County Monaghan is located in the northern part of the Republic of Ireland, along the boundary with Northern Ireland.

The late in the middle of the map is Lake Muckno - it separates the civil parishes of Muckno and Clontibret.

Megalithic tombs and fortresses built in Croghan, Lemgare and Corlealackagh.

5th Century
432: St. Patrick arrives in Ireland. He bases his ministry in County Armagh and sends one of his most powerful church leaders, St. Macartin, to preside over the Church in Clogher.

7th Century
Most of the middle and south parts of Monaghan are ruled by the Kingdom of Mugdorna.

8th Century
Parts of Monaghan (Parish Clontibret, Tyholland, Tullycorbet, Aughnamullen, Muckno) are incorporated into the Kingdom of Ui Meith. The Church unites Parish Clontibret and Parish Muckno.

11th Century
Monaghan becomes part of the Kingdom of Airghialla (Oriel). It is also known as MacMahon's Country after the dominant family of the area.

12th Century
1111: At the Synod of Rathbreasail (in County Meath), the borders of Parish Clontibret are recognized.

1170: Anglo-Normans occupy the fort and town of Clones. During this period, an Augustinian Church is contructed in the town. The MacMahons and their allies, the McKennas and O'Connollys, maintain effective domination of the county even after the arrival of the Normans.

13th Century
1296: A Papal document 'Clericis Laicos' mentions Patrick O'Duffy as chieftan of Tealach Gaelacain (Parish Clontibret).

14th-15th Centuries
As Ireland is overrun by the English, additional families enter the county. The McCabes (a Gallowglass, or mercenary, family) are probably brought into the county by the MacMahons. The O'Byrnes (a family driven from it's Kildare territories by the Normans) also make their home in Monaghan.

16th Century
1585: The county of Monaghan formed from the five ancient baronies of Truagh, Dartrey, Monaghan, Cremorne and Farney. Principal families are the MacMahon, O'Duffy, O'Clerian, MacOwen and MacCormack.

1587: Ross McMahon surrenders his lands in County Monaghan to Queen Elizabeth I, who then re-grants them.

1592: Monastary lands in Monaghan granted to Marshall Henry Bagenall.

1594: Land is divided into divisions known as 'ballybetaghs', each consisting of 16 townlands. The principal holders of lands in Clontibret were the families MacMahon, O'Duffy, O'Clerians, MacOwens and MacCormacks.

1595: On 13 June (elsewhere 27 May), the Battle of Clontibret is fought in County Monaghan on the route between Castleblayney and Monaghan. The Earl of Tyrone, Hugh O'Neill, defeats the English under Sir Henry Bagenal. This battle is one of the first in the Nine Years War (1595-1603) and is a tactical victory for the Irish.

1598: Bagenall lands granted to Sir Roger Wilbraham.

17th Century
1603: The Nine Years War ends in bitter defeat for the Irish. The Treaty of Mellifont, ending Gaelic rule in Ulster, is signed.

1606: Other Northern Irish counties are "planted" with Scots in an attempt to breed out the rebellion. Fortunately for the populace of Monaghan, the county is not included in the resettlement plan. The lands are instead left in the hands of the native chieftains.

1611: Sir Edward Blayney, the governor of Monaghan, is granted the thirty-two townlands of Ballynalurgan and he obtains the termon of Muckno as well. Blayney builds a castle, around which a Planter village soon grows up. This is the origin of the present town of Castleblayney.

1621: Sir Blayney becomes Baron Blayney of Monaghan on 29 July. The Blayney family claims descent from Cadwallader, king of Cambria.

1622: Protestant Bishop Spottiswood reports that the church in Clontibret is in ruins.

1641: The MacMahons and their allies join the general rebellion of Irish Catholics. Blayney castle is attacked by the Irish rebels under Hugh Mac Patrick Dubh MacMahon on 21 October. Lord Blayney makes his escape and is one of the first to inform the authorities in Dublin that a rising had taken place. His wife and children are captured. In the same year, the castle of the Earl of Essex is burned by insurgents, killing the wife and children of Mr. Barton (the Irish Parliamentary representative for County Monaghan) while he is attending to his duties in Dublin.

1646: Lord Henry Blayney is killed at the battle of Benburb.

1650: The rebellion is completely crushed and the English Government effects the plantation of the county with Scottish and English families. The major Scottish families which enter the county are farmers brought over from the area of Strathclyde. Common names among these are McAndrew, Mackay, Sinclair, Stewart, Buchanan, McKenzie, Davidson, Ferguson, Blackshaw, McCraig, Walker, Cameron, Gordon, Patterson, and McCutcheon. Other settlers of the county come from Counties Armagh and Down.

1651: Large tracts of land are granted to Thomas Coote and Sir Henry Brooks.

1659: The total population of Monaghan is recorded as 4083 persons - 3649 Irish and 434 English. Principal Irish Names and their number: McMaghone [MacMahon], 112; McKenna, 91; O'Duffie [O'Duffy], 69; O'Connoly, 56; McCabe, 40; Murphy/O'Murphy, 38; McCallan/O'Callan, 32; McTrenor, 30; McPhillip, 23; O'Hugh, 22; O'Finagan, 22; McArdell, 20; McGonnell, 18; O'Quin/Quin, 16; O'Clerian/O'Cleregan, 16; O'Gowan, 16; O'Birne/Birne, 15; McWard, 15; McAward, 15; McGormon, 15; McNeny, 15; O'Boylan, 13; McEntee, 13; Flanagan, 13; O'Clerkan, 13; O'Beggan, 12; McClaue, 12; O'Bryn/Bryn, 11; O'Cullin/McCullin, 11; McQuade, 11; McCarwell, 10; McGough, 10; McGinnis, 10; McGowan, 10; O'Sherry, 10; O'Murrey, 10; McConoly, 9; O'Boyle/Boyle, 9; O'Brynan, 9; O'Kenan, 9; O'Lowan, 9; O'Muligan, 9; O'Hamell, 9; O'Dally, 8; O'Coogan, 7; McRory, 7; McCassye, 7.

1663: Analysis of the Hearth Money Rolls shows that the commonest names in the county at the time (in descending order) are McMahon, McKenna, O'Duffy, O'Connolly, McCabe, McWard, McArdle, McIlmartin, O'Byrne, O'Callan, McCallan, O'Kelly, O'Murphy, McNancy, McTreanor, O'Gowan or McGowan, O'Boylan, McIlcollin, O'Finnegan, O'Cassidy, and McPhilip.

1671: Patrick Duffy is Bishop of Clogher (until 1675).

1680: The Lucas Estate at Castleshane is formed, including most of the northern part of Clontibret Parish. Most of the new Scottish Protestant families settle in this area, later known as 'Scotch Corner.'

1685: Most of Parish Clontibret land owned by Blayney family sold to Templeton family of Templepatrick, County Antrim.

1687: Henry Vincent, 5th Lord Blayney, flees Castleblayney at the outbreak of the Williamite Wars and is chosen as commander-in-chief of the Protestant forces raised to defend Monaghan and Armagh against King James II.

1690: Catholic parishoners are forced out of their churches, meaning they must meet outdoors for Mass. The parish meets at Mass Rock on Mulligan's land in Tassan.

18th Century
1703: Law passed requiring all priests must register with civil authorities. Torlagh Duffy registered as Parish Priest of Clontibret.

1723: Lord Blayney (7th Baron Cadwallader) sells part of his estate to the Upton family of County Antrim.

1744: Piaras O'Duffy is parish priest of 'Muckno and Upper Clontibret.' The parishes are united in this way until 1818.

1762: The Oakboy Rebellion (so called because the participants hung oak boughs on their doors) causes disturbance in Monaghan, Armagh, and Tyrone. Colonel Coote marches on Castleblayney, Ballybay, Clones, and Monaghan Town, driving the Monaghan rebels into Armagh.

1776: Head of Upton family named Baron Templeton.

1778: Catholic Relief Act passed, eliminating requirement of priests to register with civil authorities.

1784: Andrew Thomas Blayney becomes the 11th Lord Blayney. He rules the estate for fifty years.

1789: The Diocesan Statutes require that 'Mass Gardens' (which have replaced Mass Rock), provide cover for the parish priest and the Blessed Sacrament.

1793: The government forces the Irish Parliament to grant practically all full civil rights to Catholics. They still cannot be members of Parliament. It is another century before any effect is realized in Monaghan, however, since the lands are still held by the large estate land owners.

1797: Lord Blayney's mainly Orange yeomanry are involved in the so-called 'Stewartstown Affray', which actually takes place at nearby Newmills, County Tyrone. At a time of heightened sectarian tension and of fears of United Irish penetration of the militia, Blayney's yeomanry fire on the mainly Catholic Kerry militiamen, killing nine of their number.

19th Century
1800: Act of Union unites Ireland with England, Scotland and Wales.

1806: Son of Baron Templeton created Viscount Templeton.

1810: Lord Blayney commands the 89th Regiment of Foot, 'Blayney's Bloodhounds' as they are called. They fight with distinction in the Napoleonic Wars. He is taken prisoner when making a raid from Gibraltar into Spain and is kept prisoner for some years by the French government.

1814: Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Parish at Castleblayney founded.

1815: Lord Blayney returns from captivity in France. He is given a seat in Parliament.

1818: Parishes of Clontibret and Muckno are permanently divided.

1820: James Duffy becomes parish priest of Muckno Parish.

1823: A large distillery erected in Carrickmacross. This structure produces 200,000 gals of spirits annually, requiring about 25,000 barrels of grain, which is grown near the town.

1829: Catholic Emancipation allows Catholics to begin rebuilding their Parish Churches.

1830: Lord Blayney converts Castleblayney from being a miserable village, where the roads from Armagh and Monaghan to Dublin met, into a respectable market town.

1832: General Andrew Thomas, 11th Lord Blayney, dies on 08 April.

1838: Father James McMeel begins his tenure as priest of Muckno Parish.

1841: Population of Parish Clontibret listed at 13,800.

1845: The potato famine begins in Ireland.

1849: Railroad first reaches Castleblayney in February.

1851: Saint Mary's, Castleblayney, altered to Gothic style. Population of Parish Clontibret now listed at 10,130.

1853: The 12th Lord Blayney (Cadwallader) - the last Lord of Blayney Castle - sells his estate to the wealthy Henry Thomas Hope of Deepdene, Surrey. Hope is best-remembered for his ownership of the 'Hope Diamond' which he inherited from his uncle, Philip Henry Hope, in 1839 and which was said to have been made from the Tavernier (called after a traveller in the East, who had bought it in India and sold it to Louis XIV in 1668), the largest blue diamond in the world. The Tavernier was one of the French crown jewels stolen in 1793. The Hope Diamond was supposed to have brought bad luck to the family.

1861: The census first determines religion - the respective proportions were 73% Catholic, 14% Church of Ireland, and 12% Presbyterian.

Extensive use of information collected at LINKS below
The Monaghan Story. By Pedar Livingstone, pub. 1976
Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. By Lewis, pub. 1837
Beyond the Big Bridge. By Paula McGeough, pub. 2000

The Heritage of County Monaghan
County Monaghan, Ireland - Historical Information and Resources
The Blayney of Castleblayney Papers
History of Clontibret Parish