Origin of the MacGillycuddy Clan Name

The MacGillycuddy clan were a sept of the O'Sullivans. The O'Sullivans were originally based in Tipperary but with the arrival of the Normans they were forced west to counties Cork and Kerry, where the name is common to this day. They were of the Eóganachta of Cashel, descended from Fingin Mac Aedh Duibh, king there from 601 to 618.

The Gaelic origin is Mac Giolla Mochuda, which means son of the follower of Mochuda. O'Sullivan Mór sent his son to be educated by Saint Mochuda at Lismore. In Co. Kerry, the McGillycuddy Reeks still bear their name. They held a seat there in ancient times.

MacGillycuddy

This family did not adopt this surname until the 1500s or pre Cromwellian times when the ancient dynasties came under threat from English landowners and their sovereign. This culminated in the Battle of Kinsale 1601.

In Co. Kerry, the mountains the McGillycuddy Reeks still bear their name. They held a seat there in ancient times, and were principal landowners in Dunkerron near Kennmare.

One of the earliest settlers in the United States was Catherine McGillycuddy in Boston in 1749 and Philip McGillicuddy in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania in 1845. The current head of this family lives in South Africa.

Their crest in red, the colour of war and military strength, bears a dragon, for valour, protection and defender of treasure.