(Received December 4, 2015)


The Relationship between the O'Hara and Cuffe Families

See also:  (1)  Guestbook entry of December 2, 2015 = Message #768  (2)  House of Names: The Cuffe Family  (3) The Cuffe Family Crest


    Dear Webmaster

   The dates for the 1st and 2nd Barons Tyrawley seem to be correct. It's the relationship between the families that is confusing.

    I accept now that their is little real evidence for any relationship between the two families. The first creations of the Barons Tyrawley 1 & 2 were O Hara's which include Charles O Hara. This became extinct on the death of the second O'Hara Tyrawley. The next creation in 1797 was that of a new line in Sir James Cuffe Minister for War and Barrack master for Ireland. This title again became extinct in 1821.

    Now for the confusion. In Gibraltar's Kings Chapel in the ceiling areas are the shields and coats of arms of all the Governors. and their names. It shows the Coat of Arms of the O'Hara's but with the name of Sir James Cuffe Baron Tyrawley of Ballinrobe. The added confusion is that Sir James Cuffe had an illegitimate child but not a lot is known of him. He also had 4 other children legitimately, But they did not it seems inherit the title possibly because of the Union with Great Britain 1800 when the UK flag the Jack also changed. One record I have browsed states that Tyrawley had an affair in Lisbon and had an illegitimate child, was this an O Hara Child she being the wife of an O Hara? and this child inherited the title but only till 1821?

    Incidentally the Cuffe coat of arms is entirely different and versions of it appear for the Barons, Viscounts and Earls of Desart as well as Wheeler-Cuffe. But nothing like the O Hara arms.
    So you can see the confusion. Anyway I learned a lot about the O Hara's and the Yorktown surrender was fascinating as I am keen on that period and the American Rebellion against the legitimate Crown. (That's an Englishman speaking for you).

    That's where I think the connections need to be proved.

    Jeff Cuffe

PS. The attached Cuffe coat of arms was granted 1544 by King Henry VIII via Thomas Cromwell. The Cuffes had major estates in Ireland and were Irish peers. The last Earl was voted by all sides in the Irish conflicts 1920's to be acceptable as the new Presidents of an Irish Dominion which Michael Collins, John Redmond and Lloyd George accepted but Éamon de Valera did not! The IRA burnt his house down in 1922 despite the Earl being favourable to Irish home rule.

Email: jeff.cuff@btinternet.com

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