Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


Abandoned families - Nugent - Contents



Possible MacNamara Royal Descent

John MacNamara (ancestor of Lysaght and Rynne) acted as agent for Earl Nugent (died 1788), and was said to be a relation.
This is an early claim, made in 1830.
It seems possible, but the exact relationship is unknown.
If he is in any way a close relation, through Nugent, then he is a descendant of Edward I and of Aoife Mac Murrough and of Brian Boru, and so are Lysaght and Rynne.

John MacNamara,
born maybe c.1730.
He was agent for Robert Nugent (later Viscount Clare and Earl Nugent).
Letters survive of 1765 to 1769 from Robert Nugent in England to "John McNamara" in Galway. John is acting as his agent for his Irish estates.
Nugent was cr Viscount Clare in 1767, cr Earl Nugent in 1776, and died 1788.
John died before 1788.
Nugent left a pension to John's widow in his will of 1788.
John and unknown wife had issue:

  1. Hugh MacNamara.
    [Letter of 1855] from his grand-nephew Michael Lysaght says that the Nugent family regarded Hugh as a relation.
    The letter says that when Earl Nugent's son-in-law the Marquess of Buckingham was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1782-1783 and 1787-1789) Hugh "was invited and received at the Castle of Dublin as a near relative".
    He died unmarried in 1832.

  2. Nanno MacNamara.
    She mar John Bourke.
    [D'Alton, 1860] says John Bourke was of "Glenaragha-Burren".
    This place is unidentified. Burren is a Barony in Co.Clare. The only similar placename in that Barony is Gleninagh, Gleninagh par, Co.Clare.
    They had issue:

    1. Mary Bourke,
      mar John Lysaght and had issue.


John MacNamara was agent for Earl Nugent

John MacNamara was definitely the agent for Earl Nugent.


John MacNamara was said to be related to Earl Nugent

The claim that John MacNamara was related to Earl Nugent is an early claim, made in 1830.

[Letter of 1855] from Michael Lysaght says that the Nugent family regarded Hugh MacNamara as a relation in the 1780s.
Michael says he was told this by Hugh in 1830.

Extract from p.377 of [D'Alton, 1860].
This says that John MacNamara was "relative and friend" of Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent.
See full size.

Joan Nugent

The Nugent relationship was thought to come through an ancestor "Joan Nugent".


[Letter of 1855] from Michael Lysaght to Sarah Wallace discusses who their supposed ancestors "Joan Nugent" and "Mary Lynch" are.
Sarah Wallace thinks Joan Nugent is wife of John MacNamara.
Michael Lysaght thinks she might be a previous generation.
They do not know.

This casts doubt on the idea that John MacNamara's wife was the Nugent:
The will of Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent, in 1788 leaves a small pension of 5 pounds per year for life to the widow of John MacNamara.
It does not refer to her as his relation, in a section of the will mentioning various of his relatives.
The 1760s letters do not mention John's wife.

Edmond Nugent, brother of Earl Nugent


Aidan McMahon Glynn inserts "Joan Nugent" and "Mary Lynch" into the tree.
He thinks the connection to Nugent is through Edmond Nugent (or Edmund), brother of 1st Earl Nugent.

However, this idea does not fit with the peerages.
Above is an extract from Nugent, Viscount Clare, on p.127 of [Peerage of Ireland, 1768, vol.2]. Just after Nugent was created Viscount.
This says that his brother Edmund Nugent died at Buda, Hungary, in 1736. (Other peerages say at age 21.)
This is only 32 years earlier. It would be strange if this was false.


MacNamara of Doolin

Aidan McMahon Glynn thought John MacNamara was of Doolin, Co.Clare.
The tree below shows that MacNamara of Doolin may descend from Edmond Nugent, grandfather of Earl Nugent. So that could explain the link.
But there are problems:

Question: Why does William Nugent MacNamara, MP (born 1775) have middle name Nugent? His supposed Nugent ancestor is too far back.


We start the family of MacNamara of Doolin as follows:


Tiege MacNamara,
of Ballynacraige (or Ballynacraggy), Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co.Clare.
This might be Ballynacragga, Kilnasoolagh par, Co.Clare.
He settled in Drumcreehy par, Co.Clare, in 1659.
[Mac Mahon, 2017] says he married Ann Nugent, "daughter of Edmund Nugent of Colmanstown, Co. Kildare".
Tiege and his wife had issue:

Bartholomew MacNamara,
born 1685,
of Muraghlin (or Murrough), Burren barony, Co.Clare.
Think this is Murrooghkilly or Murrooghtoohy, both in Gleninagh par, Co.Clare.
He mar Dorothy Brock.
He died in 1761.
They had issue:

  1. William MacNamara,
    born 1714, Gleninagh.
    He came to Doolin, Co.Clare, through marriage.
    He mar Catherine Sarsfield [of Doolin].
    His line inherited Doolin through his wife (after complex legal cases). See [Ms 39264, pp.353-359].
    His will dated 1762. He is Protestant.
    He died 1762.
    His will pr 1777. Summary of his will is in [Ms 39264, pp.103-104].
    Catherine remarried to Nicholas Comyn.
    William and Catherine had issue:

    1. Francis MacNamara,
      born 1749 or 1750,
      of Doolin.
      He mar Jane Stamer.
      After the birth of her youngest daughter Dorothy, Jane fell out with and eventually went to war with her sons. She evicted them.
      Francis' will dated 1819. He died 1821.
      His will pr 1823. Copy in [Ms 39264, p.139].
      Jane tried to disinherit her sons. A legal case ensued, in which the drama of the family fight was recorded. See [Ms 39264, pp.158-186].
      Francis and Jane had issue:

      1. William Nugent MacNamara, MP,
        born 1775.
        His will dated 1856. He died 1856.
        His will pr 1857. Copy in [Ms 39264, p.143].

    2. William MacNamara.
      Did not marry. No issue.
      He died intestate, 1774.
      Admin granted 1787 to his brother Francis. See [Ms 39264].

  2. John MacNamara.
    He mar Margaret MacDonagh [dau of Antony MacDonagh of the Irish Brigade].
    See Antony MacDonagh (and p.2) in "Biographical Dictionary of Irishmen in France", Richard Hayes, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, Vol. 33, No. 131 (Sept 1944), pp. 367-377.

[Mac Mahon, 2017] says the MacNamaras of Doolin, Co.Clare, descend from Ann Nugent, dau of Edmund Nugent of "Colmanstown, Co.Kildare".
"Colmanstown" seems to be an error. See the following.
Note 9 refers to Frost. See the following.
Note 10 refers to the Will of William Macnamara.

Note 9 above leads to p.440 of The history and topography of the county of Clare, James Frost, 1893.
This shows entries from the Book of Forfeitures and Distributions listing the confiscations after 1652. See pp.390-526.
See facsimile of originals for Drumcreehy parish on pp.476-479 of Books of Survey and Distribution, Vol.IV, Clare.
This shows a way that MacNamara of Doolin could be related to Earl Nugent:

Conclusion: We have not proved a link of Earl Nugent to MacNamara of Doolin.
Nor have we proved a link of our John MacNamara to MacNamara of Doolin.




Sources yet to be consulted


Twigge papers

The Twigge Mss. Collection at the British Library is a vast archive of research into MacNamara of Co.Clare.
[BL] Add. Mss. Mss 39259-39270.
Research by Robert William Twigge, F.S.A. [died 1915].
Presented to the BL in 1916 by Mrs. Frances Susan Twigge, daughter of Francis Macnamara, of Ennistymon and Doolin, and widow of Robert William Twigge.
Includes transcripts and abstracts of many items that were burnt in 1922.


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