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genealogies of the families


FITZPATRICK, Kilpatrick This is the only surname with the prefix Fitz which is of native Irish origin, the others being Norman. The Fitzpatricks are Macgilpatricks - Mac Giolla Phádraig in Irish, meaning son of the servant or devotee of St. Patrick. In sixteenth and even seventeenth century records they are usually called MacGilpatrick or MacKilpatrick; and in some places they are still so called, other variants being McIlpatrick, Kilpatrick, etc.: the latter is common in Ulster, where, however, it is usually of Scottish origin. Their eponymous ancestor was Giolla Pádraig, a warlike chief in Ossory who lived in the second half of the tenth century. Branches of the sept are now found in many parts of the country: nearly ten thousand persons of the name are estimated to be in Ireland to-day, widely distributed, Leix (alias Queen's Co.) having the greatest number. By far the most important was, and still is, the family whose head was for centuries during the Gaelic period known as Lord of Upper Ossory, at one time almost a royal ruler over counties Leix and Kilkenny. Their power was much reduced by the rise of the Ormond Butlers, but they were by no means dispossessed of all their patrimony. They were one of the first of the great Irish septs to submit to Henry VIII and one Sir Barnaby Fitzpatrick was knighted in 1568. They lost considerably through their loyalty to James II. Nevertheless the head of the family received a peerage in 1714 and in 1878 his descendants are recorded as possessing no less than twenty-two thousand acres of the best land in Ossory.

One branch of the Fitzpatricks of Ossory assumed the surname Mac Séartha, or Shera in English, taken from an ancestor whose christian name that was. Many variants of the name, in addition to those given above, are recorded in the modern birth registers, not only more or less obvious abbreviations like Fitz, Fitch and Patrick, but even Parrican, Parogan and Patchy!

Brian Fitzpatrick (1585-1652), Vicar Apostolic of Ossory, who was murdered by Cromwellian soldiers, was instrumental in saying the "Book of the O'Byrnes", which he transcribed, from destruction. In modem times, apart from the Earls of Upper Ossory, several Fitzpatricks were prominent in politics, two in the English interest and another Patrick Vincent Fitzpatrick (1792-1865) was one of Daniel O'Connell's most trusted colleagues. Also worthy of mention are William John Fitzpatrick (1830-1895), the biographer, and Thomas Fitzpatrick (1 832-1900), an eminent physician.

Much infomiation on the Fitzpatricks will be found in Corrigan's History of the Diocese of Ossory, Vol. I.

Source:Irish Families by Edward MacLysaght MA, D Litt, MRIA - Irish Academic Press 1991