Welcome to the O Driscoll Memorial Archive


Who are the O Driscoll Clan

Clann Ó Drisceoil, the O Driscoll Clan have, for over 1,500 years, been anchored in the ancient district of Corcu Lóegde, now known as Carbery, in West Cork, Ireland. Genealogists give the family a descent from Ith son of Bregon, a paternal uncle of Mil who was one of the first to settle in Ireland.

The Ui Etersceoil or O Driscolls are named from one Eterscél who was head of the family sometime in the first half of the tenth century or from a later descendant Eterscél, son of Finn, who lived in the mid-eleventh century. Baltimore and the three islands of Cape Clear, Sherkin and Heir in Co. Cork are the heart of the territory which was left to the O Driscolls after the Battle of Kinsale 1601.

O Driscolls Worldwide

Fleeing from war, persecution and famine in Ireland, the O Driscolls went as ‘Wild Geese’ to France and Spain, and as poor emigrants made their way to America, Britain, Australia and other places. In time, they made a name for themselves in the military, religious, economic, medical, cultural and political life of many countries. In Ireland, they adapted to new ways and became merchants, journalists, authors, poets, educationalists, religious, sporting and legal figures.

Dún an Óir, Cape Clear Island, O Driscoll Castle

Their descendants are today to be found throughout Ireland and especially in County Cork, Britain, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other lands.
The original home of all O Driscolls, is the area around Baltimore and Sherkin, Heir and Cape Clear islands where the surname is most frequently found today. Much of the history of the O Driscolls and the story of many named O Driscoll worldwide is told in O Driscolls, Past and Present by Dr Éamon Lankford. Details of his book are here.


O Driscoll Castles
The ruins of seven ancient castles and churches and other sites associated with the O Driscoll family are to be found on the islands of Cape Clear, Heir and Sherkin. Dún na Séad and surrounding area. Their stronghold at Baltimore has now been beautifully restored and is open to the public. No other Irish family have remained so long and so strong in numbers in their own place as the O Driscolls of West Cork. Click for details on Dún na Séad, Baltimore, O Driscoll Castle website]

O Driscoll Oldcourt Castle

All who bear any form of the name Ó Drisceoil, O Driscoll, Driskell, Driskill certainly have ancestral connections that may stretch back several centuries to a particular part of County Cork, Ireland and the ormer O Driscoll territory surrounding Baltimore and the islands of Cape Clear, Heir and Sherkin.



Having been closely associated with the O Driscoll Clan Gathering since its inception in 1986, Dr. Éamon Lankford has gathered much documentation relating to people named O Driscoll. His absorbing account of the fortunes of the Clan in O Driscolls: Past and Present (2005) is a comprehensive historical account which highlights the local origins of the O Driscolls as well as their power, wealth and influence down the centuries. It also tries to show their wider international and national connections. The constant maritime theme gets particular mention, as well as the ecclesiastical, literary and legal ones that have characterized the recorded activities of O Driscolls through the ages.

Have your family remembered

We invite you to write an account of your O Driscoll or Cape Clear Island ancestry for inclusion in the O Driscoll Memorial Archive or Cape Clear Island Archive and have you and your family remembered in part of the ancestral lands of all O Driscolls. You and your West Cork ancestors deserve to be remembered in the O Driscoll Memorial Archive.

Email: odriscollarchive@gmail.com


If you have any ancestral connections with an O Driscoll who lived in any part of the world or if you have and Cape Clear Island family connections, past or present please make a submission of information about yourself and your family for inclusion in the Cape Clear Island Archive/ O Driscoll Memorial Archive.

If you can tell us something about what you know, perhaps we might be able to add something to your account, especially if you have had in the past some family connections with Cape Clear island.

We will tell you what we know if we can make a link with whatever you do tell us about your O Driscoll family story.

A Guide to making a submission of a family account

Many members of the O Driscoll worldwide family have put family genealogy and accounts of all kinds on the internet. All who have written such accounts are invited to deposit a copy of their material in the O Driscoll Memorial Archive located in part of their ancestral homeland. Dr Éamon Lankford, founder and voluntary director of the O Driscoll Memorial Archive and the Cape Clear Island Archive would be delighted to hear from you if you wish to donate a copy of your research to the archive. Perhaps the following Guide may be helpful for making a submission of a family account for inclusion in the O Driscoll and Cape Clear Archives.


You may write genealogical, historical or career profiles or other accounts for any member of your extended Driscoll/ Driskill family worldwide which can include details of occupations, trades, professions and businesses of any kind from any time period.

The inclusion of information regarding educational, sporting, musical, literary talents and achievements of O Driscolls at any time in the past or the present is invited.

Titles and copies of books, songs, articles, poems etc written by or about O Driscolls are of interest, as are National service and other records relating to people who bear any form of the name O Driscoll.

The inclusion of dates for events and locations for births and deaths and burials and support documentation will also assist with the accuracy of what you may wish to have recorded.

Photocopies of obituaries, newspaper articles written by or about matters concerning O Driscolls or copies of any other documentation which gives insights into the lives of people named O Driscoll will be much appreciated.

Photographs are very important and persons whose image appear in photographs should be named on the back of the photo along with a date for when the photo was taken.

Details of genealogical and other connections with Ireland, County Cork and particularly West Cork or with specific places in other countries will be helpful.

Click here to submit Family Genealogy details.

Please use the form below when making an enquiry or arranging to make a submission of family data for inclusion in the O Driscoll Memorial Archive

Sample of some O Driscoll Collection Volumes {Photos of Volumes} on EL cameras


Your name and address, photograph or any information you wish to supply will not be posted on the internet. Nothing will be published by the O Driscoll Archive without further reference to you and any information you submit will be kept in the O Driscoll Memorial Archive for O Driscoll related research purposes only.

If your submission happens to relate to any Cape Clear island family ancestry we will hold it in the Cape Clear Island Archive for private family research purposes only.


Email: capeclearmuseum@gmail.com





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