Clan: McManus of Drumshanbo
Other branches of the clan: Moyne, Main, Manson, Mayne, Manasses, Mann, MacMayne.
Irish Clan Name: Mac Maghnusa.
Mc Manus is the Anglicisation of the ancient Irish MacMaghnuis, meaning son of Magus. Magus is a popular Norse personal name from the Latin “magnus” meaning great. Although made up of a Norse name the Mc Manus septs are entirely Irish. Septs of the name share no common ancestry. The name arouse of a number of district people who became distinguished due to their name. One of the Mc Manus sept claim descent from Maghnus who was sun of Turlough O’Connor King of Ireland and had his seat at Kilronan, Co. Roscommon.
Kilronan is the ancient territory of Tir Thuithail, situated in the furthest northeasterly point of County Roscommon. It is an area of impressive natural beauty where the Arigna mountains host the meeting of the three counties of Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo. From the seventeenth century to more recent times however, this scene of rural beauty has collided superficially with the unfettered activities of coal and ironstone mining – and the necessary scars of human survival will still occasionally present themselves to you as earth-workings on the Arigna landscape. But years of redundancy, and the natural growth which follows human inactivity, is now restoring the hillsides to their former glory. This restorative process has inevitably brought with it some degree of economic and social difficulty for those in the local community – all the mines have now closed.
The ancient annals tell us that the McManuses of North Roscommon are descended from Connor, king of Connaught who reigned seven years and died A.D. 973. From him descended Tirlagh Mor O’Connor the 48th King of Connaught and the 181st elected Monarch of all Ireland in 1136. After 50 years reign (20 as Monarch of Ireland) he died in 1156. Tirlagh Mor O’Connor had several wives and 18 sons. The ninth son was Magnus O’Connor of Tir Thuathail whose sons took the surname MacManus – sons of Magnus. Magnus’ brother, Cathal Crobhdearg, was the 58th King of Connaught.
The MacManus line continued in North Roscommon for many centuries, but by the 18th century the line of kings was lost, mainly through dispossession by dominant English conquerors. It is a popularly held belief that there are two distinct McManus families – one emanating from the Maguires’ in Fermanagh and the other from the O’Connors of Roscommon. This fact and other facts relating to the antiquity of these families is clearly proved again and again in the text of ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, held in Dublin Castle and which is full of entries relating to the McManus’. However, it must not be accepted without challenge that members of the McManus Clan only originated from these two areas of Ireland. That the name denotes son of the once popular Norse Christian name Magnus or Manus clearly indicates the name was more widespread than just these two Irish regions