Trace any human family back 15 generations and you will find both heroes and scoundrels, those who met the challenges life placed before them and those who (often
through no fault of their own) could not meet them. Our people lived through some of the most difficult times imaginable. That they survived, and that their descendants continue on, is remarkable!
We are a strong, resourceful people of vision and courage.
Two Davorens of long ago are profiled below. They are highlighted simply because their stories were recorded. The lives of more recent Davorens, including Anne and her family, are also important to record and remember. We hope those of you interested in Burren Girl, the O’Davorens, or the Davoren Geneology project, will share stories you know about members of this family on our blog. See link at the upper right corner.
Tribal history, from the Annals of the Four Masters:
Our tribe is Dál gCais
, or Dalcassian, meaning "children of Cas" (a King of Munster). A powerful force in the 10th century, this tribe produced a number of Irish kings including the legendary Brian Boru. They grew in power under Brian, who finally succeeded in uniting enough tribes to become High King of Ireland. The Dalcassian army fought with Brian at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, defeating the Viking-Irish alliance of Sigtrygg Silkbeard, king of Dublin, Máel Mórda mac Murchada, king of Leinster. The win was at a high cost, since Brian, his son and grandson were all killed.
Donal (or Donnell) O’Davoren was one of two generals in the central division of Brian’s army at Clontarf.
The O’Davoren Law School at Cahermacnaughten
The first recorded evidence suggests that the O’Davorens came to the Burren about 800 A.D. They served as hereditary Brehon judges to the O’Loghlin kings. Domnall
O’Davoren ran a Brehon law school in the 1500’s at Cahermacnaughten.
In the 1560’s, this legal scholar and his pupils compiled a manuscript now known as Egerton 88. It contains a glossary of Brehon Law as well as other important early Gaelic texts and stories, one dating back to the 8th century. An international group of O’Loghlen family members, Muintir Uí Lochlainn, has 'Adopted' the British Library section of this manuscript, and is hoping to have it digitized.
Brehon laws governed everyday life during early Medieval Ireland, and continued to influence the lives of Irish people up until the time of the Cromwellian conquest (1649-53 A.D.)
For more information about Clare history, Brehon law or O’Davoren history, see clarelibrary.ie