of Catholics and deprived them of owning land or leasing land for more than 31 years--at least until the Catholic Relief Act of 1778. The penal laws also abolished Catholic religious orders, expelled Catholic bishops and restricted Catholic education. The laws were not always enforced and were sometimes circumvented by having key members of a Catholic family, especially families that had owned land, to "conform" at least outwardly to the established Church of Ireland. But a few records do exist.

The 1749 Census of Elphin Parish

The 1749 census of Elphin Parish, which covered most of County Roscommon and parts of Counties Galway and Sligo, showed Naughtons, Naghtens, and other spellings of the name, including Norton, throughout the area. A total of 75 Naughton families, variously spelled, are listed, found mainly in parishes in the lower half of County Roscommon, centering on the Athlone-Ballinasloe corridor, with fewer Naughton families found in middle and northern parts of the county and in neighboring counties. Following is a listing of those families (many difficult to read). The census is available on microfilm through LDS Family History Centers.

75 Naughton Families Found in 1749 Elphin Diocese Survey
Parish NameOccupationSpouse's NameChildrenOthersReligion
OrgullaThomas NaughtnCottierNo Name03Catholic
OrgullaPat NaughtenTenantNo Name20Catholic
KilglassCormack NaughtonTenantNo Name41Catholic
KiltrustanPat NaughlenCottierNo Name10Catholic
RoscommonBar. NauhtonVillagerNo Name40Catholic
RoscommonPat NaichtenVillagerNo Name40Catholic
RoscommonEdmd NaightonVillagerNo Name30Catholic
RoscommonLough NaightonCooperNo Name30Catholic
St. JohnsWilliam NaghtenFarmerNo Name02Catholic
St. Johns William NaghtenHefellerNo Name41Catholic
St. JohnsJohn NaghtenFarmerNo Name96Protestant
TarmonbarryFergus NortonTeacherNo Name00Protestant
TarmonbarryRoger NaghtenLaborerNo Name40Catholic
TaughboyFrancis NaghtenLaborerNo Name40Catholic
TaughboyEdmd. NaghtenLaborerNo Name00Catholic
TaughboyDenis NaghtenTenantNo Name30Catholic
TaughboyDom NaghtenTenantNo Name30Catholic
TaughboyWm. NaghtonFarmerNo Name20Catholic
TaughboyDenis NaghtenTenantNo Name00Catholic
TaughboyDan NortonTenantNo Name20Catholic
DysartDennis NortonLaborerNo Name20Catholic
DysartEdm NoghtonShepherdNo Name20Catholic
DysartFran NortonLaborerNo Name20Catholic
RaharaJohn NortonPriest--53Catholic
St. PetersDenis NaughtonSaddlerNo Name07Protestant
St. PetersDillon NaghinMerchantNo Name03Catholic
St. PetersFergus NaghtenMerchantNo Name43Catholic
St. PetersLacky NaghtenUpholdNo Name20Catholic
St. PetersJohn NaughtenBakerNo Name40Protestant
St. PetersDennis NaghtenBroqueror?No Name10Catholic
St. PetersEdmond NaghtonGentNo Name00Catholic
St. PetersPat NaghtonLaborerNo Name50Catholic
St. PetersHugh NaghtenLaborerNo Name50Catholic
St. Peters Conor NaghtenCarpenterNo Name10Catholic
CamJoh NaughtenLaborerNo Name50Catholic
CamLough NaughonCarmanNo Name10Catholic
CamJohn NaughonLaborerNo Name20Catholic
CamJohn NaughtonShepherdNo Name10Catholic
CamTho NaughFarmerNo Name00Catholic
KiltoomDennis NaughtenLaborerNo Name50Catholic
KiltoomPatt NaughtLaborerNo Name30Catholic
KiltoomMic. NaughtLaborerNo Name50Catholic
KiltoomDan NaughenMillerNo Name00Catholic
KiltoomMane NaughtMillerNo Name30Catholic
KiltoomMic NaughtonMillerNo Name20Catholic
KiltoomLough NaughtCottierNo Name20Catholic
KiltoomPatr NaughnLaborerNo Name20Catholic
AhascraghBryan NaughtenButcherNo Name50Catholic
AhascraghP. NaghtonLaborerNo Name00Catholic
AhascraghJohn NagtonLaborerNo Name10Catholic
KillianMich NaghtonLaborerNo Name31Catholic
KilleroranPat NaghtonLaborerNo Name80Catholic
FuertyWilliam NaughtinLaborerWinifred21Catholic
FuertyMatthew NaghtonLaborerMary30Catholic
FuertyBryan NaghtenLaborerCath10Catholic
FuertyBryan NaghtenLaborerMary00Catholic
AthleagueMartin NaghtenLaborerNo Name30Catholic
AthleagueLaughlin NaghtenLaborerSarah30Catholic
AthleagueThady? NaghtenLaborerOnnor80Catholic
BallynakillDom NaghtenLaborerNo Name10Catholic
BallynakillMichael? NaughtonLaborerNo Name10Catholic
DonamonMichael NaughtonLaborerNo Name10Catholic
DonamonDom NaughtonLaborerNo Name10Catholic
DonamonEleanor NaughlinWidowNo Name20Catholic
KilbegnetPatrick NaughlinLaborerOnnor80Catholic
KilbegnetMichael NaughtinLaborerRose20Catholic
KilkeevinMichael NaughtinCottierElizabeth30Catholic
KilkeevinJohn NaughtenWelderBridget21Catholic
KillukinB. NaghtenFarmerNo Name00Catholic
KillukinMich NaghtenLaborerNo Name41Protestant
KilcooleyMich NaghtenSpine?No Name00Catholic
CloonygormicanJohn NaghtenLaborerNo Name12Catholic
CloonygormicanWilliam NaughtonLaborerNo Name30Catholic
CloonygormicanJohn NaghtenLaborerNo Name10Catholic
Kilbryan?Michael NaughtinCottierElizabeth30Catholic

The 1796 Spinning Wheel Survey

One record that provides some information about Naughtons in the last part of the 18th Century was The 1796 Spinning Wheel Survey, which contains a list of 53,900 persons throughout Ireland who filed applications that year with the Linen and Hempen Manufacturers of Ireland for awards for growing hemp and flax. Only Counties Dublin and Wicklow are missing. Twenty one Naughtons are listed. Five are from County Roscommon, eight are from County Mayo, three are from County Galway, two are from County Westmeath, and one, each, from counties Clare, Sligo and King's (Offaly). This, of course, is not a thorough survey since it includes only those who filed applications for awards. Following is a list of those applicants by name, county and parish or barony.

The Naughtons Who Participated in The 1796 Spinning Wheel Survey

Naughten, ThadyGalwayDunmore
Naughtin, John, Esq.ClareFeakle
Naughtin, MichaelRoscommonTibohine
Naughtin, PeterRoscommonKillacumsey
Naughton, DanielKingsGallen
Naughton, EdmondMayoBallintober
Naughton, JamesMayoAdrigoole
Naughton, JamesMayoDrum
Naughton, JamesRoscommonElphin
Naughton, JohnRoscommonFuerty
Naughton, MathewSligoKilmactige
Naughton, MatthewGalwayMusickfield
Naughton, MichaelRoscommonElphin
Naughton, MorganMayoElphin
Naughton, PatrickWestmeathKillare
Naughton, PeterMayoAdrigoole
Naughton, ThadyGalwayMusickfield
Naughton, ThadyMayoCrosmolina
Naughton, WalterMayoAughagover
Naughton, Walter, Jr.MayoAughagover
Naughton, WilliamWestmeathDrumredny

Naughtons Elsewhere in Ireland

Mary Naughten describes a number of Naughton families which fled Drum during the Cromwellian settlement to the area of Spiddal in western County Galway. According to Sean Uas. O Neachtain, who provided her the information, the Naughten families fled to the bleak and barren land on the northern shore of Galway Bay to escape Cromwell's forces. Those lines also produced Irish writers, such as Seosamh O'Neachtain and Eoghan O'Naghten.

The dispersal of O'Naghtan families intensified in the 19th Century. In the 1834 Tithe Applotment survey of all landholdings to establish a 10 percent tax for the Church of Ireland and local gentry, most Naughton families were still identified in the southern regions of Athlone and Moycarn baronies. Within County Roscommon, the second largest grouping was located in the middle baronies of Ballymoe, Castlereagh, Roscommon, and Ballintober. And others had settled in the northwestern barony of Boyle and what was to become Frenchpark Barony.

In the more detailed Griffith's Valuation of property "occupiers" and "lessors" taken between 1848 and 1864 to establish a tax to support the local poor, we find some 769 Naughtons and other varied spellings: Naughtons (369), Naughtens (239), Naghtens (96), Naughtins (58), Naghtans (4) and Naghtins (3). The largest concentrations were in Connaught Province, specifically in Counties Roscommon (205), Galway (177) , Mayo (97) and Sligo (24), followed by Munster Province counties of Limerick (66), Clare (39), Cork (31) and Tipperary (17). The other listings are spread throughout other counties. Following is a breakdown of the Naughtons listed inGriffith's Valuation, organized by county and spelling:

Naughton Families Found in Griffith's Valuation 1848-1864

County (Total)NaughtonNaughtenNaughtanNaughtinNaghtenNaghtan
Roscommon (205)477701773
Mayo (97)451612690
Sligo (26)3501620
Galway (177)128490000
Clare (39)21171000
Limerick (66)50140110
Kerry (20)6001400
Cork (31)13160020
Tipperary (17)1230020
Waterford (1)100000
Kilkenny (11)290000
Wexford (10)811000
Carlow (2)020000
Wicklow (1)010000
Kildare (6)150000
Dublin (5)120020
Laois/Queens (1)010000
Offaly/Kings (8)620000
Westmeath (29)1891010
Longford (6)510000
Meath (2)200000
Cavan (7)070000
Monaghan (2)020000
TOTAL (769)369236458963

Naughtons in County Roscommon

Of the 205 Naughtons listed within County Roscommon, we find most in the southern Athlone Barony and a substantial number in Moycarn Barony; fewer Naughtons in the mid-Roscommon baronies of Castlereagh, Ballymoe, Roscommon and North Ballintober; and only five Naughton heads of household listed in northern County Roscommon. The Naughtons listed are further broken down by parish in the following chart, moving from southern to northern parishes--some individuals may be listed more than once (the map--slightly modified--is from the Roscommon and Leitrim map collection at
1. Ardcarn
2. Athleague
3. Aughrim
4. Ballintober
5. Ballynakill
6. Baslick
7. Boyle
8. Bumlin
9. Cam
10. Castlemore
11. Clooncraff
12. Cloonfinlough
13. Cloontuskert
14. Cloonygormican
15. Creagh
16. Creeve
17. Drum
18. Drumatemple
19. Dunamon
20. Dysart
21. Elphin
22. Estersnow
23. Fuerty
24. Kilbride
25. Kilbryan
26. Kilcolagh
27. Kilcolman
28. Kilcooley
29. Kilcorkey
30. Kilgefin
31. Kilglass
32. Kilkeevin
33. Killinvoy
34. Killukin
35. Killummod
36. Kilmacumsy
37. Kilmeane
38. Kilmore
39. Kilnamanagh
40. Kilronan
41. Kilteevan
42. Kiltoom
43. Kiltrustan
44. Kiltullagh
45. Lissonuffy
46. Moore
47. Ogulla
48. Oran
49. Rahara
50. Roscommon
51. St. John's
52. St. Peter's
53. Shankill
54. Taghboy
55. Taghmaconnell
56. Termonbarry
57. Tibohine
58. Tisrara
59. Tumna

County Roscommon Naughton Families Found in Griffith's Valuation 1848-1864

Civil Parish (Total)NaughtonNaughtenNaughtanNaughtinNaghtenNaghtan
Southern Parishes363601583
Drum (55)41801283
St. Peters (9)270000
Moore (16)1600000
Creagh (5)500000
Taghmaconnell (14)1100120
Dysart (8)000080
Taghboy (19)0000190
Cam (10)0100000
Kiltoom (15)4110000
St. Johns(8)080000
Rahara (4)040000
Tisrara (3)030000
Athleague (14)2110010
Kilmeane (4)220000
Killinvoy (4)010030
Middle Parishes710060
Fuerty (5)000050
Cloonygormican (2)100010
Kilcooley (1)100000
Drumatemple (1)100000
Kilkeevin (3)300000
Kilglass (2)110000
Northern Parishes41000
Kilnamanagh (3)210000
Kilmacumsy (1)100000
Killumod (1)100000
TOTAL (205)477701773

Five Naughton/Naughten family listings are found in the northwestern baronies of Boyle and Frenchpark. It was in that last group where I found my direct ancestors: my great grandfather, John Naughton, was living in a house next to the National School in Kilnamanagh Parish in the townland of Runnaroddan, adjacent to Kingsland. A history of Kingsland indicates that he founded and was the Principal of the Kingsland National School from 1848 to 1878. It was in that house that my grandfather and his nine siblings were born and raised before emigrating to the United States in the 1880s. The second family, in nearby Tonroe or Feenagh, was that--I believe--of his brother, Bartly (Bartholomew) Naughton. The third Naughton family, headed by John Naughten and living just a few miles to the south in Carrowreagh, may have been their father--my great-great-grandfather. But more on that later.

The 1901 Census gives us a more recent sense of where Naughton families lived in County Roscommon. The Roscommon-Leitrim Genealogy Website has developed a largely complete listing of families in County Roscommon and some families in neighboring counties from that census. Among those listed are 135 Naughton/Naughten/Naghten/Norton families living in the following baronies of County Roscommon, as well as 10 Naughton/Naughten families in Counties Mayo, Westmeath and Leitrim, and one Naughtin family in County Mayo:

Naughtons/Naughtens/Naghtens/Nortons in 1901 County Roscommon Census

Athlone South342323
Ballintober North3102
Ballintober South2000

The names and ages of family members may be found by searching the 1901 Census by surname at the Roscommon Genealogy Site, by clicking here. (Two of the families in Frenchpark are those of my great-uncle Bartly Naughton and John Naughton, the son of Bartly's brother, Patrick.)

One intriguing discovery in northern County Roscommon is a townland in the southwestern portion of Kilcolagh Parish (see map) called "Carrigeenynaghtan," which is very similar to the "Carrickynaghtan" southwest of Athlone and presumably refers to a "Rock of the Naughtons." So far we have not found any reference to a Naughton family living in that specific area, although Naughtons did live in neighboring Killacumsey Parish in 1796.

Scottish MacNaghtens in Ireland

In addition to the Irish Neachtain/Naghten/Naughton family line, I also discovered a Scottish MacNaghten line in Antrim, Northern Ireland, 1580-1914--at least one of whom was referred to in historical documents as "Naghten." Following is a listing of the principal names in the family line:

  1. Shane Dhu MacNauchtan: Grandnephew of MacNaughton Clan Chief Gilbert MacNauchtan II. Moved from Argyll, Scotland, to Antrim about 1580. Married sister of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, the Lord of the Route area of Antrim.
  2. John McNaghten, Shane's son, referred to in some documents as "John Naghten," became the business agent for the first Earl of Antrim, Sir Randall MacDonnell, his cousin. Died 1630.
  3. Daniel McNaghten, son of John, increased family holdings in Antrim and retained them after the Irish Rebellion of 1641-52 since he was Protestant.
  4. John MacNaghten, son of Daniel. Married Helen Stafford (an Englishwoman who was a descendant of the Duke of Gloucester and third son of Edward III) in Antrim about 1672 and had five sons.
  5. Edmund MacNaghten of Beardiville. Third son of John, born 1680 and inherited the family property. He married Leonara Vesey of the De Vesci Family, but that marriage was childless; he married Hannah Johnstone in 1761 at the age of 81 years and produced two sons.
  6. Edmund Alexander MacNaghten, older son of Edmond. Elected Chief of Clan MacNaughton in 1818 in Edinburgh at the request of some 400 MacNaughton clansmen. Member of Irish Parliament for Antrim and later Lord of the Treasury. Died 1832.
  7. Francis MacNaghten (1763-1843), brother of Edmund Alexander and Second Chief of Clan MacNaughton, Supreme Court Judge of Bengal in Calcutta and a baronet in 1836. Married Letitia Dunkin of Dunderava, Antrim. They had six sons and five daughters. Five of the sons' names were: William Hay, Francis Workman, Edmund Charles Workman, Elliot Workman, and John Dunkin MacNaghten.
  8. Sir Edmund Charles MacNaghten (1790-1876), of Dunderave, Bushmills. Oldest son of Francis. Second baronet and Clan Chief. Member of Irish Parliament 1847-1852. Married Mary Anne Gwatkin in 1827 and had five sons (including William Henry, Fergus, Edmund Charles and Francis Edmund MacNaghten) and at least two daughters (Mary and Octavia Helen).
  9. Sir Francis Edmund MacNaghten (1828-1911), son of Edmund Charles and third baronet and Clan Chief.
  10. Sir Edward MacNaghten (1831-1913), second son of Edmund Charles and fourth baronet and Clan Chief. Made Lord of Appeal in Ordinary for United Kingdom (equivalent to U.S. Supreme Court Justice) and a life peerage in 1887 as "Baron Mac Naghten of Runkerry."
  11. Sir Edward MacNaughten II (1859-1914), son of Edward and fifth Baronet and Clan Chief. Sir Edward's two sons both succeeded to the title, but were killed in the First World War. Sir Francis, eighth Baronet, succeeded his nephews, and is the father of the present chief, Sir Patrick MacNaghten of MacNaghten Bt. Dundarave, Bushmills Co. Antrim.
You can view the MacNaghten line and find other Scottish MacNauchtans by clicking the following link: Scottish MacNaghtens, from which I obtained most of the above information. And for more on the Scottish MacNaughtons, click here: More on Scottish MacNaughtons, from which some additional details were obtained. The Scottish MacNaughtons descend from Nechtan Mor (The Great Pure One), a Pict of the tenth century. According to John O'Hart, there is no lineal connection between the Scottish MacNaughtons and the Irish Naghtens/Naughtons, but some Scottish MacNaughtons tell me they believe there is a connection back to Ireland.

Irish Naghtens in England

O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees provides a pedigree linking the descendants of Fiachra Finn and Connor Catha Brian of Battle of Clontarf fame to a distinguished Naghten family of England. After listing Giolla (William) as Number 120 in the pedigree of the Hy-Many line, as shown earlier in this narrative, O'Hart lists the following descendants:

121. Hugh, his son
122. Donogh, his son
123. Edward, his son
124. Thomas Naghten, of Crofton House, Hants, England, his son
125. Arthur R. Naghten, of Blighmont, Southampton, Member of Parliament for Winchester, his son.

English records tell us that Thomas Naghten, Esq., was born about 1783 and died March 12, 1832. He married Maria Edith Jane Lang, the eldest daughter of Robert Lang, Esq., of Moor-Park, Farnham, Surrey. The family lived at Crofton House, Tichfield, Hampshire (Hants) and had 10 children: Edmund, Thomas, Charles, Frederick, Henry, Alfred, Arthur, Emily Jane, Louisa and Maria. Four of the sons--Alfred, Henry, Charles and Frederick--all died in the early 1840's while still young. The eldest, Edmund, died on May 1, 1838, when he fell off his horse while serving with the 88th Regiment (Connaught Rangers) in the Haydock Lodge Barracks in Lancashire. Son Thomas died on June 18, 1865 at the age of 47. Arthur, the youngest son, died on August 7, 1881, at the age of five.

Arthur Robert Naghten was born in 1829 and educated at Eton and at Worcester College, Oxford, where he obtained a bachelor's and master's degree. He served as a magistrate for Hampshire and as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Hampshire Artillery Militia, from which he retired in 1875. He was a Conservative and represented the city of Winchester as a Member of Parliament from 1874 until 1880, when he retired. He was married in 1859 to Dora, the daughter of St. John Chiverton Charlton, Esq., of Apley Castle, Shropshire. The Naghten family owned and lived at Blighmont, Millbrook, Southhampton--a home built by Admiral William Bligh. Arthur died August 7, 1881.

No further information has been found on Thomas Naghten or his father, Edward, or other ancestors that enable us to trace them back directly to Naghtens in Ireland. His wife, Maria, had a younger sister, Louisa, who was born at Moor-Park and who, on October 23, 1856, married Sir Robert Percy Douglas, a Baronet who was born to Sir Howard Douglas and Anne Dundas on August 29, 1805, in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. During his career, Sir Robert served as a General in the British Army and as Lieutenant-Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. His father, Sir Howard Douglas, rose to the rank of Major General in the British Artillery, served as Lieutenant-Governor and commander in chief of New Brunswick, Canada, from 1823 to 1831 and as a Member of Parliament for Liverpool from 1842 to 1847, and received a knighthood bestowed in 1821. Linda Naghten of South Bretton, Peterborough, provided most of the above information. We continue searching for more information on this Naghten family.

The above merely summarizes some of the enormous amount of information discovered so far on O'Naghten/Naughton families in Ireland. This is a project that will continue to expand as new information becomes available. Please check back for updated information. I would be delighted to receive comments and suggestions from readers, as well as leads which will help me in this endeavor. Just e-mail me at [email protected].

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