Hynes Clan History

As a new member of HYNES FAM, the first lesson is to know the whole story about it. This article is help me to understand and in case you want to know, all details below:

Chief Mulrony O’Heyne, Lord of Aidhne, was father-in-law of Irish King Brian Boru, and fought and died with him while defeating the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 AD. For the next few centuries the O’Heynes were in constant battle with their Irish and Norman neighbors.

The Hynes territory was gradually taken by the invading Normans and English. Dunguaire Castle near Kinvara, built in 1520 AD, probably by Chief Owen “the Toothless” O’Heyne, was occupied by the Martyns of Tullira and was later inherited by Edward Martyn, a friend of local authors W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory of Coole Park, both of whom wrote about Hynes ancestors.

The castle was restored and now hosts banquets nightly during the tourist season. The ruins of several other Hynes castles may still be found in the area, as well as the ruins of O’Heyne Abbey at the monastery of Kilmacduagh.

The last known O’Heyne chief was Eoghan, or Owen, of Lydacan Castle in the 17th century. Later a number of Hynes became noted as Catholic priests. Hynes may now be found all over Ireland, especially in Galway and Clare counties, and across the world, with concentrations in Australia, Canada, UK and US.

Arms: Per pale indented, or and gules. Two lions, rampant, combatant, counterchanged.

Crest: A dexter arm, armed, embowed, the hand grasping a sword, all proper.

Origin of name: The Irish name of Hynes is an Anglicization of the original Irish surname, O’Heyne or heidhin, which dates back to when surnames first began being used. The name means “descendant of Eidhin”, referring to Eidhin, son of Cleirigh (ancestor of the O’Clerys), who lived in the 9th century. Eidhin’s grandson, Mulrony “of the Prayer” O’Heyne (Maelruanaidh na Paidri heidhin), was probably the first to use the name.
The name “Eidhin” may come from the Irish Gaelic word “eidhean”, which means “ivy”. During the English occupation of Ireland, the Irish were coerced into using English spellings, often by using a similar name existing in England. “O” and “Mac” prefixes were dropped and sometimes replaced by a final “s”, so  heidhin first became spelled O’Heyne, and eventually became Hynes, Hines, Hinds, etc.

Gaelic Name:  heidhin Tribe: The O’Heynes were a chief sept of the tuatha, or tribe, of  U  Fiachrach  Aidhne, which was the southern branch of the U Fiachrach (also spelled  Hy Fiachrach), who were  the descendants of Fiachra Folt-leathan (of the flowing  hair),  brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages (ancestor of the O’Neills), who lived in the 5th century.

The U Fiachrach Aidhne lived in the territory of Aidhne, in the southern part of what is now County Galway, and traced their descent from the 7th century King of Connaught, Guaire Aidhne “the Hospitable”, of whom many legends are still told. Other septs of the U Fiachrach Aidhne included the O’Shaughnessys, O’Clearys, Kilkellys, and some O’Cahans and Cahills.

HYNES Castle and others memorian building :

Dunguaire is the most famous Hynes castle, and the only one intact today. It was built  next to the site of the 7th century Rath Durlas, built by King Guaire Aidhne, the  Hospitable, there are other castles.

The modern castle was built in 1520 AD by the O’Heynes. It is uncertain which O’Heyne actually built it, but it was either Owen, Flann  or Edmund. It is located on a low promontory half a mile northeast of Kinvara, on an  inlet of Galway Bay, Aughnish Bay. It consists of a 65 foot fortified tower surrounded by a bawn, or stone wall, with a smaller tower at the southwest corner. A century later the castle passed into the hands of the Martyns of Tullira. Edward Martyn, who, along with W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory of Coole Park, founded the Irish Literary Renaissance society and the Abbey Theatre, sold the castle 1912 to their friend and  fellow writer, Oliver St. John Gogarty.

Yeats also bought the de Burgo castle at Thoor Ballylee in 1916, where once lived Mary  Hynes, who was the subject of the famous Irish song M Eidhin by the blind  poet Antoine Raftery. Lady Gregory translated “Raftery’s Praise of Mary Hynes” and  Yeats wrote about the song in The Tower and other writings. Both wrote plays about  Hynes ancestors. In 1924 Dunguaire Castle was sold to Christabel Lady Ampthill, who  restored it. It was bought in 1972 by the Shannon Development Company, and it is  operated today by Shannon Heritage & Banquets, who host medieval banquets twice a  night from May to September. More information and photos may be found in “White Sheeted Fort” and “Dunguaire Castle”, by James P. Hynes, Kinvara Online, Global Golf IrelanD

Next to Dunguaire are the remains of the original 7th century fort of King Guaire Aidhne, the name of which means “strong fort”. It was the site of many legends, one of which had dishes floating on air out of the fort and down the road to the Burren, to Guaire’s cousin St. Colman MacDuagh. The fort was referred to in a poem by Giolla Iosa MacFirbis in 1417:

The white sheeted fort of soft stones
Habitation of poets and bishops.

Curranroe Castle

The Hynes castle of Roo, or Curranroe, sat the head of Aughnish Bay near Corcomroe, just four miles from Dunguaire. Peter O’Heyne, son of Flan Boy O’Heyne of Kinturlough, was the last O’Heyne to live there, in the 17th century. The castle was destroyed by the great Lisbon earthquake on 1 November, 1755, at 9:40 a.m., which was felt throughout Europe. All that remains today is a mound on the seashore.

Ardrahan Castle

TURRIS FORTIS NOBIS JESU DEUS The name was originally Ard Ri Aidhne, or “High King of Aidhne”. The chief residence of the Lords of Aidhne until 1264 AD, when it was it was captured from the O’Heynes by William de Burgo, was site of a great defeat inflicted by the O’Heynes and their Gaelic allies against the Normans in 1225, which is mentioned in the song The West’s Awake. All that is left today is one large fragment of the keep built in 1250, on which is carved O’Heyne arms. The ruins of Ardrahan Castle may be found to the east of the road from Clarinbridge to Gort, just across the railway near the village. More information may be found at the County Galway web site.

Cahererillan Castle

Just two miles south of Kinvarra, this castle has a fairly well-preserved tower house.

Lydacan Castle

Lydacan Castle Just four miles east of Kinvara on the N18 trunk road. The ruin is a large tower house which is well-preserved, despite the roof having fallen in. It was owned in the 16th century by the chiefs of the O’Heynes, including Owen Murtagh O’Heyne and Hugh Boy O’Heyne. Connor Crone O’Hynes lived in Lydacan Castle in 1612. A photograph of Lydacan Castle shows the stone tower.

Caherglassaun Castle

Two miles south-southeast of Kinvara, just north of Caherglassaun Lake sits this tower house.

Cahir Baile Ui hEidhne

The name means “Seat of the Town of O’Heynes”. This is an ancient hill fort near the shore close to the road to Ballyvaughn. Photographs of Cahir Baile Ui hEidhne show the fort walls with ruins of later dwellings.

Dunowen Castle

The O’Heynes living here were descended from Aodh Buidhe (Hugh Boy), son of Flann O’Heyne, although Eoghan Buidhe (Owen Boy) may have been father of the first Dunowen Hynes. An older fort of great strength, built of stone without mortar, on the edge of a rocky cliff, stood next to the castle.

Ballybranaghan Castle

This castle lay the edge of the Aughnish Bay, opposite Dunguaire, at the site now occupied by Delamaine Lodge. Owned in 1641 by Edmund O’Heyne, the castle’s stones were later used as building material.


In 1133 AD, Turlogh O’Brien laid siege to an O’Heyne fort a few miles south of the City of Galway in Roveneaugh, whose name means “Red Beech”. He levelled the fort and destroyed the red beech tree under which the local kings were crowned. There the O’Heyne chieftains stood on a coronation stone during their inauguration, which was said to bear the marks of two feet. Later the place became the inauguration spot of the Burkes, when it was known as Cahir an Earla (the Earls’ Chair). The stone could still be seen in the 19th century but cannot be found today.

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  1. Vey interesting, and all this time I thought Hynes was a merging of Welsh and German for gunsmith.

  2. WOW! Having just left a “Hynes-Hines” family reunion this is all very interesting to me. Can’t wait to get to Ireland next year for a look up close and personal.

  3. My husband, Douglas Hynes has always been interested in his ancestry. He had been when he was a small child that the name had originally been O’Hyne, but according to this document it says it was O’Heyne, which actually looks to be a more accurate spelling. We are planning a trip to Ireland within the next year and can not wait to visit the Dunguaire Castle. We also hope to meet some of the Hynes family still in Ireland..We live in Newfoundland, Canada.

  4. My book, THE HYNES OF IRELAND, will give you a comprehensive history of the O’ Heyne. See publisher’s site, Countvise.

  5. My great great grandfather immigrated from Ireland to Canada, his son to New
    York state & then to a small farming community in Michigan where decendants still
    live. In Sept.2001 my husband & I attended the Hynes Clan meeting in County Clare. Not many were there because of the 9-11 disaster in NYC, but we had a great time visting our castle , Dunguire in Kinvara, for a banquet. And during the 5 days
    visited the remnants of other family castles. Jim Hynes of Wales, was our esteemed
    leader. He had written several booklets about our family history that we were
    able to purchase from him. Next month we are going again–this time taking 2 of
    our children with us. we are doing a 7 day tour with Driftwood tours–an Irish com.

  6. Hi Jeanette, just wondering who your Great Great Grandfather was. My husband’s father was born in Michigan and his ancestors immigrated to Nova Scotia and some how ended up in Michigan as well. Just wondering you all might be related.

  7. Please contact me, family members! This is so amazing!

    I have been to Dunguaire castle and it is stunning.

    I’m very interested in learning about my ancestry

    I’m 20 years old and live in South Dakota.

  8. Thats Lovely Jeanette,
    I am sorry I been away from the blog, and its wonderful to read all the comments.
    We are looking forward for our trip next summer to Ireland.
    Thank you.

  9. This is so amazing to learn about my ancestors, and where we came from. My father is from Erie, PA, and has told me how our family used to be O’Heyne. I never knew there were so many “Hynes”, I have been trying to learn more about the history of my family and where everything started. This article is great!

  10. I am a descendant of the Hines clan, those that came to America and settled in New England in colonial times. My uncle, John Hines, has done extensive research on our family line and visits Ireland often. I plan to go there in the summer of 2017 for an extensive visit, to get in touch with my roots and to visit Dungaire Castle and the remains of any other family structures. And to think it all started with my uncle telling me to look up Brian Boru! I would love to make connections with others who share the same family line.

  11. I have set up a facebook page for the descendants of Mulrony O’Heyne- O’Hynes, Hynes and Hines . Would love to connect with the family line. Please go to facebook (U.S.) and look for Hynes/Hines clan page. Add a comment, any info…lets connect.

  12. I am married to David Barnes, whose mother is Madonna Hynes Barnes and her father was John Hynes. They trace their roots back to Ireland. I wondered if the families discussing this know of their relatives in South Dakota. You may email me if you want at Tina.Kumley@gmail.com

  13. So I just learned about this info today I’m pretty pumped about it! It’s good to know I’m not the only one experiencing this on my own. I’m going to Ireland next week and I’m totally going see if I can make it out to the castle. I don’t exactly understand our whole history so if somebody does understand please comment and help me understand haha that would be so helpful thank you!

  14. Hi I am looking for a Wilf Hynes who married an English girl called Nora Mann he is the father of my husband John he did come to see us about 20 years ago but we have no address for hints. Many thanks

  15. My book THE My book THE HYNES OF IRELAND may be bought from Amazon Kindle.This book is a short history of the battles, murders, duels, conflicts, love stories, poems, castles, monasteries and miracles involving the ancient Hynes family and their kinsfolk, the other descendants of King Guaire, the O’Shaughnessys, O’Clearys, O’Cahans, O’Cahills and Killikellys.

    The surname Hynes and its variants, Hines, Heines, Heins, Heine, O Heynes, O Heines, is the anglicised form of the ancient Irish name. Ui hEidhne. Its ancient form shows up in the name of its sept’s seventh century progenitor, King Guaire Aidhne, King of Connaught. Where most of the narrative of ‘The Hynes of Ireland’ centres on the seaside town of Kinvara, on the edge of Galway Bay, Ireland, ‘The O’Shaughnessys’ centres on the market town of Gort, a few miles inland.

  16. I’m very interested in the Hynes and how and when they settled in Prince Edward Island, Canada (where I live and grew up).
    How do I find this information? My name is Shawna (Hynes) Carmody, DOB: August 26, 1954.
    Email: smscarmody@gmail.com

  17. Hey everyone the hynes played a really important part in early Australian history as well…look up the eureka stockade and Bridget hynes.

  18. My grandfathers roots can be traced back to the hynes clan. My grandfather was daniel hoynes. They went to a family reunion in ireland back in 2003

  19. Just curious if anybody knows when or why somewhere the S was left out. I’m a Hyne. There’s not too much oral history in my family. But my great-great -grandfather immigrated in the 1850’s. I think to the new Mexico area then to Suffolk county New York. Just wondering if anybody out there can elaborate? -thanks!

  20. I was adopted and after some research I did a few years ago and meeting with family members, I learned my biological fathers name is Hynes and the family come from Ireland. I find this all fascinating stuff and will be purchasing the book by J P Hynes.

  21. I believe my great grandparents emigrated to Canada probably around the time of the potato famine.
    Information I’ve read indicates they may have embarked from Cork, though that was a fairly common port of embarkation. They eventually settled in Etwell, Ontario.

  22. Danny hyne my name is Wayne Hyne and my son’s name is Danny the history who wrote is exactly from my side of the family my grandfather Roundup in the same areas as you mentioned then ended up on Long Island New York Suffolk County in Huntington Station

  23. My great, great grandfather was one of four Hynes brothers who moved to the Adrian and Woodland, Michigan areas. They were from Ireland. I am interested in connecting with the families of the two brothers who ended up down by Adrian/Jackson Michigan. I would like to find out my te about the history. Thank you. Valerie Hynes Mc Caul.

  24. I am of the Hines family and there are many of us in Iowa. I am going to Ireland in Aug of this year 2017 and am very excited to possibly see the Hines Castle. Any insight or suggestions are appreciated.

  25. What a great group discussion! Thank you. I have just returned to Australia from Ireland and by pure luck, found the Tower House / Castle of the Hynes. In a quirky twist my own family surname is Martin. The large Martin coat of arms just as you enter the shop there was an instant clue. My mothers maiden name was Hynes! So myself and many siblings are the product of a union of Hynes and Martin.
    Both families were well known in Ballarat in Victoria which is an Australian State.
    I noted mention of the Eureka stokade rebellion in Ballarat and the link to Bridget hynes. It is not too difficult to imagine the Irish Hynes taking exception to the grossly unfair taxing of gold miners by the Brittish authorities. Have a look at Eureka stokade Ballarat.

    My brother is about to head over to Ireland so any information of other Hynes or Martin interesting spots would be appreciated.

  26. It’s very interesting to learn that there are so many hynes s in the United States and Canada. I had my DNA done and I’m Irish. I was born in Newfoundland.canada

  27. Unfortunately, I am at a dead end with finding records. 🙁
    My ggg grandparents were Catherine Hynes and barthalomew Brodrick. They are buried in Calvery cemetary in Saint Paul Minnesota. On her tombstone it says she came from the parish of kinvara Galway Ireland. I did find they married there in 1846 and emigrated in 1848 Galway to Boston. I’ve been to kinvara and it’s incredibly beautiful as is the castle. Sure would love to figure out Catherine’s ancestry line so if anyone has any good tips to find info from 1800 to 1830 in kinvara please share! Thanks!

  28. Hi my name is dawn Hynes my granddad name was Richard hynes moved to England and made a life here would love to know more about my family history xx

  29. Hi you all, Hynes,es yes we are a long tailed clan we are all over the globe. I am born and bred in Dublin now California is our home. I have lived in oz nz can and other places . I am what we in construction call a long distance man. so have a great time in Irl. an d have a pint for me . Martin p Hynes

  30. Hi Hynes Cousins! My GG Grandfather was Michael Hynes born circa 1829 from Loughrea Galway and he came to New Orleans, Louisiana to start a new life where he married and had 8 sons & 2 daughters (including a set of twins, which one was my GGrandfather Albert Rosemond Hynes). I have tested my Dna & can be contacted on FB name Rachel Hynes O’Brien. There are also FB Genealogy pages for Galway & Loughrea Galway – it helps if you have tested your dna too where you can compare with others – be sure to register your dna with GEDmatch!!

  31. Hi I am from the south Galway region near dungaire castle my father as always talked about our ancestors owning them and my grandad being invited to dungaire castle when it first opened after renovations, very interesting read

  32. This has all been very interesting. I am Deborah Hynes. I grew up in Iowa. My dad was James C. Hynes. HIs father was James W. Hynes. I believe he was from Wisconsin. His father was William Hynes Wife was Julia Brosus Hynes. I think my great great grandfather was Michael Hynes from Ireland. I am stuck. I have been on Ancestry.com and did the DNA test. I am waiting for results. I have not been to Ireland but would like to take a trip to Galway. I believe that may be where the family is from. In the meantime I am continuing to search for answers.

  33. I recently started to research my family history when considering a trip to Ireland. I live in New York and best I can tell my second great grandfather was John Hynes born 1795 in Galway to Jno and Anne Hynes and was one of six children. I”m hoping to locate family still living in Ireland during a trip next year. This may tie into some of your family trees. Hope to hear from anyone with more information.

  34. Fascinating to read the history of the clan! I’m descended from the Hynes family of Ballymarcahaun, Ardrahan, Co. Galway. In 1881 Mary Hynes migrated to Bundaberg, Australia, and in 1891 her sister Margaret Hynes followed, later settling in Sydney. Their brother Martin Hynes remained in Ballymarcahaun all his life. A few years ago I visited the village on an Irish holiday and a local pointed out the old Hynes cottage to me. Beautiful place with lovely people.

  35. Hi Anna, we would love the see a picture of the cottage, if you have it. Happy New Year.

  36. Hi Anna,
    I am a descendant of Patrick Hynes Born 1804 in Ardrahan Co Galway. He migrated to Melbourne, Vic. Australia in 1863 with his wife Mary Brennan Hynes and 4 children. His first child Thomas b 1842, & second child Edward b 1844 were born in Ardrahan. His third child John was born in Ballymarcahaun, Ardrahan in 1848 and his fourth child Mary was born nearby in Peterswell, Ardrahan in 1842. I do not know who the parents of Patrick were. In your family tree do you have a Patrick Hynes c1804?

  37. My father, Michael Thomas Hynes, was from Galway, and emigrated from Galway Ireland in the 1930’s, to NYC. He passed away early at the age of 44, leaving a widow, Margaret Hynes, from Donegal, and 3 young children. We have no knowledge of any family at all. I do know that he had some relatives who lived in Connecticut by the name of Clark. That’s about it.

  38. My father, Michael T. Hynes, was born in Galway, Ireand, emigrated to US in probably the 1930’s, I was born in 1943, and he passed away in February, 1950, when I had just turned 7 yrs. old.

    He was a wonderful father, from what I remember. He married my mother, Margaret Loughery, who was from Donegal, Ireland, I believe somewhere during the ’30’s. They met at Rockaway Beach, NY and subsequently married. They also had 2 boys after me, Michael T. Hynes, the youngest, and John Hynes, who was 2 yrs. younger than myself.

    He had relatives who lived in Connecticut, and I vaguely remember taking the train with my mother to visit them when we were very young.

    We lived in NYC in Manhattan, and the superintentend at the time in Washington Heights, was George Clooney and his wife Rose. They were also from Ireland, and he remembered that my father was a member of the Irish Republican Army in Ireland.

    We have no paperwork regarding birth certificates, etc., only on the Cameronia, the ship my mother took on her trip from Ireland (Donegal) to the U.S. The mystery that always haunted me and my brothers was what was our background?

    Thank you to everyone for anything you can let me know, the slightest bit of info might help..

  39. Helen Rose Hynes, Father was Michael Thomas Hynes, from Galway, Ireland. Emigrated to US somewhere during 1930’s, married to Margaret Loughery maybe in 1940, worked in NYC in Peter Reeves Supermarket. Three children, Helen, John, and Michael, passed away in February, 1950.

    Anyone know anything?

  40. Any info on Owen and Bridget hynes buried in jenkinstown they’re my g grandparents

  41. Years ago, I received a letter in regards to Christianity and being a Hynes, Ever since then, I’ve been hooked on our history. My great, great grandfather was Michael Hynes from Loughrea and migrated to New Orleans in the 1850’s.

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