Ireland had one other administrative division above the county, now only historical, that of the province.
There were four provinces of Ireland: Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster (there were other provinces, shown in the map appendix, but they were all eventually absorbed by the four). Each of these provinces had a king who vied to be king of all Ireland or Ard-Righ (High King). When a high king was decided upon, another took his place as king of the province and all the provincial kings paid homage to the high king.
Our family is from the province of Connacht which is located in the west of Ireland. It is named after Conn of the Hundred Battles. At one time the entire northen half of Ireland was known as Leth Cuin, or Conn's half. The word `Connacht' comes from the Ichta of Conn which in ancient Gaelic meant "the children of Conn" and was translated as meaning "territory possessed by the posterity of Conn". Over the centuries Ichta of Conn became Connichta, Connachta and then the relatively modern Connacht. Connacht is often shown in an anglicized version as Connaught.
The Moran Clan became a part of the Ui Fiachrach Muaide. We will have to go back a ways to put all this into perspective. Much of what follows about ancient names and places are from oral histories that were carried from generation to generation until early historians wrote them down. Their veracity has always been questioned although much has been supported by archaeological finds and deduction.
What is now County Mayo (and part of County Sligo) in Connacht was the domain of the Ui Fiachrach tribe. The Ui Fiachrach Muaide a subdivision of the main tribe, settled on the River Moy.
A map of the territory of Hy Fiachrach drawn by John Donovan and published with the work of Duald Mac Firbus
, The Genealogies, Tribes and Customs of Hy Fiachrach which he edited.
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