Where do Boylans come from? What is our identity?

Gaelic Irish love elaborate pseudo-geneaologies, so the history of Clan OBoylan is as follows:

Irelands first Chief Herald, Dr. Edward MacLysaght wrote in 1940 that a Clan is ...a group of persons inhabiting the same locality and having the same surname. but this is dated. Having the same surname is not a perfect definition, due to marriage, spelling variants and the fact that Boylans and Boyles, for example, have been distinctly separate septs for 1000 years with different Irish name heritage. And as we will see below, surnames are a relatively modern invention anyway. Originating from the same locality has been strongly diluted by invasions, religious persecution and the effects of famines and the the Irish Diaspora. Steam ships and modern aviation have made location into a temporary ongoing process. For the traditionally mobile Celts and Diaspora Boylans, who you are related to is often more important than where you geographically came from.

Y-DNA is a more modern way of approaching clan identity, however this definition is not universal due to females entering the clan by marriage, adoptions and the not completely unheard of practice of Boylan women occasionally fostering fatherless male clan members.

The genetic genealogy community uses the rather cold sounding term Non Paternal Event to indicate that the fathers name does not match the expected Y-DNA. There are various reasons for an unexpected Y-DNA result: 

    * Around the year 1000 AD, when surnames came into use in Ireland, people took (or were given) the surname of the local chief.
    * Enslaved persons in Raleigh NC took (or were given) the family name of William Montfort Boylan
    * The mother may have remarried and the husband gave her children his name. 
    * Grandma had a fling with the postman (More common than you thought - every 11th DNA test delivers unexpected results!)
    * Destitute, hungry or poor children were often adopted
    * Rape occurred in those days also
    * Clan Boylan conquered your crannog 900 years ago...
    * The clerk simply misspelled the birth- or immigration certificate

While Colla-Boylan DNA is a great sign that you are indeed a Boylan, any of the reasons above, coupled with the fact that you carry the name and feel like a Boylan are sufficient to make you a true Boylan. A large clan is a strong clan and you want to be part of a strong clan - right? We welcome you and are proud of you! Clan OBoylan includes 50% spouses, fosters and other volunteers who bring fresh DNA. So at the end of the day, Clan OBoylan membership is an inclusive state of mind. If you claim to be a member and offer your support - you are in! Your diverse DNA is very important for reasons of deep history. We look forward to helping find and publish your DNA story if you wish (Yes Raleigh we mean you!). Please contact us.

The all-inclusive Irish clan OBoylan was founded a very long time ago by Celts who worked as Roman mercenaries. DNA is described using the names of Haplogroups ranked by age of the mutation: Defining Colla-Boylan Haplogroup Chart. The DNA chart is mostly interesting for DNA experts, so lets attempt to tell the history of Clan Boylan with words and pictures.

One of these individuals was a female known as Mitochondrial Eve. The two migration theories are Coastal Migration (Southern Dispersal) and the Out Of Africa theory. Upon reaching the Eurasian continent, Homo Sapiens Sapiens spread out in different directions. The path that our ancestors took is marked in blue below. Genetic mutations occur over time, slowly modifying the gene pool with about 64 mutations per generation. These mutations generate divergent yet DNA-traceable Haplogroups. The red dots indicate the locations that fossils were found with ever newer Y-Chromosome mutations.


Rob Spencer has programmed an online SNP Tracker is a very useful tool which automatically generates maps like the above.

Click here to see the Colla-Boylan version of his map.

Click here to see the Clontibret-Boylan version of his map.

Raleigh Boylans we need your DNA T-SNP please so we can generate a unique map for you.

                                                                     IN THE VERY BEGINNING

Wikipedia has a very long chart about the Timeline of Human evolution starting out with life starting 4.100 million years ago.

 Acronyms  YBP = years before present, BCE Before Christina Era, CE = Christian Era, Aka = also known as.

4.8 million years ago  Homininans and Chimpanzees split into separate species.

4 million years ago - Beginning of Hunter Gatherers - This video shows how to safely collect fruit without getting eaten by a carnivore.

3.7 million years ago - Banding together to survive (birth of the Clan idea)

3.5 million years ago LUCY fell out of a tree and died.

3 million years ago: MUST SEE the first tool is used (A classic video!).

2.8 Mio years ago Homo Habilis

Paleolithic - Old Stone Age

2.6 million years ago: Our ancestors became ever more adept at using sticks and stones - see the exiting video. The Stone Age begins - the longest period of human history, encompassing the first 99 percent of all human experience. See the video about early stone age hunting

1.8 million years ago Homo Erectus (Ergaster) DNA hg38:21292569-T-G emerges in Central Africa

750.000 years ago Homo Heidelbergensis DNA A8835 evolves as a subspecies of Homo Erectus. Known to use fire.

277.000 ybp Homo Heidelbergensis splits into Homo Sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovians during the Upper Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Around this time, the original Homo Sapien Y-Chromosomal Adam , the common ancestor of the human race, sporting the Y chromosome A  aka A000-T, or  hg38:2844421-A-G that we are all descended from, probably lived in or around Niger.

242.000 ybp  Descendants of Adam living in Chad mutated to DNA A00-T aka PR2921 hg38:2922685-T-C

202.000 ybp Predecessors of Clan Boylan moved to Zaire. Scientists still call this DNA A Chromosome

                       A0-T-L1085 aka ISOGG = L1085 or FTDNA = L1090 rs72625368, hg38:2842113-A-G

180.000 ybp A0-V148 CTS2809/L991 found in central Africa

175.000 ybp Our cousins, the Neanderthals left Africa. They not only colonized Europe over 175.000 years ago , they also went east to inhabit Arabia.

162000 ybp A1-V168 aka DNA P305, V241, V250, YP3865 found in central Africa

132.000 ybp  A1a-T-V168 found in central Africa

127000 ybp A2-T-V221V aka M91 P108 identified by Cruciani and Scozzari

122.000 ybp Homo Sapiens with  B Chromosome BT-M42, BT-M168 are found in Uganda

88.000 ybp C Chromosome found in Yemen CT-M168

69.000 ybp CF-P143 (formerly called CT/xDE) found in the United Arab emirates

66.000 ybp The F Chromosome F-M89 emerges in Irak.         One of these individuals was a female known as Mitochondrial Eve.

65.000 ybp Scientists call the next known mutation GHIJK-F1329 in Iran aka S6378, M3658, F1329, PF2622, and YSC0001299

57.000 ybp HIJK-PF3494 emerges in Iran  aka F929, M578, PF3494 and S6397

49.000 ybp IJK-L15 aka S137, rs9786139, S138,  rs9786714 found in Iran

48.000 ybp K-M9 aka PF5506 rs3900 found in Iran

 47000 ybp K2-M526 aka PF5979 rs2033003 found in Iran

46.000 ybp K2b-P331 (K-YSC0000186 basel group not identified yet) was found in Turkmenistan

45.000 ybp Homo Sapiens P Chromosome P-F5850 identified in Kasachstan

44000 ybp  A later P-P295 (formerly misnamed K2b2) found in Kasachstan

42.000 ybp P1-M45 aka PF5962, PF5849, rs2574517 in Kasachstan. For some reason this band did a bit of walking to Mongolia. See the video about advanced stone age hunting

41.000 ybp Homo Sapiens Q Chromosome  QR-P284 aka rs4116821 identified in Northern Mongolia. Somewhere on this path they got civilized - see the video about how Clan culture and arts developed.

35.000 ybp QR-P226 aka PF5879 rs17250992 continued hunting north into Russia - on foot

34.000 ybp The oldest known sculpture in the world, a graceful horse was carved of mammoth tooth and left in Vogelherd cave in southwest Germany. Although the gifted artist was not our DNA ancestor, this remains a very important piece of stone age evidence that humans were thinking a lot about majestic, nutritional horses.

31.000 ybp Homo Sapiens R Chromosome R-M207 aka UTY2 was found in Russia

24.000 ybp Mal'ta boy. According to Haak et al. (2015), "Eastern European Hunter-Gatherers" (EHG) who inhabited today's Russia were a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high genetic affinity to a c. 24,000-year-old Siberian from Mal'ta–Buret' culture. According to research published since 2013, MA-1 belonged to a population related to the genetic ancestors of Siberians, American Indians, and Bronze Age Yamnaya and Botai

A major motion picture was made about this period: Click here to see the entertaining and exiting film ALPHA about how our stone age ancestors lived, ate, made boots and walked north in them, tamed a wolf and survived to pass their genes down to us. You can get a good look at their Boylan-boots at 5:33 and 10:08. The language is 100% Proto-Indo-European, but the film is very easy to understand - even without subtitles! 

23.000 ybp R1 aka R-M173 P241 The latest Ice Age starts. Glaciers come down from the north! Clan Boylan headed south back to Kasachstan again.

Mesolithic: Mid Stone Age (during the Ice Age!)

A sexy time - research from 2010 proves that some interbreeding with Neanderthals and Denesovians occured during the last ice age. About 2% (up to 6%) of the DNA of modern humans was donated by these, our older Neanderthal ancestors who colonized Europe over 175.000 years ago.

21.000 ybp R1b aka  R-M343 (P25 2001 -2005) Hg1, EU 18, PF6242 rs9786184 found in Turkmenistan - Ice Age

20.500 ybp R1b1 aka R-L754, R-L278, PF6269, YSC0000022, rs7893073 found in Turkmenistan Ice Age

20,000 ybp R1b1a aka R-L388 L389, V88, PF6531 rs1358368 found in Iran Ice Age

16,000 ybp R1b1a aka R-P297 PF6398, MF48762, rs9785702 Causasus Pontic and Caspian flatlands

                                             The Ice Age Ends!

13.300 ybp R1b1a1b M269 aka PF6517 R1b1a1a2 MF53029 rs9786153  found in Dnieper-Donets

                             Confusion of the scientists - M269 was previously classified as R1b1a2 (2003 to 2005), R1b1c (2005 to 2008), and R1b1b2 (2008 to 2011)[

7400 ybp The Early Kvalynsk Culture After analyzing ancient European languages, researchers came to the logical conclusion that they all stem from a common language called Early Proto Indo-European. Much research has been conducted in the reconstruction of this unwritten language over the last 100 years. A large vocabulary has been documented. Proto-Indo-European (PIE) words are spelled with a preceeding asterisk: *. For example the word *domus which needs no translation. You can easily understand the numbers of PIE also.  

Neolithic New Stone Age

7000 ybp The Dnieper–Donets culture flourished north of the Black Sea from 5000-4200 BC. They clearly influenced the following Yamnaya culture and many had R1b1 DNA                                                            


                                           Wikipedia: Forensic facial reconstruction of a male from the Dnieper-Donets culture

Dnieper-Donets males and Yamnaya males carry similar types of Y-DNA, although Yamnaya mtDNA suggests admixture with females from other cultures. (Anthony, David 2019a. "Archaeology, Genetics, and Language in the Steppes: A Comment on Bomhard". Journal of Indo-European Studies. 47. )

Chalcolithic - The Age of Copper

6421 ybp Big Tree R1b1a1b1-L23  aka PF6534 S141 R1b1a1a2a rs9785971 found in Ukraine. This was the beginning of the period of the Classic Proto-Indo-European (PIE) the language  that influenced Europe. The late Kvalynsk Culture and early Repin peoples spoke PIE

6400 ybp Big Tree R1b1a1b1a- L51 aka M412 PF6536 S167 rs9786140 This was the majority haplogroup of the late period Repin culture, Western Russian Steppe and even further west into Bulgaria. Carlos Quiles: A Game of Clans p168-171. The Repins were from the western lower Don and the middle Volga. The Repin expansion is rightfully considered by many researchers as the early stage of the Yamna culture...

5500 ybp The descendants of Eastern European Hunter-Gatherers and a population from this pocket of Caucasus hunter-gatherers who weathered much of the last Ice Age in apparent isolation mixed. ("Europe's fourth ancestral 'tribe' uncovered". BBC. 16 November 2015). The Repin and other peoples of the Pontic steppes around the Caspian pooled their knowledge and cultures and formed a very powerful civilization called the Yamnaya. The Pontic steppes are the strongest candidate for the Urheimat (original homeland) of Proto-Indo-European.

5450 ybp R1b1a1b1a1 P310 aka P311  L52, PF6546 S129, rs9786283 - The Yamnaya culture (late Proto-Indo-Europeans) spread their language out over the steppe all the way to Hungary.

Five Yamnaya Innovations:

Five innovations empowered the Yamnaya to develop from pedestrian hunter gatherers to mounted cowboys and later on to soldiers. (Adapted from Frinculesa, Preda and Heyd 2015)

1. Yamnaya became ranchers living from herds of cattle. They ate lots of beef protein combined with a low ratio of starch and carbohydrates and over time they became tall and massively built. According to DNA studies by Haak (2015), Wilde (2014) and Mathieson (2015): they were overwhelmingly dark-eyed (brown), dark-haired and had a skin color that was moderately light, though somewhat darker than that of the average modern European.


Wikipedia: Forensic facial reconstructions of three Yamnaya males

2. Yamnaya cowboys ranged westward always looking for greener pastures for their cattle. This increased mobility also increased trade and technical innovations including metallurgy. Later on these metallurgy skills would arm their descendants, enabling them eventually to conquer Rome. Yamnaya were very mobile so there were few permanent settlements.

A Yamnaya-Boylan shoe (Click for a pic!) has been found in good condition in Armenia. Both the region of the find and the time period indicate that this shoe was probably manufactured by someone at least loosely related to our proto Clan. There is even more evidence: very similar shoes called 'pampooties' were worn on the Aran Islands (in the West of Ireland) up to the 1950s. Two of them were found in a Monaghan Crannog.

3. The new cattle-based economy, coupled with the highly mobile, nomadic lifestyle brought major changes in the norms, values, religion and traditions of the Yamnaya.

4. Pit graves under visible Tumuli / kurgan mounds where the dead were arrayed with knees bent in a fetal position and covered in ocher became a tradition of the Yamnaya that gave them their name. Yamnaya is a Russian adjective that means 'related to pits (yama). These kurgans became visible landmarks in the steppe, documenting both ancestors, and land rights. According to Pavel Dolukhanov, the emergence of the Pit-Grave culture represents a social development of various local Bronze Age cultures, representing "an expression of social stratification and the emergence of chiefdom-type nomadic social structures".


                                                                   Wikipedia: Yamnaya Pit Grave with bent knees

5. The fifth Yamnaya change is the most important. Our Yamnaya ancestors invented, patented and produced one of the first wheel applications in the world. They soon developed robust wheeled carts (one was found in the Storozhova mohyla kurgan, and another at Ostanni). Later these covered wagons or mobile homes enabled the Yamnaya cowboys to take their families, possessions and sufficient water with them as they traveled across the endless steppes of the wild wild east. This was 4700 years before the Conestoga wagons of the American wild west. The wheel was a big development of our Proto-Clan. Our Yamnaya ancestors were destined to shape the destiny of western Europe.

5000 ybp R1b1a1b1a1a L11 L151 Marker Big Tree The horse-borne, cart-driving, chieftain-led, boot-, pottery- copper- and later even bronze weapon making, pit-grave digging, meat-eating nomad herders of the Yamnaya culture began to migrate from the Caucasus into Western Europe. Westward Yamnaya migration continued north of the Black Sea (more like a long series of westward invasions and conquests!). The advanced bronze-age technology of the Yamnaya was decisive! You gotta click the link to found out how well-armed bands of Yamnaya men went westwards to Europe and won the hearts of the women they found there. Our ancestors were simply irresistible!

Iain McDonald says "Allentoft and other recent studies (Haak, Lazardis, etc.) give a very strong indication that L11 formed and arrived in north-western / north-central Europe around 3000 BC. Archaeologically, it ties in very well with the Corded Ware culture and its precursors. ... We can therefore be pretty confident that L11 arrived in modern-day Germany at some point between 3400 BC and 2500 BC. We don't know if it was with the Corded Ware culture, shortly before them (e.g. the associated Globular Amphorae culture), or shortly after the initial wave."

Bronze Age - Yamnaya Horizon and exploration

4821 ybp R1b1a1b1a1a2 P312 Big Tree This Yamnaya descendant and pioneer of the west was found in Southern Germany. Western Europe has a very large subclade of L11. Per Haak et al. (2015), the Yamnaya contribution in the modern populations of Eastern Europe ranges from 46.8% among Russians to 42.8% in Ukrainians. Finland has one of the highest Yamnaya contributions in all of Europe (50.4%)

4587 ybp   R1b1a1b1a1a2c1   L21 / S145 aka M529, L459, rs11799226 Big Tree   Found in Brittany and called Atlantic Celtic

4145 ybp DF13/S521 Big Tree   aka R-S521, R-Z2542, R-CTS8221, CTS241, S521, rs373989227 found in Britain

Another adventurous pre-Celt Y3550 R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a3 (close to DF13) made it to Pollnagollum in Fermanagh Ireland! We are not descended from him, but he was an uncle. This is one of the earliest DNA samples found by Dr. Cassidy (submitted by Honorable Clan Historian Ciaran Boylan).

4114 ybp  DF21/S192 Big Tree   aka S192*, P312-4h*, rs138322855 The main body of the Yamnaya Horizon leave the Pontic-Caspian steppes via the Carpathian Mountains and follow the Danube River near what is todays Budapest. (The Horse, the Wheel, and Language, Anthony, 2007 page 461). Our ancestors spread their Proto-Celtic language along the way and brought their significant Bronze age metallurgy skills with them to the northern European Alps.

4021 ybp   S971 Big Tree aka R-Z3017 Z3017 R-Z16267 S3842 S7855 AM00512 AMM294 rs148603310 found in Britain

3886 ybp   R-Z3001 aka  A51, R-F24434 rs1033806407 found in Britain in 1886 BCE

Iron Age - The Celts

800 BC - A branch of the Yamnaya became known as the Celts. They spoke proto-Celtic and became strong in the area around Hallstadt, Austria. Hallstadt C Celts had clearly defined laws and religion. Celts became very successful miners of salt and iron ore that they found in the mountains around Hallstadt. Having this brand -new rather hard metal called iron, they naturally became expert sword smiths. Iron swords were much harder than bronze and permitted Celts to become formidable warriors and even to conquer Rome some 500 years later. Here is a long list of Celtic Tribes

600 BC The Hallstadt D Celts continued their migration to Switzerland, France and southern Germany. They were called the La Tene and they traded for goods that were shipped to the Greek colony of Marseilles. David K Faux describes Celts as tall and sturdy warriors with light hair and blue eyes. The Celts must have picked up the light hair from mothers encountered during westward expansion, because their Yamnaya ancestors were said to be dark haired. (Haak 2015, Wilde 2014 and Mathieson 2015).

480 BC La Tene Celts expand to the North-West colonizing the Marne River, France, Mosel River, Germany. They sent the usual trading expeditions to scout the Atlantic coast of France and Belgium.  Fossils containing the L21 M529 Marker (stemming from 2587 BC) became known as Atlantic Celts. The North-Gaullish subgroup that controlled Belgium were called Belgae Celts. After the Celts living in what is now France were conquered (well all except Asterix...), the Belgae Celts started to have an increasingly bumpy relationship with their Roman neighbors. Although they they fought many rear guard battles with the Romans to protect their Belgian home, again it was time to move on westwards - to join their Celtic brothers who had already invaded England thousands of years earlier according to DNA evidence.

150 BCE - Historian Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandra draws a map of Ireland showing the tribes of the time. The relationships of the old-style Proto clan names mentioned by Ptolmy to Clan Boylan is a matter for more historical and DNA research.

220 BCE David K Faux. wrote: It is, however, a matter of record that peoples of the Celtic-speaking world were highly skilled in modes of transportation (wagons, chariots, roadbuilding, shipbuilding and sailing),and there may have been constant communication from the Atlantic Ocean across Europe to the Black Sea. As an example, during the time of Hannibals crossing of the Alps (circa 220 BC), the Greek Senate of Masilia (Marseilles) asked the local Celts to communicate with the Celts of Anatolia and request their non-hostility toward Lampsacos.

75 BCE Some Belgae Celts fled Roman oppression, crossed the English Channel to Britain and settled in Braughing, Hertfordshire. There they become known as Trinovantes. The rich style of Trinovant burials (facies of Aylesford) is clearly of continental origin and solid evidence that they had late La Tene burial customs.

50 BC Pritani-Celts ( A catch-all term including our Trinovantes) stop Julius Caesers attempt to invade Britain.

10 BCE The Trinovant King Addomarus moved his capitol from Braughing to the then already 1000-year-old Pritani town in Essex, southern England, where Colchester now stands and renamed it Camulodunon , meaning The Fortress of Camulos, the Pritani god of war. Having observed the fate that his Celtic bretherin in France had suffered in the hands of the Roman Empire, he then proceeded to build an impressive series of earthworks to the west and south of his capitol.


CE 43 The Roman General  Aulus Plautius invaded Britain with four Roman legions: IX Hispana, then in Pannonia; II Augusta; XIV Gemina; and XX Valeria Victrix, plus about 20,000 auxiliary troops, including Thracians and Batavians. He landed at landed at Richborough in Kent and was attacked by the Catuvellauni, who wisely used only guerilla tactics. After several battles, Plautius reached the Thames River, and sent for Claudius, who brought elephants and heavy siege weapons. Together they completed the march to Camulodunon.

 When the Romans arrived at Camulodunon and looked at the nicely fortified center of Trinovant power, the General Aulus Plautius surely made the current ruler an offer he could not refuse. The King had a tough decision to make: He could keep his sovereignty and face the full might of the Roman empire, or choose to become assimilated and forced to fully cooperate with the Roman occupation forces, but he could remain King-Regent. The Trinovant leader chose the latter course of action. . His soldiers were now paid, trained, equipped and partially civilized by the Romans (who still regarded them as barbarians), because divide and conquer seemed to work well for the Romans.

The Romans re-named Camulodunon to Camulodunum, a name that all readers of Asterix and Obelix will understand to be a Roman fortress. The modern English name Colchester is also from the Latin: the place-name suffixes -chester, -cester, and -caster stem from the Latin word Castrum (fortified place). After some time, discharged Roman soldiers were given land near Camulodunum, according to the Roman rules regarding military pensions. This area was called Colonia Claudia Victricensis. According to Tacitus, the Roman veterans "drove people out of their houses, ejected them from their farms, called them captives and slaves".

The French called the city Colchestre, the Romans also called it Colchestria. The best name of all has a story: OHart wrote that the Culkins were descended from a tribe called the Colca, whos most well-known member may have been the legendary Old King Cole. Coles kin would have been Colekin or Culkin and Coles Fortress was of course Colchester. Geneticist Patrick McMahon postulates that Clan Culkins might have been the ancestor of Clan Colla. More DNA samples are needed to clarify this. Schlegel wrote "As late as the middle ages, the western gate of the city of Colchester was pointed out as the site of King Coel's Castle."

The ancient city Camulodunon has often been proposed as the site of Camelot (King Arthurs court).

CE 60/61 The Roman historian Tacitus wrote that the Trinovantes (and others) revolted against the Romans and lay Camulodunum to waste, especially targeting the Roman Colonia Claudia Victricensis for revenge. Regretfully for the Trinovantes, the Romans eventually regained control.


CE 87.  R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a5d3a~  R-Z3000 aka S951, S3852, A50, AMM297, AM00515, RS139104721 Defining Marker for Clan Collaound in Britain

The Romans had solidified their control of Britain and were already up north, worrying about the Scots in AD 87. Due to issues with the Romans and turf wars with the neighboring Catuvellauni Clan this was a particularly trying time for the Trinovantes. Their top leaders must have made a shrewd analysis about the power structure situation and the advantages of a steady Roman paycheck and decided to support the Romans as mercenaries.

Eventually, the Romans must have tasked their loyal Trinovantes Legion with police duties in Wales

  • Name theory 1: It is common custom to name somebody by the place from whence they came: Either the Welsh or probably the Catuvellauni probably began to call Trinovantes Colla after the river Colne which flows through Colchester.
  • Name theory 2: King Cole of Cole-chester really existed, (perhaps was himself descended from Addomarus) and the Colla were his progeny.

One of the early Colla leaders passed a very defining null DNA marker called Z3000 - S951 roughly dated to the year 87 AD on to his progeny. Clan Coill or Coel or Colla must have been loyal soldiers with good connections with the Roman overlords for 200 years. They got paid, were given plum tasks like pillaging Wales as long as they kept the situation there well under control. In turn the Collas handed out choice jobs in the Colla Legion to their own Colla clan members - they stacked the deck, building a warlike Clan on a Roman budget.

CE 250 R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a5d3a1~  R-Z3006.1 aka S959 rs148388353  Oriel, Ireland

CE 330 The newest leader of the Colla Legion had 3 sons around this year. The brothers were distinctively named in Roman style convention (a personal first name, followed by family name, followed by an epithet):

  1. Cairell Colla - Uais / the noble  (ancestor of Clan Boylan, Clan Donohue) became Ard-righ (High King) in Ireland.                                                            
  2. Muredach Colla - fo Crach the "mercenary" or da Crioch / "of the two lands" (Ancestor of MacMahon)                                                           
  3. Aed (or Eocha) Colla- Mend or Meann /"the famous" died in battle in AD 392. OHart writes that Colla-Menn had a son called Mughdorn or Mourne. Up to now however, no DNA descendants have been connected to Colla Menn on the Big Tree. A district of Monaghan is called Crioch Mourn (Country of Mourne) = modern Cremourn.  

AD 355 When they grew up, their father gave the three Colla brothers extensive military training in the Roman army. They each became a Roman Centurio and each had over 100 soldiers. While subduing Wales for the Romans, the Colla brothers learnt the art of conquest and how to subdue and control local Celts with taxes.

AD 360 The Roman Empire was having internal difficulties on the continent and could not focus on Britain any longer. One of the first ways this was noticed was the abrupt end of the steady paycheck of the mercenaries. According to Donald Schlegel, mass desertions occurred in the Roman army in Britain, as the Roman Empire slowly imploded.

Sources for this version of the founding of Clan Colla are "The Origin of the Three Collas and the Fall of Emain," by Donald M. Schlegel, Volume XVI, No. 2, 1998, pp. 159-181 and "Reweaving the Tapestry of Ancient Ulster," by Donald M. Schlegel, Volume XVII, No. 3, 2002, pp. 689-749


As we will see below, the mighty King mentioned was Fergus Foga on the Plain of Farney.

ERRATA: Although the classic Colla relationship to Eocaidh described by the Four Masters and echoed by Keating has been contradicted by DNA data, this quotation in The History of Ireland by Geoffrey Keating remains important. (1569-1644 Translated into English from the original Irish by John O'Mahony, 1857.). OHart writes that noble families like the Boylans are descended from the Collas Volume II p. 577 Clan Colla, but he lists us as stemming from Colla Crioch. However DNA evidence on Peters Pioneers firmly connects Clan Boylan with the high king Colla Uais.  OK he was close to the truth.

OHart Volume I p. 365 confuses Colla Boylans with French Boyles and Milesian Bolands this self-perpetuating error is why Boylans are often said to be from the Milesian - Heremon line - while we actually have proven Colla DNA!

DNA tests have documented that the passage of  the three Colla Brothers left 17% of the current population of Wales with haplogroup R-Z3000-6. This massive genetic footprint is proof of the eventful Colla passage from Colchester to the east cost of Wales. It may have taken them some years to perform this prodigious, mind -boggling task. The sheer amount of Colla DNA evidence in Wales makes a Trinovant beginning of Clan Colla seem much more likely than Keatings version (Scotland). Keatings mistake will be explained below.

AD 370? (326 Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland) The 3 Collas crossed from Wales into northern Ireland. According to tradition, the Three warlike Collas killed their uncle, Fíacha Sroiptine, at the Battle of Dubhchomar, in Crioch Rois, Breagh, with Colla Uais taking the kingship in Fíacha's place for three years.

AD 372? (329) King Colla Uais, ancestor of Clan Boylan, became Ard-righ (High-King) and ruled Ireland for four years. (The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn dates Colla Uais' High Kingship to 306–310), The Annals of the Four Masters dates his High Kingship to 322–326

AD 373? (333) Fiacha's son Muiredach Tirech found a way to banish the Three Collas, temporarily exiling them to the Roman province of Alba (Scotland). (This bit may have been the information leading to Keatings garbled version of the Colla story, simply forgetting that they originally came from Wales...) Kids - this is what happens when you listen to sound bites instead of reading all the chapters of the book.

AD 392 DNA estimate according to the Big Tree (AD 357 Irish Annals & OHart page 575 or AD 331 Keating quoting the Four Masters)...through the influence of the King of Alba (Scotland) and the meditation of the Druids, they were afterwards pardoned by the Irish Monarch, who cordially invited them to return to Ireland and received them with great favour.

It seems that the Irish King Muiredach was having troubles with the Uliad: Fergus Dubh-Dheadach had insulted one of his ancestors, so he hatched an elegant plan to use the Collas as a spearhead to teach the Uliad a lesson. Indeed this may be the reason that he invited the Collas so cordially to come back to Ireland. Muiredach suggested to the Colla brothers, that the Collas might like to have territory of their own again. It did not take much coaxing to fire up these military men and send them off to conquer his enemies in Ulster.

OHart writes in Irish Pedigrees page 576 that the warlike Colla brothers collected quite an army. Their own personal units of 3 x 100 battle-hardened Roman guardsmen + other deserters from the Roman Army, conquered Welsh second sons that had joined up and of course the Colla kin that they brought back with them from Scotland and called up from Colchester and Wales. On top of this, King Muiredeach and the Firbolg tribe of the Connaughta augmented the Colla forces adding seven catha (3000 soldiers each according to OHart). The resulting army of 21000+ soldiers seems slightly exaggerated for those times, but we do get the idea that it was a BIG army that attacked the Uliad of Ulster.

The Battles of the Three Collas - Cath-na ttri-g Colla

392 AD The Battle of Achadh Leith-Dheirge consisted of seven battles over seven days.                                                                                                 Red Field or Carnroe Source Wikipedia

The Collas marched east and found the powerful Ulaid at Achadh Leithdheirg on the Plain of Farney (Currin 5 miles south of Clones or 8 miles south of what later became the Boylan crannog at Lough Ooney), in modern day Monaghan.

Black Pigs Ditch or -Dyke (also known as Worms Ditch) was a prehistoric east/west fortification built to defend against cattle raids. It worms its way for 6 miles west - east through Currin Parish. According to Irish legend it was created by the tusks of a huge black boar or worm. Excavations in Monaghan have found that the original AD 370 construction was a substantial timber palisade next to a double bank with an intervening ditch. At the time of the battle these, fortifications had been newly built or reinforced by the Uliad, so they were expecting visitors.(errata 331 AD according to the 4 masters but the date is much too early!)

An ancient highway passing from Connaught and Bally Connell through Cornapaste (west of Scotshouse, Currin) crossed Black Pigs Ditch and continued north to Clones, Clogher and the Kingdom of the Uliad. The experienced three Colla Generals were following this highway from the southwest and probably viewed the place where it dissected the Uliad defenses at Black Pigs Ditch on the southern border of present day Mongahan as a weak point.

In the Onomasticon Goedelicum mention is made of a place name in Ulster described as Currach Leithdeirg - "the red bog". In the townland of Corrinary in east Monaghan lies a swamp known locally as - "the red bog". The army of the Three Collas may have made their breakthrough through this weak point in the earthworks defense. See the MAP

On the seventh day of battle, King Fergus Foga of Ulster killed the youngest of the three brothers, Colla Menn. Then Colla Uais killed King Fergus and won the final battle.  Eocha Colla Menn was interred at Eocha Lethderg, (meaning half red or bloody), modern Aghaladerg. The Book of Rights claims that after the battle the the earth was covered with dead bodies for 10 miles. The Three Collas took from the Ulaid the land west of Glen Righe and Loch nEathach (Lough Neagh). At the Glen Righe, the Three Collas stopped and returned westwards to destroy Emhain Macha.

While the Ulstermen retreated to a reduced Kingdom of Uliad, Colla Uais and Colla Crioch burned Emain Macha, the Ulster capital, after which it was abandoned. The Collas organized an Irish Kingdom Airghialla including the conquered portion of Ulster, from Louth in the south to Derry in the north, and from Loch Neagh to Loch Erne . The Colla Kingdom of Airghialla lay in a buffer zone between Uliad and the ONiels. Colla descendants provided mercenary services for the ONiel, Tara dynasty until well into the 5th century. Collas were a military-disciplined extended fighting family (common among Roman military) employing the very latest Roman weaponry and tactics. Such a small disciplined force was able to wreak havoc among the largely untrained local farmers allowing the Collas to capture crannog after crannog. Whatever the details, the Collas were able to acquire enough territory to sustain and grow their population over the next few generations. The Collas didn't come by their kingdom of Airghialla easily. It took a few generations of Collas to complete it.

The fact that the Airghialla Clans often fought each other shows that the Collas were better warriors than rulers. Despite this, the Colla Kingdom of Airghialla (Oriel) endured for about 1000 years. Airgalla later consisted of federated Clans under loose central control. Clan Colla progeny were styled Kings of Oriel until 1100 AD, when the Kingdom was diminished, first by the ONiels and later by the Norman/English invasion.

John OHart wrote in Irish Pedigrees V2 about the name of the Colla Kingdom: The territory conquered by the Collas in Ulster obtained the name Orgiall from the circumstance of their having, for themselves and for their posterity, stipulated with the Monarch, that if at any time any Princes or Chiefs of Clan Colla should be demanded as hostages, and if shackled, their fetters should be chains of gold. The Irish words Or(gold) and ghial (hostage) = Orghial.

387 CE - BRENNUS the Marne Celt (a very distant relative) sacks ROME! July 18th 387 BC was a date etched forever into the psyche of all Romans: When the Romans complained that the scales used to weigh the tribute in gold were rigged, the Celtic leader Brennus allegedly threw his sword on the scales and uttered the now famous phrase, woe to the vanquished.

407 CE R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a5d3a1a~ Z3008 Colla Erc aka S962 AM00505 AMM287 rs147950514

High King Cairell Colla Uais has a son named Erc The DNA of a related very well documented McDonald Clan member combined with a Big-Y-FTDNA test has made it possible to link Clan OBoylan with Colla Uais. Colla-Erc is the last ancestor common to Clan OBoylan and Clan Mac Mahon.

The birth of Colla-Erc very roughly coincides with the legendary foundation of the Kingdom of Dartraighe in Southern Airghialla (Oriel). The original inhabitants of the area of north Roscommon, east Sligo, west Leitrim and southern Monaghan were probably descended from Mesolithic (stone age) tribes like the Tuatha De Danaan that inhabited Ireland before the Celtic invasions. Early tribal names sometimes came from ancient religions. The people in this region probably prayed to a Calf Deity called Dartraighe. (Note - The Dartrighe tribe had a second power base in northern Briefne - modern Leitrim).

432 CE - The English cleric Patrick begins his ministry in Armagh in Ulster.

440 CE Colla-Ercs son Colla-Carthend is born. 

470 CE Colla-Carthends son, Colla-Muredach is born. He may have subdued the ancient Crannog (or perhaps he simply married in), taking control of the pre-celtic kingdom of Dartraighe, and all of the inhabitants (The Calf People), cattle and the land. Josiah McGuire discovered a DNA group Airghialla 1. It was later found to be Colla and appears to have been prominent in the South Tyrone – North Monaghan area from the sixth century, if not earlier.

Dartraighe Coinn Innsi (Dartry of the Island Chief) in the southern part of Colla-Oriel. The annals refer to a lake in Dartraighe (Monaghan) called Inner Lough click here for a map (near Cootehill) with its small island - an old Crannog (old Irish for wooden island fortress) the name Dartraige Coinn Innsi means Dartry of the Island Chief


                                   A Crannog (Wooden Island Fortress) - Photo by Christine Westerback, CC BY-SA 2.0

Historical references in the years 1297 and 1372 (see below) mention the Calf People of Dartraighe Coinnse. The general area is named after the Dartraige -also spellt n-Dartraighi, Dairtre Dartree, Dartrey, Dartraige Coininnsi, Dairtre,or Dartry. It is quite interesting to note that the Texas town in an early scene of the Django movie remake was also named Dartraighe.

The borders of the Gaelic Túath living in in Dartreigh lay between the Clones, to the south to the village of Scotshouse and east over to the Lough Dromore and river. Túath is an ancient Proto-Indo-European term brought west by Caucasian Yamnaya settler/invaders meaning tribe. A Túath was the smallest political and jurisdictional unit of Gaelic Ireland, so Túath refers both to a geographical territory and the the ca. 10.000 people who lived there.)

478 CE R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a5d3a1aX R-S953 aka AM00500  Death of Colla-Amalgad, the 5th generation of Clan Colla, with the DNA marker SNP S953. Founder of CLAN BOYLAN of Dartraighe (Recent DNA evidence on the Big Tree). Colla-Amalgad was succeeded  on the throne by his son Cairpre Daim Airgit who did not contimue carrying the name Colla. Cairpre Daim Airgit had seven sons. One son may have died in 503. Another son was named Daimhin (Colla). Clan Collas 6th generation

503 CE R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a5d3a1aXY ZZ2 aka FTDNA R-ZZ13_1 - a multi-component palindrome)  aka BY516, Z351 rs766261175. Possible death of a son.of Cairpre Daim Airgit who ruled Airghialla and is associated with the Clan Colla-Boylan marker ZZ2 = ZZ13. This marker is shared by the following clans: Boylan, one of the McDonald* septs, McGuire, Kelly, Biggins, McAuley, Boylan, Larkin, and one of several septs called King. *The Big Tree contains 4 individual McDonalds that trace back 43 generations to Colla Uais. The shared ZZ2 = ZZ13 DNA marker proves that Boylans also stem from Colla Uais. OHart writes that noble families like the Boylans are cescended from the Collas Volume II VII p. 577 Clan Colla, 

Prince Daimhin (Davin Colla) Lord of Fermanagh was the seventh generation of Clan Colla and also carried the marker ZZ2 = ZZ13. Family Tree DNA confirms that Boylans and Kellys are descended from Daimhin (Colla). According to Rootsweb, the Colla-O'Boylan (O'Baoigheallain) Sept were firmly in power as kings ruling Dartraighe by the 8th century, but actually our power came in a very smooth transition of heredity because some Boylans are actually just Collas with a new name. Here is a 700 AD map of our ancient Ulster Region. Boylans remained influential in Dartraighe until 1200. Note - our family name was first mentioned in Annals in 998. The historian Reverend Patrick Woulfe 1923, also claimed that the name Boylan was closely associated with the kingdom of Oriel (Airghialla) in the North Midlands of Ireland. They are also mentioned by OHart in Heremon Geneaologies Chapter IV page 403 (although they are Collas, not Milesian/Heremons).

513 CE Prince Daimhins father, Cairpre Daim Airgit (Colla), the King of Airghialla died, according to the Book of Ballymote (written in 1390). 514 AD (according to the Annals of Ulster).

575 CE Z16274 Clans McMahon, Hughes, Carroll, Higgins, Callan, McQuillan are linked by the marker Z16274 to Colla Crioch (the brother of Boylan ancestor, the High King Colla Uais)

667 CE R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a5d3a1aXYZ BY24138 Peters Pioneers and BY24138 chart on Big Tree marks Clan Colla-Boylan and Donohoe/King subgroups.  Markers STR 447=26, 437=14.

719 CE The most famous Boylan Crannog in Mongahan, Lough Ooney, between Clones and Smithborough is first mentioned in the Annals of Ulster.. There is some discussion if Crannogs were temporary refuges of the Clan Chief, but: The great mass of bones, however, and remains of household gear, found upon and around some of the sites, point conclusively to their having been places of residence for long and various periods, and many of them bear signs which denote their having been often demolished, burnt, and rebuilt, the Celt clinging to his watery home with as much pertinacity as in latter days he clings to his cottage on terra firma.

Source Peadar Livingstone, The Monaghan Story, p. 35. A footnote by O'Donovan describes Lough Ooney as follows: Loch Uaithne: i.e. Uaithne's Lough, now Lough Ooney, situated near the village of Smithborough (Drumcru), in the barony of Dartry and County of Monaghan. The chief of Dartraighe-Coininse had his principal residence at this lake, and hence was sometimes called lord of Loch-Uaithne Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland,

Volume 1. Dublin: Hodges, Smith and Company. 1856. pp. 482–3. Retrieved 18 January 2013.

Lough Ooney [was] undoubtedly the most important centre in the story of early Christian settlement in west Monaghan. On the eastern shore of this lake are the crannógs which formed the centre of the ancient ríocht or kingdom of Dartraighe-Coninse, from which the later barony of Dartrey, including the district of Connons, takes its name. — Livingstone, The Monaghan Story, p. 38

The Lake Dwellings of Ireland: P35 Crannogs were not small villages - they were the exclusive residence of the Clan Chief and his family. These man-made islands, which mostly date from 400AD to 1600AD were initially built for defense against attack, but as time passed they more commonly used as way for a local Chieftain to show his importance.

Page 151: In a plan-drawing of the siege of Enniskillen castle, in the year 1592, the remains of a crannog appear in the river close to the castle, where seemingly a circle of stakes encloses a diminutive island. The survey or maps of the county Monaghan, made by one Francis Jobson in 1590, though meagre, and certainly as its designer expresses in an apologetic note to Burghley " nothing perfect," is nevertheless highly interesting by reason of the rude sketches of the water-laved abodes of the chiefs of Monaghan.

Another Boylan Crannog was found In 1867, the remains of a dwelling brought to light in the town land of Cargaghoge, in former lake, near Carrickmacross, county Monaghan.


                                                   The Lake Dwellings of Ireland: or, Ancient lacustrine habitations of Erin, commonly called Crannogs -

                                                                       by Wood-Martin, W. G. (William Gregory), 1847-1917 frontispiece



Found at a crannog site in Monaghan: Two shoes, one a childs, were made from stitched leather. Heavily decorated combs were fashioned from bone. Bone and antler was also used to make these needles. This photograph used with kind permission of the Monaghan County Museum. Note - these are fairly recent modern Boylan shoes (around 900 CE?): see the solid historic evidence of Boylan Clan shoe making in the entries for 27.000 BC and 3350 BC (The design remained unchanged for 5500 years!)... further above in this text.

720 AD The Kingdom of Farney and Dartraighe were synonymous because in those days they were in exactly the same location-  the capitol being the Boylan Ccrannog of Lough Ooney. Livingstone, The Monaghan Story, p. 41 writes that the Farney later migrated south taking their Kingdom with them: While still at Lough Ooney, the Ua Nadsluaig has been known as the Fir Fernmaige and their kings as kings of Fernmaig, or Farney. When they migrated, they brought this name with them and eventually gave it to part of the area where they settled. As a result, the barony of Farney is today in south Monaghan, many kilometers from where the name began. Were the Ua Nadsluaig (Farney) later called Ua Cerbaill - (O Carrol perhaps from Cairell Colla Uais) related to Clan OBoylan? A DNA comparison seems to be desireable.


                                                       Late Celtic Insular Art (ca 600 CE)  Bronze tea pot found in putative OBoylan Chieftains Crannog

An ancient drink-server made of bronze, was discovered in the Boylan Crannog on Lough Ruscaigh (Rooskey), Killeevan, Monaghan in 1876. It is seven inches high and 4 in diameter. The spout branches into two monsters heads. The legs are finished like claws. Concentric bands containing animal orientation encircle the body furnish distinct evidence of late Celtic art. The OBoylan Crannog on Lough Ruscaigh must have been overrun by the MacMahon Clan around 1250 AD.

The following antiquities were found on crannog sites in the county Monaghan but the exact localities not mentioned : Three bronze celts, with loops on their side in one instance traces of the handle still remained ; a bronze dagger, twelve inches in length ; two double-pointed bronze arrow-heads ; a bronze gouge or chisel ; the head of a bronze hunting-spear ; part of a bronze sword ; a bronze cap, seemingly the termination of the butt of some weapon ; the bronze handle of a javelin or spear, with loop attached ; the boss of a shield of bronze ; a bronze knife, with traces of gilding ; two bronze daggers, the one ten and a-half inches, the other seven inches in length ; several bronze rings of different sizes, two of them with transverse spring openings, others hollow, being probably parts of armour or horse-trappings ; two bronze needles ; a bronze pin, the head hollowed like a cup ; several bronze pins, of which some were ornamented, and two were of large size and common type ; parts of bronze fibulae ; fragments of several bronze instruments and numerous rivets ; a small circular bell and three bronze hair-pins of various sizes. Archeological Journal, vol. iii., pp. 47-8. The Lake Dwellings of Ireland: P196

800 - See the 800 AD map of the ancient Ulster Region. For a feeling of the life and times and hostage taking of this period for the Saxon point of view, read The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell.

849 "Caireall, son of Ruadhrach, lord of Lough Uaithne (Oooney), was slain by the Conaille." The Annals of the Four Masters

869 - Martan of Dartraighe, abbot of Cluain moccu Nais and of Daiminis, Eneskillen, Fermanagh, rested. (Annals of Ulster?)

901 - Dartraighe is listed as part of the federated Kingdom of Airgíalla (Oriel) in The Book of Rights, and included there in a poem credited to Benén, son of Sescnén, Patricks cantor. The King probably was a Boylan (even though he was not named explicitly by Benén) because Dartrighe Túath was hereditarily controlled by Clan OBoylan during this era.

            The king of Dartraige, a flame of valour,
            is entitled to four bondsmen of great labor,
            four swords hard in battle, four horses,
            and four golden shields.

916 - Patrimony of names began about 916 AD: The death of Tigerneach Ua Cleirigh (= grandson of Cleary) is supposedly the oldest recorded family/clan surname in Europe. Before this everyone usually only had one or two unique names. For the traditionally mobile Celt/Gaels it had previously been more important who you were related to than where you geographically originated.

917? - A baby prince BOYLAN was born to the King of Dartraighe. The young boy may have been demanded by the ONiels or other Collas as a hostage to ensure the payment of tribute and the continued loyalty of his father. In this case, he might have grown up as a prince in his host family, making connections and learning diplomacy and governance. We do not know the name to the Chief that took him hostage, but his new mother simply called the child Baiogheallain - The Gaelic Beag Gheal literally means little hostage . The name stuck.

A good feeling of the life and times and hostage taking of this period from the Irish viewpoint can be found in the fictional works The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford and the Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell. OHart (ODonovan) writes in Irish Pedigrees page 578 that when a hostage took an oath that he would not escape his captivity (on parole), he was left unfettered, free to move about. When needed, Clan Colla hostages were usually held by such virtual golden chains. Should the hostage escape, he was regarded as a perjured man. The custom of taking hostages was brought to Ireland by the romanized Collas, because it worked had very well all over the Roman empire. In Ireland, such hostages were called Aurum Gheall = Golden Hostages or Airghiallans. This is the source of the name of the Kingdom of Airghialla or Oriel as the English later wrote it.

940? - This Baigheallain grew up, regained his freedom and had his own son, roughly around the same time as Brian Boruma was born. Baiogheallain the ex -hostage passed on the excellent leadership training for his son and was in some way later noteworthy enough as an ancestor for a grandson to be named after him when surnames suddenly came into fashion around 1000 AD.

947 -  Scolaige ua Haedacáin, the current King of Dartraige, was killed in battle in a counterattack. (Annals of Ulster - Univ. of Cork)

961: Ualgarc, the next King of Dartraige, was killed by his own people according to the Annals of Ulster (University of Cork)

980? - Baigheallains grandson is born (in one of the Boylan Crannogs?). He was called Treinor ua Baigheallain (or Trenfher, grandson of Baigheallain - the little hostage). Trenfher was destined to become Lord and King of Dartraighe and to pass his grandfathers nickname to all of us in Clan OBoylan.

998 -  Domnall son of Donn Cuan, King of Dartraige, was killed by the Gailenga. (Annals of Ulster?) The triumph of the Gailenga was short lived however.

998? - King Treinor ua Baigheallain succeeds Domnall of Dartreighe by wresting leadership from or by defending against Clan OBoylans southern neighbors, the Gailenga. See the important old map showing the realms of Dartreighe and Gaileanga in the Breifne region. According to Wikipedia, the Gailenga had many leaders named OFlann. This proximity of Boylan and Flanagan territories and their common Colla heritage lead MacLysaght to state that the O'Boylan sept of Oriel, originally sprang from the same stock as the O'Flanagans of Fermanagh,

1002 - Brian Boruma becomes Irelands first undisputed High King.

1002 - Brian Boruma was killed in the Battle of Clontarf 1014, near Dublin, fighting Vikings. Brian had 4 wives and 30 concubines! He sired so many sons over 30 generations ago, that DNA statistics prove with over 98% certainty that you if you are Irish, you are indeed descended from Brian Boru. Therefor at some point this ancestry from high king Boruma includes all members of Clan OBoylan in one way or another, or even by several lines in parallel.

1007: The first record of the name Ó Baoighealláin was mentioned over 1000 years ago in the Annals of Ulster:                                              Treinor H. Baighellan, ri Dartraghi, do marbad do Ceniul Conaill for Loch Eirne.                                                                                                                                      For his reconstructed life history, see the listing in 917 AD above on Ancient Boylans/ your current page.                                                                                                           To see the original death record, simply click: The annals of Ulster and scroll to U1007.3. )                                                                                                                      Treinor (Traynor, Trenfer) ua Baigheallain, King of Dartry, was killed by the Cenel Conaill on Loch Eirne. (County Fermanagh),                                                         This important translation and the following comment was provided by Ciaran Boylan of Monaghan:

The Cenel Conaill were a very strong Donegal Clan, near Lough Eirne in Co.Fermanagh. The O´Maeldoraighs were said to be the kings of the Cenel Conaill during this period. The OBoylan territory at that time extended into Fermanagh. The Ui Baoigheallain clan of Dartraighe (Dartry) were powerful in Monaghan for 1000 years: 478 AD to 1402 AD. In olden times, male children in Monaghan called Treinor were probably descendants of this ancient, first documented Boylan King.

This Trenfher ua Baigheallain listing in the annals is of paramount importance for Clan OBoylan because

  • it establishes OBoylan as an Irish clan surname over 1000 years ago.
  • it documents OBoylan Clans heritage of leadership
  • it defines the realm of our noble ancestors in Fermanagh and Dartraighe (in modern-day South Ulster)

The HarperCollins Map of Irish family names (London, 1998) locates another (later?) traditional stronghold of Clan OBoylan in the Parish of Currin, including the town of Drum and the village of Scotshouse, on the southwest border of Monaghan.

1025 - it is stated in the Annals of Loch Ce, that a predatory expedition was made by the inhabitants of Fermanagh, on which occasion they burned the crannog [King Boylans Crannog!] on Loch-n-Uaithne (Lough Ooney), " and slew seventeen men on the margin of the lake." Lough Ooney lies in the county Monaghan, in the barony of Dartry, the chiefs of which territory had their principal residence on this lake, whence they (the Boylans) were sometimes designated " Lords of Loch-n- Uaithne." Resiliant Clan Boylan not only recovered from this intrusion, we grew even stronger:The Lake Dwellings of Ireland: page 156

1093: Aodh Ua Baigheallain (King OBoylan), first enlarged his realm to include Farney and then became lord (Tigherna) of all of Oriel / Airghiall (The Irish meaning of this district name is for those who give hostages), was slain by the Conaillibh Muirthemhne in 1093. Source: The Annals of Tigernath Part 20 A secondary source Rootsweb, confirms the O'Boylan (O'Baoigheallain) sept became kings of the larger area of Airgíalla (the phonetic English spelling Oriel is more modern) in the 11th century. Boylan control of Oriel (Oirghialla or Airgíalla including the Boylan power base in Dartraighe) may have lasted for over 150 years.

1119 Cú Collchaille Ua Baigheallain (Horseshoe OBoylan), chief Ollamh (genealogist) of Ireland in poetry, a man distinguished for charity, hospitality, and universal  benevolence towards the needy and the mighty, was killed by the men of Lurg and Tuath-ratha, with his wife and two very good sons, and also five-and-thirty other persons, consisting both of his family and guests, in one house, on the Saturday before Little Easter, being the festival of Becan, son of Cula. Annals of the Four Masters Part 22 . This event was so important at the time, that it was listed in 5 other annals too. There we learn that Cú Collchaille Ua Baigheallain was murdered by Spaillech OFlanagan on the 5th of April. These murders probably took place during the sacking of the Boylan Crannog on Louch Ooney.

1169 - The Norman-English Invasion of Ireland begins. Ireland was invaded from England by English of Norman descent. They still spoke French, but were loyal to the Norman Kings of England. Initial forays were weak and the Celts were able to fend them off.

1170 - Invasions from the North also: There is evidence that some crannogs were constructed by the Northmen, for in 1170 the chief of a small territory in the barony and county Monaghan " was killed by the men of a fleet which came from the Orkneys, in the island which had been constructed by themselves in Loch-Ruidhe, i. e. Inis-Lachain." There is no lake in Ireland now known by that name ; but to the south of Coleraine there is a small island in the river Bann called " the Loughan," which bears all the appearance of having been artificially constructed. The Lake Dwellings of Ireland: Page 155

1179 - Clan OBoylan initially reacted to the invasion with a robust defense: Defeat and slaughter [were inflicted] on the English, of Ceanannas by Maol Ruanaidh Baoigheallain (King of Dartraighe) , with a force of the Dartraighe (Annals of Ulster?)

1220? After some financial discussions with the powerful Archbishop of Armaugh, a pious King Boylan supported the work of Irish Monks in the city of Regensburg Germany with a generous donation. In return the Regensburg Abby bestowed the old style single-headed Holy Roman Empire Eagle to King Boylan to use as his arms. The grant of arms was the apex of Boylan power.

The question is how the arms of that Gaelic Abby located deep in the heart of the Holy Roman Empire come to be associated with Clan Boylan in Ireland. The Vatican document Ms 11000 is not online, but is is said  to contain a necrology of prominent Irish ecclesiastics and political rulers – with floruits mainly in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – whose obituaries were recorded in Regensburg, apparently on the basis of their being substantial benefactors of the Gaelic Abbey at Regensburg. In the section of the aforementioned necrology headed "Kings", The oldest entry 1190 AD ? in the necrology refers to Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair, King of Connacht and last High King of Ireland. the newest 1249 AD ? entry relates to Donnchadh and Domhnall Mac Carthaigh, rulers of Desmond, to whom the Abbys Holy Roman Eagle arms were apparently conceded, presumably as arms of affection. If it is assumed that the Roman eagle arms of the Gaelic Abbey or Regensburg were similarly conceded to the other royal benefactors noted in the necrology, then the origins of the arms of Clan Boylan are explained. Clan Boylan hopes to explore this history in more detail with the help of the Archdiocese of Armagh

Around this time the leading individuals of Clan Boylan must have been reduced either by the Normans or by a disastrous feud with the Mac Mahons. Without the patronage of their leaders, members of Clan Boylan lost political power in Monaghan, most scattered to the four winds in Ireland. The ones that stayed in Monaghan became farmers.

1297 - Brian, King of the Airgíallas brother Roalbh (Ralph) Mac Mathghamhna (Mac Mahon) is suddenly listed in the Clogher Record with the nominal title of  Lord of Dartree. ( Clogher Record Kenneth Nicols, 1971-2 Vol, 7 No 3 - pages 368, 369 and especially 413. and also by Nicols: Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland in the middle ages Page 140.) Katharine Simms writes that ...Ui Bhaoigheallán never recovered control of Dartraighe after 1297.... (From Kings to Warlords: The Changing Political Structure of Gaelic Ireland 1987, pp. 66-7.) But Clan Boylan regained rule of Dartreighe in 1402 by pledging vassalage to the Mac Mahon King.

1348 Sailors or traders brought the plague to Ireland. The Black Death further reduces the inhabitants of Dartraighe including Clan OBoylan. The Mac Flannchaidhs temporarily take control of Dartraighe.

1349: Aedh Mac Flannchaidh, chieftain of the Dartraighe, was slain in battle with Aedh O'Ruaire, who gained the victory. The annals of Loch Cé: a chronicle of Irish affairs from A.D. 1014 to A.D. 1590, volume 2 (1871), p. 3.

1366: Cathal Mac Flannchaidh, chieftain of Dartraighe, was slain by the Clann-Muirchertaigh. The annals of Loch Cé: a chronicle of Irish affairs from A.D. 1014 to A.D. 1590, volume 2 (1871), p. 31.

1372 John O'Dubhagain (O'Dugan) praises Boylans for their horsemanship and comments on their blue eyes, calling them The bold kings of Dartraighe.. Although there were still many influential Boylans living in and around Dartraighe at that time, ODugans kind reference to Clan OBoylan in his poem was evoking a memory echoing the many centuries of Boylan Clan power and glory in the region.


Source: pages 16, 17, 30 and 31 of The Topographical Poem (beautiful scanned document) published in Irish Families by Edward MacLysaght, 4th edition, 1985 (first printed in 1662)  Or the less pretty but machine readable and searchable format

1390 Clan Colla is described in Book of Ballymote

1400 R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a5d3a1aXYG R-BY178611 Terminal Marker for Colla Boylans aka BY57366 subclade nr 1 of 10 Donohoe + King Family in USA

1402 The Chief of Clan Boylan is mentioned again, but by this time he had definitely been reduced to be a noble vassel acting as a tax collector for the MacMahons: The three principal chieftains of the Oirghialla in the time of Brian Mór, son of Ardghal (AD 1402) were the  Ó Buidhellain (OBoylans) of Dartraighe, MacCeannaith in the Triucha and Duthach in Teallach Gealagáin. These Chieftains were by right stewards [maoir = tax-collectors] of their own territories and ÓConnalaigh (OConnaly) was the chief marshal of all Oirghealla.

Ar the inaugaration of King MacMathghamhna (Mac Mahon) of Oirghialla each of these three sub-chieftains received a ceremonial gift. This was known as a tuarastal in Irish. It was bestowed on an oirecht (or noble vassle = OBoylan) by an overlord (MacMahon) at the time of the vassels submission (MacMahons inaugaration). The three Chieftains received either a riders suit (armour?) or 40 marks of old silver in its stead. In 1402 the Chief of the Boylan Clan was also one of the five lawful members of the council of Oirghealla supporting King MacMahon. (Source: 17th century writer Ó Dufaigh, Cios Mhic Mhathghamhna p 132).  This sounds like the begin of stable times, but the exact opposite was true.

1457 - The first sack of Dartry begins the decline of the Mac Mahons: Mag Uidhir and Philip Mag Uidhir went with a large force into Dartraighe of Con-inis and, as they did not come up with spoil, burned all Dartraighe and the town of Eogan, son of Rughraidhe Mag Mathgamna (Mac Mahon), namely, Lis-na-ngabur, and went to their houses on that expedition with victory of overthrow and so on.  (Annals of Ulster)

1486 - The Annals of Ulster record the death of the next Mac Mahon:  Brian, son of Rughraidhe, son of Ardghal Mag Mathgamna (Mac Mahon) namely, lord of Dartraighe, was slain by Foreigners (English?) of the Plain of Oirghialla

1505 - The second sack of Dartry rubs out yet another Mac Mahon: A hosting by Ua Neill, namely, by Domnall, into Dartraighe of Oirgialla and the country was wasted and pillaged by him and Aedh, son of John the Tawny, son of Eogan Mag Mathgamna (Mac Mahon), was slain there. (Annals of Ulster)

1550 English rule begins. Dartraighe was reorganized sometime after the Tudor reinvasion as Dartree Barony, which was was now bordered to the northeast by Monaghan; to the southeast by Cremorne, to the west by Clankelly, County Fermanagh; and to the south by Tullygarvey, County Cavan. The major towns of Dartree Barony were Clones, Newbliss and Rockcorry.

1585 The MacMahons bring what is left of Airgialla/Oriel into the Kingdom of Ireland.

1591 Manus O'Boylan of Killeevan, Dartry, Monaghan was pardoned for some transgression - Tudor Faints - submitted by Ciaran Boylan

1600 Part of Clan Boylan had migrated from Monaghan and found a good new home-base in Co Kildare. Three Boylans were pardoned in Kildare: Shane Duff O'Boylan, Richard Boylan and John Boylan. Source Tudor Faints.

1607 The calamities of the 17th century begin: As the Nine Years (Williamite) War ended, Gaelic chieftains had to forfit any lands they still had. King James gave their lands to protestant Scottish colonists and began the Plantation of Ulster in Northern Ireland. Some Boylans converted to protestantism and remained in the north. Some of these later moved to Suffolk, England and have been protestant for centuries. Others moved to Scotland for work. A large protestant branch of Clan OBoylan lives in the northern midwest USA.

1609 Many OBoylans from the Kingdom of Dartree, in southern Ulster remained Catholic: Jim Boylan of Scotshouse says: The OBoylans remained kings of Dartree for several centuries until our lands were taken by Cromwell in the 1600s because we refused to convert to Protestantism & swear allegiance to the English monarch. Some of these Boylans who remained Catholic started to migrate south from Dartraighe to avoid prosecution. Boylans begin to settle just southwest of Dublin in Kildare in the towns Ballynadrumny, Kilcock, Naas, Mylerstown, Cloncurry and Kilcullen. The Tudor Faints list Kildare residents Shane Duff O'Boylan, Richard Boylan and John Boylan as being pardoned for some offence in this period. Kildare provided welcome asylum to a part of Clan Boylan.

1632 Clan Colla described in Annals of the Four Masters, Michael O'Clery (1580-1643) at al., 1632 to 1636, translated from Irish in 1845 by Owen Connellan.

1641 The Irish Rebellion starts the Irish Confederate Wars (Eleven Years' War with famines and fighting in Kilcullen, Kildare 1647)

1653 Oliver Comwell invades Ireland and brings the 11 years war to an end - expanding protestant power from Ulster to include Dublin

1659 Boylans are documented living on the southern coast near Cork: Penders Census of Ireland lists six Boylans (surnames only) in the Barony of Carberry. The 1659 Census was published by Pender in 1939.

1663/1665  Patrick OBoylan paid the "Hearth Money Roll" in Cleran, (Clerran), Clontibret, Monaghan.. A previously unknown new R1b DNA branch of Clan OBoylan has been found in Clontibret, North Monaghan! This branch is estimated to be around 450 years old.           https://www.failteromhat.com/postmonaghanhearth.php     New Search / Clontibret / Cleran

Clan Boylan has been strong in Clontibret for over 200 years, so there is a good chance that Patrick OBoylan was the ancestor. http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/search/tab/index.jsp Surname BOYLAN, County MONAGHAN,   Parish CLONTIBRET

1691 After the so-called treaty of Limerick, which was not worth the paper it was written on, Jacobites (Catholic) landowners were punished for 8 years by the Williamite Settlement, forfeitures, confiscations and outlawing which made it difficult for Catholic Boylans to be landowners or even farmers.
1700 The English Penal Laws continue the persecution of Catholics and the southern part of Clan OBoylan
1703 The English redistributed land, but it is not recorded that Clan OBoylan profited from this in any way. Many Boylans around Dublin became trades people like tailors and boot makers because they were not able to be land owners.  The high value of land is quite clear to many members of Clan Boylan.

1730 - Emigration to the USA commences from Colerain, north Ireland. James and Aaron Boylan found an American dynasty.

1778-1793 The English Penal Laws were repealed and Catholics regained freedoms to organize parishes and priests
           Begin of baptismal record keeping in Kilcullen Parish, Boylan families are documented in Kilcullen Church records

1810 William Boylan emigrates from Kilcullen, Kildare to the USA at age 6 without his parents and becomes a wealthy man. A classic, true American rags to riches story.

1837 - Lewis's Topographical Directory of Ireland, describes what is left of of the kingdom of Dartraighe thus: The land is chiefly arable; there are about 200 acres of woodland, but little bog, and fuel is very scarce. There are several lakes in the parish, of  which those contiguous to Drum, and to the Hilton demesne, (just north of Scotshouse) are the most extensive. In addition to agricultural labour, the chief occupation of the inhabitants is the linen manufacture.

1845-1849 The great potato famine strikes Ireland. Many Irish migrate to the USA. Pittsburg -PA, New Brunswick-NJ, Raleigh-NC, Iowa and Idaho seem to have been preferred by the Boylan immigrants. With thousands of years of cattlework in there genes, the Irish proved to be excellent cowboys in the USA. According to John Grenham (page 65) four million Irish left Ireland due to the famines. Of these 3.5 million emigrated to the USA. We assume that today there are over 10.000 Boylans in the USA and fewer than 1000 in Ireland. There seem to be only a few left of us left in Monaghan.

1850 The ballad Romance of Clones is a Irish drama about the death of three Boylan chieftains. This ballad is important because it describes our Clans traditions of choosing a Chief:. The procedure was a mixture of heredity and democracy. Hundreds of Boylan Clansmen gather in Clones to swear in the Tanist as the new Chief: For custom proclaims the Tanist must reign. They hail from from farms in

Hercules Felis collected oral ballads and published them in Romances and Ballads of Ireland Page 145 in 1850. And the beautiful Rhyme Book 1851, Page 375. One wonders just how old this Ballad might have been at the time... It seems to indicate that Clan Boylan remained active and organized as a Clan with Clones as our capitol, long after we ceeded power to Mac Mahons in 1402.

1854 Right after the famine,  39 Boylans are listed in Co. Kildare in Griffiths Valuation.

1871 No Boylan families in Monaghan owned any land in 1871, but they did after 1921.

1892 Clan Colla and Boylan described by John O'Hart (1824–1902) in Irish Pedigrees

1901 Only 2209 Boylans were left in Ireland according to the 1901 census!

1960s - OBoylans continue to branch out by colonizing Mexico and Germany

2009 - OBoylan Clan was officially recognized by Clans of Ireland

2020 - Only about 240 Boylan families are left in Monaghan

The journey of Clan OBoylan continues onward!



We recommend that you try out an inexpensive one-day subscription to Roots Ireland. They have searchable databases of digitized church records. When you find your ancestor in digital form, you can switch to microfilm images of the original Church records. It works! We found our Boylans in Kilcullen this way! As a final goodie, Roots Ireland has the passenger lists of the Coffin Ships online. All you need to know is the year and the port of embarcation and disembarcation. Then you may wish to input your family tree on Ancestry.com...

The Four Masters were Franciscan historians and assistant scribes backed by Patrons. They started out to record 3000 years of kings names on a year by year Blog basis. This valuable historical information was almost lost, but luckily two sets of hand scribed originals of the Annals of the Four Masters were written on expensive modern French paper and survived over the centuries. Bother versions are slightly different and the originals can be compared online. The Annals have also been digitized, but regretfully a digital index of this large document with cross references and links with modern spelling of names and so on still needs to be generated and put online.

The Dublin National Library has a most excellent genealogy section. Usually there is a very knowledgeable and helpful "consultant genealogist" on duty. John Grenham , the first resident genealogist wrote Clans and Families of Ireland, Barnes and Noble, New York, 2001

Here are some more do-it-your-self research links:

Ulster Historical Foundation / Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)

www.UCC.ie/Celt Corpus of Electronic Texts - searches the Annals of the Four Masters, Annals of Ulster, Annals of Tigernath, The Clogher Record Topographical Poem and many other documents in electronic format.

www.isos.dias.ie Irish Script Onscreen - provides digital images of the Annals of the Four Masters



Click here for a list of Clan Sites in Ireland