This surname history was meant to be free of any copyright but, as a work in progress, distribution of the text needs to be controlled. To this end what I have decided to do is to copyright it entirely. Private use will be allowed in every case; no questions asked and under only one condition - you must ask first. This will be handled on a case by case basis. Commercial use of any type is not authorized. The only reason for this is to prevent copies of this family history ending up on some commercial site when it is only partially complete. If you have any questions on the use of the text of the history, please feel free to contact me. When the history is complete these restrictions will be removed entirely and the text will then be in the public domain as was originally intended. I will announce when the text is completed. Although changes may be made to the history after that time, it is then the responsibility of the individual user to keep his (or her) copy up to date.
As work progresses on this surname history, it becomes apparent that a set of maps to accompany the text is necessary. The maps, now in progress, are based on the modern County divisions in Ireland. It is important to note that provincial and County divisions did not exist in ancient Ireland except in the most rudimentary form. Divisions between major tribal groups were more likely to occur along rivers or mountain chains or other natural barriers. In the case of a group of people settled in desirable (or perhaps not so desirable) lands, their boundaries may have been whatever area they were able to defend, based on the local population and thus the number of warriors able to be drawn up in their defense. In this light, a large and powerful dynasty firmly rooted in their territory would be just as real a boundary as any mountain or river. Though widely recognized by name and by reputation, barriers such as these are not permanent. Boundaries between tribal groups changed over time, either swelling or shrinking, due to warfare, famine, pestilince, or other factors. In large part, the size of ones territory was determined by ones ability to survive and recoup from these natural and man-made disasters. These ancient boundaries of course no longer exist and, in many cases, modern scholars are hard pressed to determine their original locations. Septs or groups of septs, in part or in whole, may have relocated at various times for any number of reasons, further complicating matters. Some ancient divisions were more durable and survive to this day. Such is the case of the diocese, which was based more on the ability to maintain frequent and reliable communication between various church institutions in early christian Ireland. Such concerns exist even today and the boundaries are still very much applicable.
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