a3Genealogy - Accurate, Accessible Answers - specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American ancestry. The a3Gen blog is penned by Kathleen Brandt, an international genealogy consultant, speaker and writer. a3Gen clients span from Europe, Asia and Africa to the Americas.
For years I was asked to chase connections between a prospective client and a notable American-Indian. Chiefs, princesses, and princes were all game. Oh yeah, this includes all the clients insisting they were related to Crazy Horse or Geronimo. I realize that some of these stories were passed down from ancestors gone by. But, lately “Great-Grandpa the American Indian Chief” stories have become scarce. They have been replaced by the search for Royalty, Monarchy, or at minimum a castle-resident ancestor. It’s rare that these tall-tales were actually true, but how elated I am as a researcher when I actually find the connection, in this case, to Irish Monarchy. It wasn’t a bloody “mad” wild goose chase after all.
The best part of doing Monarch lineage genealogy is that it is usually better documented than the non-royal family lines. The worst part is having to tell a client that such a conclusion has not been proven, or the connection has not been made.
But recently, after hours of research, I actually did research for a descendant of the Niall Noígiallach (or Niall of the Nine Hostages) Monarch of Ireland. With the help of the Office of the Chief Herald at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin, I was able to match history with genealogy. For more information on the Office of the Chief Herald: http://www.nli.ie/en/heraldry-introduction.aspx.
Niall Noígiallach (Niall Naígiallach, Niall Naoighiallach) supposedly one of the last pagan monarchs, reigned around 379AD and is the ancestor of the Daly, O’Dalaigh, O’Neils of Tyrome, and O’Donells of Tryconnel among others. From this High King, who had as many as fifteen sons, there were several kings of Meath, Ireland, Thomond and Connaught.
Following name spelling changes, wars, dynasty splits, and movements, and ending with the migration to America as early as 1665, the connection was made. Of course we must allow for a margin of error, as the history of Ireland is based on an oral one that was documented thousands of years after its occurrence. But, based on the annalists’ historical documents these families, including my client, is of Royalty!
Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist