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The Irish Broughalls

    In spite of its ancient origin, Broughall as a family name is extremely rare. In 1968, this author spent two days in the Genealogical Research Section of the Library of Congress, but was unable to find a single reference to the name in the hundreds of books dealing with English surnames. The he discovered an article on the name in More Irish Families, by Dr. Edward MacLysaght. Dr. MacLysaght was then Director of the Irish Manuscripts Commission and was then the world's foremost authority on Irish Surnames. The article appears below:
     BROUGHALL. Several variant spellings of this have been recorded such as Brohal and Broughill, including Brothel in Co. Sligo: this occurs in a birth registration of 1866 and would seem to indicate a refreshing innocence in the Connacht of a century ago. Conor O'Brotall, who is mentioned among a number of Co. Roscomon men in a Fiant of 1584, was possibly of the small and little known sept in question. Connacht is not its modern home-land, if we take birth registrations of several years in the last century as a guide, since these were mostly in Co. Kildare.
     The earliest reference to the name I have met is Robert Brohale, A Co. Waterford juror in 1312, and in the next generation we find Philip Brohale resident in Co. Carlow in 1356; a John Brohale was assessor for the barony of Narraghy, Co. Kildare in 1420 and another of the same name (spelt Broghall) was of Moone in that county in 1402. Richard Broughall appears as a titulado in the barony of Castle-knock, Co. Dublin in 1659; and in 1714 we meet the name again in Co. Dublin when Robert Broghill was brought to court as a Papist under the Penal Code. I have yet to find an early instance which might link it to an original form in Irish. The Broghill, from which Roger Boyle, later Earl of Orrery took is title, in Co. Cork; but I know of no evidence that the surname under consideration is derived from that place.

Dr. MacLysaght provided this author with the references that he had found to the name:

1300  Wm. Brochal, witness. Calendar of Documents, Ireland, Carlow
1312  Robt. Brohal, juror, Co. Wateford (all jury had non-Gaelic names)
          Justiciary Rolls III
1356  Philip Broghale, official, Co. Carlow.
Patent and Chancery Rolls.
1402  John Broghall, Co. Kildare. Ibid.
1592  Wm. Broughill appears as defendant in a case relating to a cow, etc. at
          Esker, Co. Dublin.
J.R.S.A.I. LIX, 47.
1644  Thos. Broall, soldier in Sir John Rotherham's regiment.
Ormond MSS (HMC Reports)
1647  Robert Broughall, soldier in Capt. Martin's regiment. Ibid.
1659  Richard Broughall, titulado, Clonsilla, Co. Dublin.
"Census of 1659"
1677  Wm. Broghall, Co. Dublin, farmer. Prerogative Wills.
1701  Anne Broughall, Clonsilla, Co. Dublin, widow. Ibid
1710  Thomas Broughall, Dublin, Gent. Ibid
1714  Robert Broghill of the Grange, Coolock, Co. Dublin. Gent.
          Evidence that he attended Mass. Irish Priests in the Penal Time by Burke.
1784  Edward Broughall, Eccles Street, Dublin.
Prerogative Wills.
1791  Richard Broghall, son of John B. Esq., born 1775, admitted to Dublin
Alumni Dublinensis, 1791.
1797  Thomas Braughall,deputed by Warden of Galway to confer with Catholic
           prelates re relaxation of the penal laws.
Analecta Hibernica, No.14.
1850  13 people of name (several variant spellings) listed as house or land owners
           in County Kildare, 6 in County Wicklow, 3 in County Offaly, 3 in County
Griffith's Valuation.
1865   Two Broughall birth registrations in Co. Kildare. One in Naas, one in Athy.
1866   One Broughall birth registrations in Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow.
    In a letter to this author, Dr. MacLysaght wrote, "The surname Broughall is one of our few Irish toponymics (surname taken from place name) taken from Broughal, which is that of a townland and electoral district in Offaly not very far from Co. Kildare, the area with which families of Broughall etc. have been associated continuously for five centuries. If we find a case of it appearing as de Broughal, I could be satisfied of that." He added, "the absence of any of these variants from works on English surnames makes it improbable that it is of English Origin."
(April 30, 1968)
     The Broughalls, although a very small family, were well established in the area described by Dr. MacLysaght. Two 'townlands' carry their name: the 400 acre Broughillstown in County Carlow and the 68 acre Broughills Hill in County Wicklow. Both are shown on Ordnance Survey Maps.

Broughillstown - Carlow County Ireland.

"Broughillstown is a 'townland' which comprises just over 400 statute acres in area. A townland is a clearly defined area of land varying in size and which is clearly indicated on the large-scale map of Ireland. The name of a townland is usually a derivative of the ancient Irish place name," wrote N. M. Cantwell, the archivist for County Carlow. (May 17, 1968)   

Broughills Hill - County Wicklow, Ireland

"Broughills - Hill is a small townland of 68 acres overlooking the Village of Hollywood and situated 25 miles from Dublin in the midst of beautiful woodlands - Lake district. At the turn of the century, there were four Broughill families living in it, and even though they married they are all dead and gone," wrote Joseph Glennon, Garda Siochana, Archivist for County Wicklow, Ireland. (Aug. 28, 1968).