Ancient Legend and History

Legend has that the Gaelic Irish originated from Fénius Farsaid, King of Scythia. His son Nel was a scholar in the court of Pharaoh and married Scotia the Pharaoh's daughter. Their son, Goídel Glas, was healed of a serpent bite by Moses' prayer and given a prophecy of their future homeland, Ireland. After years of wandering, they finally settled in northern Spain (Iberia) where his descendant King Breoghan built a tower from which his son Ith saw Ireland (Hibernia) one winter day. Breoghan's grandson, Míl Espáine, a soldier, remembering the prophecy of their western Isle, set out to conquer Ireland, but having died, his sons finished the invasion, where they reigned as high kings of Ireland for nearly two millennia  before Christ.

Storytelling has always been an Irish gift—with the Emerald Isle renowned worldwide for her folklore and rich oral tradition. In fact, in ancient Irish society, history and genealogy held a high place, with every chieftain having bards or seanchaí who would spend their lives composing their history, genealogy, and laws into lyrical poems which were recited, memorized, and carefully passed down from generation to generation. Over the millennia, some stories were colored to bring honor to those connected to the character; other stories were also developed simply for entertainment. Sadly, it seems that most modern historians are unwilling to consider any history that might be hiding within these ancient Irish traditions—despite the fact that all ancient history was at one time oral history— even including those of the great historians, such as Herodotus (Dr. Guy Beiner). It could be somewhat akin to ignoring the fact that the American frontiersman, Daniel Boone, ever existed, just because there are a number of folk legends and tall tales which sprang up around him over the centuries. That's not to say that they're all true by any means, but many modern scholars have examined the ancient traditions of Irish origins written in the manuscripts and have rejected them entirely from the perspective of textual criticism (See Did the Irish Come from Spain? [History Ireland, 2001]). Recent scientific discoveries, however, reveal some truth deep in the core of the ancient Irish lore. DNA evidence supports the existence of our pre-Ó Dochartaigh ancestor, legendary king of Ireland, Niall of the Nine Hostages, who lived during the 4th century (actually the Romans wrote about his feats also). Modern genetics also seem to support the belief that the Gaelic or "Milesian" Irish peoples originally came from the Basque region of Spain, as was bore out in the ancient lore. Interesting to say the least!


Here are some of the Irish Manuscripts which include the ancient traditions of Irish origins:

Sources:

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The O'Doherty Heritage website is designed to be your place for all things Ó Dochartaigh. Whether your name or ancestry is from a Doherty, Dougherty, Daugherty, Docherty, Dogherty, if your family used another spelling of our name, or if you're from one of our related Donegal families, such as the McDevitt/McDaid, McBride, McConlogue, or others–we welcome you to the O'Doherty Heritage website!

The vision of the O'Doherty Heritage is "Telling our story, uniting us together." This was the same vision of our ancestors, the Ó Dochartaigh patriarchs, when they established our Clan motto, Ár nDúthchas–which means 'Our Heritage'. Below are the goals of O'Doherty Heritage:

TELLING OUR STORY:

  • Share our heritage with our entire Clan

  • Research, document, & bring our history to life

  • Curate a digital Clan genealogy research library

UNITING US TOGETHER:

  • Encourage quality genealogical research

  • Promote clan identity and pride in our heritage

  • Facilitate communication amongst our clanfolk

 

This site is curated by Will Dougherty III under the direction of the Association of Ó Dochartaighs. ©2020 O'Doherty Heritage. Site Policies. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the site, answer your questions, or see you get involved! Email odohertyheritage@gmail.com.