Originally the O’Sullivans were settled around Knockrafann in Tipperary but the Norman Invasion drove them farther and in 1192 they moved west and occupied the Counties of Cork and Kerry. At this point they divided into two branches – one branch of the family settled in County Cork and made their home near Castletown. They were known afterwards as O’Sullivan Beare...
The other branch settled in Kerry and made their home near the town of Kenmare. The family seat was Dunlderron Castle. They were known as O’Sullivan Mor. One branch of the O’Sullivan Mor settled at the base of a mountain, later changed their name to McGillicuddy – hence the name McGillicuddy Reeks.
The next offshoot from O’Sullivan Mor, according to Butler in his book – ‘Gleanings from Irish History’ published in 1925 – was starteed by a son whose name was MacCarious. The later became anglicised to MacGrath, MacCraith, MacCreehan and MacCrohon which eventually the name MacCrohan was derived.
The original castle of the MacCrohan’s was located at Leiter, a small area near Cahirciveen in County Kerry, and their lands ran all along the south shore of Valencia Harbour, from Cahirciveen to Reencarragh Point. They also possessed a small district in Magunihy, the only portion of their territory north of the River xxxne.
The following account of the above branch is taken from Milltown local history:
"About 1000 A.D. a small peaceful clan acquired land in Kilcolman, Miltown, through purchase. They were the MacCrohans from Rignard near Valencia." The land acquired was then heavy, wet, rush-covered territory, but it suited their needs for they were flax growers and linen manufacturers. There are stepping stones across a little stream just below the modern village of Milltown. This crossing was known to the MacCrohans as ath Solais, meaning the Ford of Clear Water. In that stream the MacCrohans steeped their flax. Round about Ath Solais they had buildings where carding, spinning, weaving and dyeing of linen were carried on. They made fine linen which they exported to Spain in their own ships in Valencia. They grew woad and madder locally which produced red and blue dyes for their cloths. It is pleasing to learn that some of this linen graced Continental Alters and was valued highly by the senoritas in Spain. The weaving sheds of the MacCrohans at Ath Solais were to grow and develop and so give the future township of Milltown a location, a purpose and a name. The Cromwellian confiscations (1650) swept the McCrohans into poverty and obscurity. But some of them escaped to Spain and founded McCrohan families there. Thirty families of that name, high in commercial positions, existed in Spain twenty years ago."
In 1769 John McCrohan of Ballinahoun, Administrator for Daniel and Owen McCrohan, deceased, sold lands at Caheraturragh, Murhur and Lisnalour in Iveragh for 220 pounds and went to Bern, North Carolina, USA. His lands were bought by Rowland Blennerhassett and a copy of the Deed of Sale is in possession of his great, great granddaughter, Mrs. Dorothy Newman, in New York.
Extracts from Irish documents:
1. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. Books of Survey and Distribution.
Denominations: Owner in 1611 Acres Granted to:
Leiter McCrohan 291 Dublin Trinity College
Renard McCrohan 361 Dublin Trinity College
Kilcolman North McCrohan 552 Dublin Trinity College
Kilcolman South McCrohan 667 Dublin Trinity College
Note: Kilcolman near Milltown not adjacent to Leiter or Renard.
- Journal, Royal Society of Antiquaries, Vol. XXXVI, page 365
The McCrohans had a castle at Leiter near Cahirciveen; their lands were in the south side of Valencia Harbour from Cahirciveen to Reencarragh. They are now (1906) a great flourishing family in Spain where so many of old Kerry Aristocracy found refuge in bygone days.
Identification of Places:
Leiter 683 acres Barony of Iveragh, Parish of Cahirciveen
Carhan 750 acres Barony of Iveragh, Parish of Cahirciveen
Ferriters Quarter 498 acres Barony of Corkaguiny, Dunquin Parrish
(Joseph McCrohan, 1763)
- O’Hart "CROMWELLIAN SETTLEMENTS" says:
Settlement commenced in 1657, the following losing their lands:
McCrohan of Leiter land given to Egar
John McCrohan of Rinnard land given to Egar
Teig McCrohan of Leiter land given to Egar
John McCrohan raised 40 Companies of men in 1641 for the wars. He went to Beginish in the year 1654.
- In 1754 Daniel McCrohan was O’Donnell’s (Derrynane) Agent in wine and brandy business between Ireland and France. He wrote about Connell O’Connell at Caen near Havre. Daniel lived in Nantes.
- In 1776 Andrew and Owen McCrohan were at Port Magee.
- Joseph McCrohan was Minister of Marine in Spain in 1860, and Manual McCrohan, son of Joseph, was Rear Admiral at the end of the 19th Century. He had a fine Naval Record and was awarded the "grand Cross of Elizabeth the Catholic".
- List of forfeiting Catholic Proprietors, (followers of James II) outlawed by William III (Trinity College, Dublin)
Captain Donough McCrohan of Gurranebawn 29th August 1699
Crohan McCrohan of Leiter 1st September 1699
- Extracts from Cork Newspapers, compiled by the late Basil M. O’Connell (O’Connells interm. with McCrohans.)
Cork Evening Post: 13 Jan 1763
Land of Ferriters Quarter at Dunquin Parish, County Kerry, lately advertised:
"Joseph McCrohan…..I and others have a judgement on the said lands and a considerable portion of the said lands are the estate of myself and Mrs. O’Donoghu. (signed) Edward O’Donoghue."
Cork Evening Post: 14 Oct 1837
D.: Miss McCrohan of Hillgrove (Carhan, Cahirciveen)
- "History of Kerry" by Jeremiah King, London 1908, page 222.
McCrohan families in Kerry:
- John of Killahane
- James of Killorglin
- Mary of Roxborough
- Eugene of Curraghmore
- Eugene of Farramanagh
- James of Banry’s Lane
- Patrick of Knocknahaska
- Patrick of Ballymaquin
- John of Banna
- Mary of Laharn
- John of Kilmakeadar
- John of Ballybrack
- Thomas of the Blaskets
- John of Coumenole
- James of Main Street., Dingle
- Jeremiah of Gurrahodoo
- Patrick of Gowlanes
- Paul of Gortnagree
- Denis of Beginish
- James of Renard
- Timothy of Renard
- Bridget of Renard
- Ellen of Fair Green
- Michael of Killirly (Killurly)
- Michael of Reenacoola
(many thanks to Steve McCrohon who forwarded this document to us..)
First Compiled October 1983,
Most of the research in this document was performed by Anna Fulham (nee Foley) daughter of Catherine McCrohan
Anna's research was given to Steve by:
Mrs. Mae McCrohan
Cahirciveen, County Kerry
Australian Supplement supplied by:
43 Coolibah Street,
Castle Hill, NSW, 2154
Note: (Research by Anna Fulham/Foley, contributed by Steve McCrohon)