Ireland, as a seat of civilation, is one of the oldest countries in Europe.  As to its original inhabitants they were, no doubt, first, men of the stone age and known to history as the Fin-bolgs, the name indicating that they were a tribe or nation who in going hither and thither carried on their shoulders their individual property because they were a people having no beasts of burden such as the ox, donkey, or horse.  As to their origin we know nothing.  They occupied the entire island, lived by hunting and the partial cultivation of the soil. 


They constructed rude fortifications and built dwellings and forts of undressed stone.  At what date of human history they came to Ireland we do not know nor how long they dwelt there before the coming into that country of a more superior race known as the Tutha Danaan, whose coming was about 1500 B. C.  They overcame the Fir-bolgs and controlled Ireland for about five hundred years, when again came an invasion of a still more superior race known to history as Milesians and who overcame both the Tuth Danaan and the remnant of the Fir-bolgs, and who built up over the entire island a superior civilisation which continued until the coming of the Anglo Invasion under Strongbow during the reighn of Henry II of England, in 1167 A. D.  


Our most authentic records credit the great king and chieftain, Milesius as coming from Greece or from some locality now unknown but contiguous to Greece, and the time of his coming to Ireland shortly after the close of the Trojan War. 


It is surmised and well conjectured that the Milesians were one of the nations that took part in that great conflict against the Trojans and after the close of that great conflict, the Milesians like many other of those who were with them, co-sharers in the events of the Ten Years War sought for a new land wherein to settle far beyond the confines of their former home. 


The somewhat mystic records that are left to us tell us Milesius was directed by Prophetic voices of his soothsayers and was so told to sail to the West to the pillar of Hercules and beyond whilst fortunate winds would fill their sails and waft them to an island of destiny, wherein they would conquer another people and build up a great nation. 


We are told in the Annals of Inisfail that Milesius had, previous to his departing from his former home, fought with and conquered thirty-two kings; that they and other great men with him in his fleet of vessels arriving in Ireland, one thousand to twelve hundred years before the Christian Era, he placed as kings or governors over Ireland.  Arriving in Ireland the country was divided first into thirty-two parts by Milesius and to each one of the thirty-two kings he had with him was given one part, which division then and not constitutes the thirty-two parts of Ireland each division governed by its king or chief. 


Next Ireland was again sub-divided  into four parts known as Ulster, Lienster, Munster, and Connaught, all four of which were governed by Kings, his three sons and the fourth by his son-in-law.  The entire island under the sceptre of Milesius himself as Ard Righ or High King thus becoming the first Milesian King of Ireland with his royal seat at Tara, which remained the royal seat for more than fifteen hundred years under the descendants of the Milesian kings. 


Turning to the feature of the subject kings of Ireland who each in his own right held sway in rulership over his own area of territory we will turn our attention to that area known as Firmanach, in the Southeast area of the Kingdom of Ulster, which territory was under the rulership of Maguider or Maguire line of Princes, and its rulers or chiefs carried forward the government of the respective territory as was done by the other minor princes of Ireland. 


There were frequent wars between the small kinglets and sometimes war between provinces in which all the smaller kingdomes sided with the chief or king of their respective province or kingdoms. 


Again from time to time a war would open by perhaps one half of all Ireland making war on the high king, and from time to time, the authority of the high king as grand ruler of all Ireland was only nominal. 


Again a period of history would arise wherein the authority of the high king was supreme and respected from north to south and good national government was the rule when happiness was over all the land, for example, in the days of Cormack McArt and in the days of Brian Boru. 


It was uncommon for the king or ruler of one of the thirty-two kingdoms to intermarry into the family of a provincial king or even into the family of a high king, in which case a prestige of such ruler at once greatly advanced him in a public way. 


The example might be when a king of one of the thirty-two minor principalities of Ireland would marry the daughter of a King of one of the four great divisions of Ireland or the daughter of the king of all Ireland.  Such an event would come about through some particular service rendered by the ruler of a lesser principality to his superior in power.  We have an example of this latter condition.  In the latter years of the 12th century when Donn Maguire, prince of Firmanach through his being a most astute and powerful prince, a man of great beauty of person and also because that he commanded a very fine body of cavalry in the army of his kingdom, was approached by O'Donelll, King of Ulster, in which lies the small kingdom of Firmanach, and as this Prince or King, Donn Maguire, prince of Firmanach had become infatuated with Helen, or Enid, daughter of King Ruah O'Donell, a marriage treaty was entered into by which Maguire agreed that upon the daughter of O'Donell becoming his wife and acceding to him of a small dominion of territory to be added to his own domain, he would agree to become an ally in peace and war.  


This treaty entered into advanced the position of Donn Maguire to the position of High King of Firmanach and his descendants ruled as Kings over Firmanach until the year 1642 when Connor Maguire, the last King of Firmanach having taken up arms jointly with Phelom O'Neill for the liberation of Ireland against Charles I in which is historically known as the great Irish Reveloution of 1641-1644.  After having practically reconquered a large part of Ireland; through the application of superior numbers and greater war resources, the Irish Chiefs including Connor Maguire, the last King of Firmanach, the allied chiefs were defeated,  Maguire taken prisoner and with other Irish leaders he was tried for high treason in the Tower of London and executed at Tyburn on the 20th day of February of 1644 and the 20th year of the reign of Charles I, king of Great Britain. 


The treatment of Connor Maguire and the Irish Chiefs tried and executed with him was particularly brutal and heartless, most heart rendering in cruelty.  After having been hanged at Tyburn, the body of Connor Maguire was disemboweled and burned before the corpse, the body then drawn and quartered. 


Thus closed the direct reign of the Maguire Kings of Firmanach, for although as men of the royal race and entitled to the crown of Firmanach they never again after the death of Connor Maguire reigned as sovereign of Firmanach, but their descendants many of them served in the Irish Brigade, in France, also many of them found service in the armies of Spain and Austria. 


Under Cromwell Firmanach was raided and very many of the Maguire sect were forced into other parts of Ireland and returning when permitted until we come to the year 1745, when Prince Charles Stewart prepared to assert his rights to the trons of England and Scotland.  Leaving France and reaching Scotland, he had a large number of Highlanders to take up arms for his cause and for several months invading Scotland, he lieutanants or agents visited Ireland, went into the counties of Down and Firmanach.  There they secured about five hundred men to go into Scotland to take up arms for Prince Charlie.  Amongst those who went to join the Highlanders were three grandsons of King Connor Maguire, executed for treason against Great Britain about one hundred years before. 


These three grandsons of King Connor Maguire were given official positions in the army of Prince Charles.  Their names were Daniel or Donald, Charles and Rodger.  Holding commissions they took part in the early battles of Prince Charles' invasion which were in the main victorious until the disastrous battle of Colloden where the forces of Prince Charley were outnumbered three to one by the army of the Duke of Cumberland, brother of George II of England.  In this battle, Charles, one of the Maguire Princes, was left dead on the field, the remaining two, Donald and Rodger escaping from the field accompanied by others of the defeated Highlanders made their way to the sea coast and securing sailboats put to sea thinking to attempt reaching their own country at some little known point.  To attempt entering Firmanach would be death as there was placed a price on their heads and being unable to intercept a vessel that would carry them to France, they put forward before a favorable wind and landed some days later on the wild Northeast Coast of Ireland under Slieve Snaght or Snow Mountain.  There were about twenty in this party of refugees and finding friends and protectors from the bold and warm hearted inhabitants of that locality they all continued to dwell there amongst the natives. 


Rodger and Donald Maguire, who had found safety and protection in that province married into two of the prominent Irish families of the Slieve Snaght country on the Northeast coast of Donegal.  And about a quarter of a century later which would be about 1785, a son of Donald Maguire, Michael by name, (great grand-father) of children of Michael and Mary McGuire) went over the mountain Westward with other sons of refugees and reaching Cashlings in the parish of Killcar, he there married into the sept of the O'Donnell's.  His wife being Bridget Helen O'Donnell and there made his home until the year 1808 when he died from hactic fever, leaving five daughters and three sons, the daughters names being Mary, Sheila, Nora, Bridget, and Margaret;  the sons Charles, Conal and John.  (Conal being the grandfather of the children of Michael and Mary McGuire)  (John being the father of Don McGuire).  Four of the daughters of Michael McGuire who settled at Cashlings, married locally, the fifth, Mary or Marad never married.  Of the three sons, Charles McGuire married into the family of the MacFaddens.  His children were four daughters and one son Peter:  all of whom married and continued to dwell in Ireland.  Conal, the second son, married into the family of the McNultys, and John, the youngest son, married Sally Conwell of Killsbegs County Donegal. 


Of these three sons of Michael Maguire, John, who was of an adventurous and combative proclivity was in his early years active in a commercial and political way.  He came into trouble with the British Government in 1847 by having taken part in the Ribbonmen and young Ireland parties threatening British Rule in Ireland and being associated directly with the attempted Insurrection of 1848.  Whilst thus under indictment for treason, he escaped with a number of the associates of Thomas Francis Meagher and other prominent Irish revolutionists of 1848.  Reaching America he became a man prominent in business, first in the state of Vermont, later in Iowa and died at Ogden Utah, July 27, 1888 leaving behind one daughter, Bridget Brown, five sons, Daniel. Michael, John, Charles, and Don.  all now dead save Don Maguire at present a resident of Ogden, Utah.  The second son of Michael who died in the parish of Killcar in 1808 was Conal.  He married in his native parish, his wife's name was McNulty.  <<Their three sons were Michael, Peter, and Charles, their daughters, Mary, Bridget, Catherine, and Margaret.  Of the family Michael, Peter, and Charles emigrated to America, Michael for a time engaged in civil engineering and commercial work in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and later in Iowa where he married Mary McGonagle, better known as Mary Carr.  Later he became a resident of Denver, Colorado where he and his wife died and where yet remain his six sons and daughter prominent citizens of that metropolis.  >> {Michael was my father as per J.A.McGuire}


Peter Maguire, son of Conal, lived in Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado and never married.  Charles, son of Conal Maguire said to have married and lived in Nebraska.  Of the daughters of Conal Maguire, there came to the United States Bridget, who became the  wife of a prominent citizen, Anthony O'Malley, Resident of Wappalo County, Iowa, who many years ago died there.  The girls Mary, who married James McMonagle, and Catherine after coming to the United States lived and died in Iowa. 


Of those who escaped from the battlefield of Colloden with the two Maguire princes, as previously stated, there were a few Highlanders, among them one named McAndrew, another MacCunningham.  Reaching Slieve Snaght with the Maguires and there marrying into the people of that region and some years later a son of one of the McAndrews settling at Slieve Snaght came down to Killcar  and married the daughter of Michael Maguire who died at Cashlings in 1808.  Of this family a McAndrew wedded to a Maguire, there were born four sons, Thomas, Michael, Cormick and William and one daughter Bridget.  Of these sones one named Thomas married, lived, and died in Ireland. 


Michael and William McAndrew died in Colorado leaving families in that state.  Cormick McAndrew was a Colonel of Engineers in the Confederate Army during the great Rebellion.  He died in Kentucky. 


The foregoing accounts for the Cashlings branch of the descendants of Connor Maguire last King of Firmanach executed by the British at Tyburn in 1644.  The title of High King of Firmanach having been conferred on Donn Maguire in the year 1290 and Conor Maguire having been executed as the last King of Firmanach, we find the Maguires high kings or princes of Firmanach for a period of 354 years.  Of the other descendants of Daniel and Rodger Maguire who found shelter in Slieve Snaght in northeastern Donegal there are many to represent them in that region although many of them emigrated to the United States, to Spain, to South America and other countries.  Many of them becoming prominent in each country to which they went to find freedom and liberty that was denied them in their own country. 


There are however, at this time, dwelling in the county of Firmanach many of the descendants of the original Maguire Princes both in the male and female lines that promise to carry forward in a prominent way the Maguire name unto future centuries. 


(Don Maguire)

July 29, 1932 - - Ogden, Utah





1.  Entered January 1998 by FVM from copies supplied by Mark Hamilton of Colorado, with original spelling and grammar preserved.  In the original, the material in <<>> is circled and followed by the comment in {} hand-written.