The Irish Broughalls
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
Dr. MacLysaght provided this author with the references
that he had found to the name:
|1300 Wm. Brochal, witness.
of Documents, Ireland, Carlow
1312 Robt. Brohal, juror, Co. Wateford
(all jury had non-Gaelic names)
1356 Philip Broghale, official, Co.
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
Dublin. J.R.S.A.I. LIX, 47.
1644 Thos. Broall, soldier in Sir John
MSS (HMC Reports)
1647 Robert Broughall, soldier in Capt.
Martin's regiment. Ibid.
1659 Richard Broughall, titulado, Clonsilla, Co. Dublin.
1677 Wm. Broghall, Co. Dublin, farmer.
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.
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
re relaxation of the penal laws.
1850 13 people of name (several variant
spellings) listed as house or land owners
County Kildare, 6 in County Wicklow, 3 in County Offaly, 3 in County
1865 Two Broughall birth
registrations in Co. Kildare. One in Naas, one in Athy.
1866 One Broughall birth registrations in Baltinglass, Co.
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
(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
|"Broughillstown is a
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).