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The Dorough surname is Scottish and Irish in origin and is a derivative of the Scottish name Darroch. Darroch is a sept of the clan McDonald of the Isles. In 1794 the Lord Lyon King of Arms officially registered "Duncan Darroch of Gourock, chief of this ancient name, the patronymic of which is MacIliriach," showing that Iliriach was the progenitor of this sept. The name has its meaning based in the gaelic Dubh Dara which is "Black Oak". The movement of the family to Ireland is still open to debate. It is my opinion that it occurred as part of the plantation period of the 1660s in Northern Ireland. However there are those who argue that the term Scotch-Irish does not apply to the McDonald Clan because the clan was in Ireland long before the plantations. English land records for the plantations do list "Native Irish" who were given land. Among this list were the MacDonalds. This list also contains Irish with variations of the name Dorough assigned land. The name Dorough in Ireland has long been associated with county Antrim and Down.

I would like to offer a revised history of the Clan Darroch/Dorrough due to further research. I must say that I have discovered no Scots history's that show the Darrach or Darrock descent from the McDonalds as claimed. We do however have The Annals of the Four Masters and The Annals of Ulster that place both the Darroch and ODubhdara names in Ireland as early as the eight century.

We have an actual historical listing in 961 of Dubhdara in Fermanagh and U984 Darroch in Derlas. In the descent from the McDonalds and Darroch theory we have no such evidence except folklore.

Perhaps an alternative:

Origin of Darragh/Dorrough

MacLYSAGHT, Surnames of Ireland

Pg 75
(Mac)Darragh..Mac Dubhdara mod McDara
pg 88 Dorragh….West Ulster Variant of Darragh
MacLYSAGHT, More Irish Famlies

Pg 76
Darragh,oakes “Before reading these books (Johnsons Scottish Clans and Mac Giolla Domnaigh Some Anglicized Surnames in Ireland for which he states ”I am not able to support the statements with any first hand evidence”.) I had thought the MacDarraghs to be of native Irish stock:if Wolf is right in equating the early form MacDwdara with MacDubhdara then it certainly was in Ireland before the plantations of Ulster.

I believe MacLYSAGHT was on track at this point but others have led him to stray to the Scottish origin. The Annals of the Four Masters as well as the Annals of Ulster show us the family of ODubhdara as being members of the Clann Lugain and Kings of Fermanagh with a direct descent from Colla da Crich and on to Conn of the Hundred Battles and Updar King of Alba

Here is some further research on the surname. Is it Irish or Scottish?? What is common among the two histories is that the name comes from Dubhdara. Here is the earliest (961AD)Dubhdara that I have seen...961AD … Egneach and his son, i.e. Dubhdara are killed. During the the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries after Christ we read in the annals the names of many head chiefs (kings) of the Fermanagh territory. All these bear the surnames of one or other of three families: Ó Dubhdara (O'Darrah), Ó hÉignigh (Hegney, Heaney), Ó Maolruanaidh (Mulrooney, Rooney). All three belong to Clann Lugain, that branch of the Oriel Ui Cremhthainn who were driven from the Clogher area by the Cineal Eoghain of Aileach., son of Dalach, lord of Oirghialla, .

Fir Managh - Co. Fermanagh. Throughout the 11th and 12th centuries the Kings of Fermanagh - O'hEignigh, O'Maolruanaidh and O'Dubhdara - were drawn from the Airghialla, its Clann Lugainn branch, which is stated in the early genealogies to go back to one of the three Collas, i.e. Colla Fochríth. The O'Heany or Hegney (Ó hEignigh) and Mulrooney (Maolruanaidh) septs were noted as kings of Fermanagh (Fer Manach) until becoming tributary to the Maguires (Meicc h-Uidir) around 1202.

The annals cite:
For 1009, Cathal, mac Duibh Dara, tigherna Fer Manach, died.
For 1053, Niall h-úa Écnigh, rí Fer Manach, was slain.
For 1053/57, Domhnall mac Maol Ruanaidh, tigherna Fer Manach (Fir Mhanach).
For 1076, Giolla Chríosd ua Duibh Dara, tigherna Fer Manach.
For 1095, Ua h-Eiccnigh, tigherna Fer Manach, was slain.
For 1118, Laidhgnén Ua Duibh Dara, tigherna Fer Manach.
For 1126, H. Mael Ruanaigh ri Fer Manach,
For 1127, Gilla Crist ua h-Eicnigh ri Fear Manach & airdrigh Airgiall.
For 1128, Faelan Ua n-Duibh Dhara righ Fer Manach.

The question of Scots-vs-Irish becomes very difficult when following the movements back and forth between Scotland and Ireland. Two points ..

1.One history claims The Picts were ALLOWED by the IRISH to settle in Northern Scotland with the stipulation that their rulers married Irish Royal women. In the case of the Three Colla line it appears as if it was reversed. The Irish men of this line married many Pictish Royal daughters. Therefore the children of these unions were half Irish. The common historys(with the exception of the Roman theory) show that the three Collas, which the ODubhdara and McDonald Clan both claim descent from, can be traced back to these Pictish Kings (The three Collas were the sons of Eocaidh Dublein, brother of Fiachaid Sraibtine, both sons of Carbri Lificar. The Collas mother was Oilech (aka Alechia), daughter of Ugari (aka Updar) the King of Alba (Scotland), and wife of Eocaidh. Their names were Carrell, Muredach, and Aedh.).Carbri Lifechar(268) son of Cormac (222-266)son of Art(166-195)son of Conn of the Hundred Battles (123-157) What was once Pictish merges with Irish and becomes Pict/Irish. The offsping of this Union due to later geographical location attempt to unmerge with the McDonald Clan claiming descent from the Scottish and the Odubhdara descent from the Irish. Yet as one can see they are of the same stock. It would appear to me that the question of Scot or Irish is a mute point.

2. One must go to the earliest listing of the surname to try to determine its origin. Here in Ireland we have an actual historical listing in 961 of Dubhdara in Fermanagh and U984 Darroch in Derlas. In the descent from the McDonalds and Darroch theory we have no such evidence except folklore. The McDonalds however claim descent from Colla Uais while the ODubhdara are shown as descending from Colla de Crich(Fochrith) If that is the case then one must ask how Darrach is ODubhdara or how is Darragh from McDarrach. To further complicate things I have found in the Annals of Ulster a listing for the FIRST Darrach I have seen. U984.2 Dub Darrach son of Domnalloin King of Derlas was killed by his own people. This line also descends from Ulla de Crich. Why the son of Egneach, was named Dubhdara is unknown and the only thing we know for sure is that Dubh means Black and Daire or Dara is oak.

Another avenue to pursue is the variation of the name Darrow and its relationship to Durrow Abbey which as history tells us was built on a great Oak Plain('Ach' in Gaelic also means 'a field') which was a holy place to the Druids and thus chosen for the Abbey. I at first started to think that Darragh and Darroch were two distinct names. Darragh from Dubhdara (Black Oak) and Darroch from Daire Ach(Oak Field) but here again we are back in Ireland with a claim that Darrow and Darragh are a form of Durrow which means “Oak Plain” To much like “Oak Field to not be connected. Perhaps our name is rooted there. Another is Cill Dara (Kildare) meaning “Church of Oak” which has many Abotts who bear the name Dubh…

In conclusion I must say that I have seen no Scots historys that show the Darrach or Darrock descent from the McDonalds as claimed. We do however have The Annals of the Four Masters and The Annals of Ulster that place both the Darroch and ODubhdara names in Ireland as early as the eight century.

Note: some historiess list the father of the three Collas as Eochaid Duibhlein is this perhaps the start of the Duibh or Dubh naming.

Muredach Colla da Crich
Deach Dorn
Crimthann Liath
Ui Chrimthainn
Ui Rudagain
Ui Ceannfada
Leithrid Luigeach
Sil nDamine

Clann Cormac
Clann Lugain(Ó Dubhdara (O'Darrah), Ó hÉignigh (Hegney, Heaney), Ó Maolruanaidh (Mulrooney, Rooney)).
Clann Nadsluaig
Ui Loingsigh
MacDonnel of Clan Kelly

An early genealogy for Clann Lugain: (Rawlinson)
Lugain, son of Irgalach, son of Eignich, son of Cormac, son of Fergus, son of Aed, son of Cormac, son of Cairpre Dam Argait.

An early Genelach Clainne Lugáin .i. Fer Manach (Rawlinson) Gilla Coluim m. Gillai Críst m. Éicnich m. Dálaich m. Meicc h-Uidir m. Cernaich m. Lugáin m. Írgalaich m. Feichín m. Cormaic m. Fergusa m. Cairpri Daim Argait m. Echdach m. Crimthaind m. Féicc m. Dega Duirn m. Rochada m. Colla Fochríth.

Fernmag, or Fernmaighe - The area around Lough Ooney, aka Loch Uaithne near Smithborough in the barony of Dartry, co. Monaghan, was apparently referred to at an early date as Fernmag or Fer Fernmaighe

For 1097, Lochlainn Ua Duibh Dara, tigherna Fernmaighe, was slain by the Uibh Briuin Bréifne

Fir Managh
For 1009/10, Cathal son of Dub Dara, king of Fir Manach, died.
• For 1076, There were killed Gairbeith ua Innrechtaigh, king of Uí Méith—by the men of Mide, and Gilla Críst ua Duibdara, king of Fir Manach—in Daiminis, by the Fir Manach.
For 1118, Laidcnén ua Duibdara, king of Fir Manach, was killed by the Uí Fhiachrach and Fir na Craíbhe\
• For 1128, A leap year and embolismal year. The men of Magh Itha, i.e. Domnall ua Gailmredhaigh, and the Cenél Moain stormed a house against the king of Fir Manach, i.e. Faelán ua Duibdara, and he fell by them, and a number of the nobles of the Fir Manach with him.
Fir Lurg - barony of Lurg in Co. Fermanagh. The sept of O Maolduin (O'Muldoon) is noted here as chiefs (and early kings) of Lurg, aka Fir Lurg, Fear Luirg or Fer Luircc
For 1000, Dubh Dara ua Maoile Duin, tighearna Fer Luirg, was slain.

AI1118 Laidcnén Ua Duib Dara was slain by the Uí Fhiachrach of Ard Srath

aColla da Crioch, or Colla of the Two Countries - Eire (Ireland) and Alba (Scotland). Colla was one of three sons of Eochaid Duibhlein of Eire and Aileach, daughter of Updar, a Pictish King of Alba.,

Dubhdara, the grandson of Aighennain, lord of Luighne, died.
A predatory excursion was made by Tighearnan Ua Ruairc across Magh-nAei, to Loch-Long and Dun-Imghain; he destroyed and burned four ships, and slew the son of Ua Maeleachlainn, who was defending them, and many others. Gillabrighde, son of Dubhdara, chief of Muintir-Eolais, was wounded; and he afterwards died at his house, having plundered Cluain-Coirpthe some time before.
Gillachrist O'Duibhdara, king of Feara-Manach,
11] occisus est, in Daimhinis, by the Feara-Manach

From the Clan Donalds own history We can further prove the relationship between the lines when Gillebride went to County Fermanagh to raise an Irish army of his relatives. These kindred of Fermanagh at the times per the records were the DubhDara.

"Gillebride (Gaelic meaning servant of Brigit) turned to his kindred in Fermanagh (anciently Airgialla) Ireland to help restore him to his "rightful lands" as ruler of Morvern and Ardgore (ancient Albain Dalriada). Into this world was born Somhairlidh (Somerled) about 1100 AD in what is now County Down, Ireland to the wife of Gillebride Na H'Uaimh"

According to the ancient original Gaelic Black & Red Books of Clanranald Somhairlidh's father was of Gaelic name and Albain Dalriadic nobility. The accounts of Gillebride turning to his kindred in Celtic Ireland to obtain a Celtic Irish army, and then the account of Somhairlidh being asked to lead the Celtic clans to repel the Viking raiders both substantiate the Clan Donald tradition they were of Clan Colla and Siol Cuinn (Celtic nobility)"

All the Best

Richard Dorrough



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