There are a number of early family trees which vary as to the origin
of the family of Walsh in Ireland. One of the first "Walshs" was said
to be Philip Walensis (the Welshman) who was a hero in a naval battle of 1174,
slaying the commander of the Danish Fleet, Turgesius, the King (or Mac Turger, son of
the King). There are conflicting genealogies for some of the very early Walshs, and
this page is a first in a series that explores possible family trees.
The story of Philip as told by Geraldis Cambrensis writing in the late 12th century, "In this
emergency, Raymond [le Gros] was appointed to the command, and the troops recovering
their spirits, made an incursion into the district of Ophelan (Offaly), and carrying of immense
booty, obtained means of being fresh mounted and equipped. From thence they marched
to Lismore, and having plundered both the city and the province, conveyed their spoils by
the coast road to Waterford. With these they freighted some small vessels which had lately
arrived from Wexford, and some others which they found in the port of Waterford. While, however,
they were waiting for a fair wind, thirty-two ships full of armed men came from the city of Cork,
distant about 16 miles westward, for the purpose of attacking them. A naval engagement ensued,
the Irish making a fierce attack, armed with slings and darts, and the English repelling it with
arrows and iron bolts from their cross-bows, of which they had great store. In the end, the men
of Cork were defeated, their leader Gilbert mac Turger, being slain by Philip of Wales, a young
soldier of great prowess. Then Adam de Hereford, who commanded, having increased his fleet
with the ships taken, loaded it with plunder and sailed in triumph to Waterford."
The latin reference that Giraldus uses for Philip is Phillipo Scilicet Gualensi.
In other versions part of Raymond's men sailed with their booty [from Lismore] into Youghal harbour, but were attacked there by Dermot Mac Carthaigh's vassals, the Ostmen of Cork, whose fleet was commanded by Gilbert, 'son of Turgare', the mor-maer of the city.
Philip Walsh was variously said to be a baron of Cornwall and
descended from the famous David, King of Wales; also descended as a nephew
of Robert FitzStephen; and also as a nephew of Rees Ap Griffith (Rhys ap
Gryffyd). It is also claimed that he was a a nephew of Strongbow; as well as
a descendant of Cadogan of Bychan (Wales); and a finally as a relative of
the Geraldines and Carews. Confusing to say the least! In the genealogies,
Philip is said to have married Susanna Lumney, daughter of John Lumney,
Earl (Comitus) of Waterford, probably of the McCarthy clan. In other
genealogies he is also said to have married Eleanor de Burgh, daughter of
Maurice. Of his origin, all appear to agree that he came from Wales between
the years 1169 to 1172.
In the so-called "official" genealogy by William Hawkins, Ulster King at
Arms in 1769, Philip was granted, by Henry II, the lands of Bally-Kilgavan
in Queen's County, of Castle Hoel in County Kilkenny, and Grealaghbeg in
County Tipperary. In the same year (1172-1174?) he was created Philip lord
of Bally Carrickmore in Waterford and baron of Pildom in Tipperary and Shancaher
in Kilkenny. After his marriage to Susanna he is said to have received much
mountain land, from which the family of Philip is called "of the Mountain"
to distinguish it from the family of his brother, David. In 1172, David
was created baron of Carrickmaine in Dublin and of John's Cross in Kerry.
Philip's son, Howell Walsh, was said to have built (or finished)
on the northern edge of the Walsh Mountains in county Kilkenny.
Howell's name has been variously spelled Hale, Hoel, Hayle(n), Hoyn and
Hoyle. Additionally, it has been claimed that Howell was descended from
Ralf FitzStephen, the son of Robert FitzStephen who led one of the early
campaigns during the Cambro-Norman Conquest of Ireland in 1169. In this
light he has been referred to as Hale FitzStephen. Howell is thought to
have married a daughter of Raymond le Gros de Carew, another early leader
of the Cambro-Norman campaigns; or he possibly married a daughter of
Griffin, a brother of Raymond le Gros. Howell's uncle, David "Walsh", was
claimed to have married a sister of Raymond le Gros.
This family, says Burke, came to Ireland - A. D. 1170 with Strongbow
and settled in County Kilkenny where they acquired large possessions,
once known as the Walsh Mountains, in the barony of Iverk in said
county. These possessions were confiscated during the Cromwellian
period and in the reign of William III, after which the elder members
of the branch migrated to France and Austria. In France, the title of
Count Serrant, still extant, was conferred upon the representative of
the elder branch.
The first of the family who came to Ireland with Robert FitzStephen
at Strongbow's invasion was Philip Walsh, who was called by the Irish,
"Brannagh" (or the Welshmen), who in 1174 distinguished himself in a
naval engagement against the Danes at Cork by boarding the ship of
their commander and slaying his son. The son of that Philip and
Eleanor, daughter of Sir Maurice De Burgh, was Hayle Walsh, builder of
"Castle Hayle" or "Castlehoel" in the Walsh Mountains. His wife was
Catherine, daughter of Raymond le Gros (ancester of the Grace Family).
From Hayle Walsh descended many of the families of that name found in
nearly all parts of Ireland, and it is a line descended from him that
the families of this record are members.
From that stock descended the following branches, namely, Walsh, of
Castlehoel, in the county of Kilkenny; Walsh, of Ballynecully, in Kilkenny,
and of St. Malo, in France; Sir Edmond Walsh, knighted at Christ's Church,
Dublin, by Sir Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy of Ireland, on the 1st June,
1606; Sir Nicholas Walsh, Knt., Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, in
Ireland, who died in 1615, and married Mary (d.s.p.), dau. of Sir Arthur
Colclough, of Tintern Abbey, county Wexford; Walter Walsh, Dean of Kildare
(in 1610), who died 6th April, 1621; Nicholas Walsh, of the Island of
Teneriffe (living in 1732), descended from Henry Walsh, of Waterford, brother
of Nicholas Walsh, Judge of the Queen's Bench, temp. Queen Elizabeth;
Walsh, of Fanningstown, county Kilkenny; Richard Walsh, of Carrickmines;
Pierce Walsh, of Kilgobbin, county Dublin, temp. James I., son of
John Walsh, and grandson of Pierce Walsh, of same place; John Walsh of
Shanganagh, county Dublin; Theobald Walsh (d. 1616), of Killencarrig, county
Wicklow; Walsh, of Three Castles, county Wicklow; Oliver Walsh (d. 1621),
of Newtown, Dorenore, county Kildare; Nicholas Walsh, of Mooretwon, county
Kildare; Rev. John Walsh, of Castledermot, Chancellor of the Diocese of
Kildare, in 1624; Walsh of Belcarrow, county Dublin, and of Flanders; Peter
Augustus Walsh, of Castle Walsh, county Kerry, living in 1769; Walsh, of
Ballykilcavan, Queen's County; Walsh, of Bellevue and Clonmoyle, county
[Source: O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, v. 2 - 1892 ]
The following "Note and Synopsis of the genealogy of Walsh (or Wallis)" is translated from the latin text (Transactions of the Ossory Archaeological Society, 1883) of a certificate given to two men of the family of Walsh, of the territory of Mac Elligot in Kerry, who were officers in the army of Brandenburg, by William Hawkins, Ulster King at Arms, in 1769. The Austrian Counts Wallis were of the family of Walsh of Carrickmines. For some reason, perhaps having to do with the language of their country of adoption, they elected to represent the old family name "Waleys" as Wallis, rather than Walsh. This translation appears in the book of Joseph C. Walsh, Walsh 1170-1690, publ. 1925. It should be noted there are a number of apparent assumptions, errors and anachronisms contained in the text.
The Walshs were called "Waleys" (Welsh), and therefore the name is now written both "Walsh" and Wallis." The first of the name who settled in Ireland were David and Philip Walsh, brothers, barons of Cornwall in England, (descended from the famous David, King of Wales) who with many of the principal nobles both of England and Wales, followed, in 1171, Richard de Clare, Earl of Strongbow and their uncle.
Henry II coming to Ireland in the year 1172 created David Walsh baron of Carrickmaine in Dublin and of John's Cross in Kerry. He likewise granted to David lands in Huntstown near Dublin, at Old Connaught in Wicklow, and Abington in Limerick. David married Mary McCarthy, eldest daughter of Justin of Aglias and Sarah Sullivan, receiving with her from her father much land in Kerry, where he erected three castle which may still be seen, called Castle Walsh of Alan, of Cusneen and of Murry, which castles are situated at the foot of Knockatee. From David was lineally descended Thomas John Reymund Walsh, of Carrickmaine in Dublin and John's Cross in Kerry, and dynast of Castle Walsh.
Manus, son of David, founded the abbey of Rosbercon and another near Dublin, and enriched them with many lands and ornaments.
The said Henry the Second granted to Philip the lands of Bally-Kilgavan in Queen's County, of Castle Hoel in County Kilkenny, and Grealaghbeg in County Tipperary; and the same year created Philip lord of Bally Carrickmore in Waterford and baron of Pildom in Tipperary and Shancaher in Kilkenny.
Philip, in 1173, married Susanna, second daughter of John Lumny, Earl (Comitis) of Waterford, and Juliana O'Sullivan, and received from the said John much mountain land, from which the family of Philip is called "of the Mountain" to distinguish it from the family of David.
From Philip was lineally descended James Walsh who returned to Scotland with Prince Charles Stuart.
From these branches there sprang, and flourished in the Church, the illustrious Archbishop of Cashel and metropolitan of Munster, who was of John's Cross in Kerry and who died for the faith under Cromwell ; Archbishop Walsh of Canterbury in England, who was of Bally-Carrickmore ; and William, Bishop of Meath in Ireland, who likewise died for the faith under Elizabeth. From the time of Elizabeth, and since, the families of both David and Philip were deprived, because of their faith, of the seats they had held in Parliament. The very noble family of Mac Elligot met the same fate under Elizabeth, Cromwell and William, which family parted with all of their lands and possesions on account of the adherence to the profession of the Roman Catholic religion, difference in religion being the only cause of their loss, the family preferring to sacrifice all their property and fortne rather than give up their religion, which was prohibited in those three reigns, and the law being such that few Roman Catholics can hold property.
The undersigned Lords, Members of Parliament, Bishops and pastors attest and confirm the foregoing as exact and at all points in agreement with the truth (signatures, titles and testaments follow...). And then William Hawkins, Ulster King at Arms, certifies the descent of Julius Caesar (baptized in 1740) and Peter Augustus (baptized in 1744) Walsh or Wallis, who were at that time, 1769, junior officers in the army of Brandenburg.
Following the translation given above, Joseph C. Walsh, in his book Walsh 1170-1690, speculates that if David and Philip were nephews of Strongbow, the relationship may have been through his cousin, Alicia, daughter of Richard of Clare, who married Cadwalader, brother of Owen Gwynned, and therefore uncle of David of North Wales. He goes on to point out an error - the Archbishop of Cashel was not born in Kerry, but in Waterford. He then expresses his concerns that David and Philip were more likely from Wales than Cornwall, that the name Lumney must be a McCarthy as no one other could have granted the Waterford lands, and that if David of North Wales is the intended for the 'famous King David,' any descendant of his at that time must have been his son. And finally, he comments the impression is given that the more the synopsis is tested the more one is disposed to think that as other records are made available its outline may be so expanded as to become coherent history.
Additional Notes: There seem to be a number of other issues with the Synopsis. There is no pedigree indicated which confirms the descent of the two individudals born in the middle of the 18th century. Many of the titles given to David and Philip are highly questionably. As one example the title of baron of Carrickmaine is not apparent in any record, the Walshs first noted holding lands at Carrickmines in the year 1400 (although in the area before this). Other references also appear to indicate places where Walshes had acquired properties at later dates, e.g. Huntstown, Ballykilcavan, and Old Connaught.