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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
X. The Vikings and Normans


Norman, Flemish, Welsh and Breton descent, the military aristocracy of England at the time. When these invaders met the disarrayed charge of the native Gaelic warriors on the open plains of Ireland, they usually swept the Irish from the field with their awesome three-pronged attack: First the deadly flight of arrows from the distant and invulnerable Welsh crossbowmen, then the organized charge of that "new animal," the charger-mounted armored knights with their long swords, and finally the follow-through onslaught by unrelenting lines of disciplined Flemish infantry. Combine these demonstrations of bold, courageous and creative military innovation with the savvy, pragmatic yet treacherous political machinations of the Normans and their Royal English masters and you have the result: Within 80 years nearly three-quarters of Ireland was under Norman control.

The Barrys (de Barra) descend from Philip de Barry, one of the earliest Anglo-Norman invaders. He was a nephew of Robert FitzStephen, who granted Philip the lands now represented by the baronies of Barrymore, Orrery and Kinelea in County Cork, originally the clan territories of Ui Liathain, Muscraighe-tri-maighe and Cineal Aodha, respectively. The Barrys became one of the most numerous and powerful families in Munster. They divided into several branches, the heads of which were known respectively as "An Barrach Mor" (the Great Barry), "An Barrach Ruadh" (the Red Barry), "An Barrach Og" (the Young Barry), "An Barrach Maol" (the Bald Barry) and "An Barrach Laidir" (the Strong Barry). The Barrys of Rathcormac and Ballynagloch, County Cork, adopted the Irish patronymic surname MacAdam (Mac Adaim). There was also a branch of the family in County Wexford. The Barrys suffered considerably as a result of the wars of the seventeenth century, but are still numerous and respectable throughout Munster.

The Brownes (de Brun) were one of the Tribes of Galway, the mostly Norman merchant families of that city from the Middle Ages that included the Athys, Blakes, Bodkins, Brownes, Darcys (O Dorchaidhe), Deanes, Fants, Frenches, Joyces, Kirwans, Lynches, Martins, Morrises and Skerrets. The Brownes first came to Ireland at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion in the twelfth century. They first appear in northeast Mayo as one of the families of Norman introduction that wrested the territory of Tirawley away from the Ui Fiachrach tribe. From there they intermarried with the Lynches of Galway City, where they afterwards became one of the tribes. Subsequently they intermarried with the O’Flahertys and O’Malleys, the leading native families of the lar-Connacht, or extreme western region, thus securing their position in that quarter.

The Burkes (de Burc) rank with the Fitzgeralds and Butlers as among the most powerful and influential of the Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland. They descend from William Fitz Adelm de Burgo, who came to Ireland in 1171 in the company of Henry II, who first made him governor of Wexford, and later, in 1178, made him Chief Governor of all Ireland (that is, all Ireland that was


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