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
(Mac)Darragh..Mac Dubhdara mod McDara
pg 88 Dorragh….West Ulster Variant of Darragh
MacLYSAGHT, More Irish Famlies
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
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
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
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
Clann Lugain(Ó Dubhdara (O'Darrah), Ó hÉignigh (Hegney, Heaney), Ó
Maolruanaidh (Mulrooney, Rooney)).
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.
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
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