The Family is descended from Cairbre Crom,
chief of Hy Many in the 6th Century and has as its eponymous ancestor
Aedhagan, who flourished in the 10th century, making the surname one of
the oldest in Europe. It is derived from the root 'aedh' meaning
fire and the diminutive 'an' hence 'the little bright-eyed one'.
Because they were associated with the
chieftains in all parts of the country their descendants are widespread.
Among the O'Kennedys of Lower Ormand in North Tipperary they became
particularly string. There are a number of their castles still
standing, and one of these, Redwood, where a celebrated law school
flourished, has now been fully restored and is owned and occupied by
Chief of the Clan.
Like other Irish Families who did not
conform they lost all, but preserved the educational tradition
throughout the Penal Times. After Emancipation in 1829 many of the
name followed their hereditary professions of teaching, law and
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