February 13, 2006

Irish king left a wide genetic trail - Genetic Genealogy - MSNBC.com

Are you a descendant of "Niall of the Nine Hostages"? This Irish warlord lived in the 5th century and according to the MSNBC news item, was the head of one of the most powerful dynasties in ancient Ireland.

According to Wikipedia, Niall died c450-455 AD, and is said to have raided the coastlines of Britannia and Gaul, and was responsible for kidnapping and bringing to Ireland the boy who later became St. Patrick.

Coffeys, or Coffees who claim Irish descent likely descend from the Celtic plunderers who terrorized Europe during the 3d and 4th centuries BC, and eventually invaded Ireland.

Some historians who have written about the Coffey name tell us that it was originally Cobhthaigh which means "victorious." At some point in time it became O'Cobthaigh which means "of the family of" or "descendant of."

This family line is considered to have descended from Olliol Flann Beag, a king of Munster who ruled c240 AD. I have not found any information on Wikipedia about this Irish king.

The Wikipedia entry for Niall includes a family tree.

Click on the title link to read that article about Niall, then use the Wikipedia link to read more about him.

Please let me know if you learn how he he became known as "Niall of the Nine Hostages."

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