The O'Dwyer Clan
Virtus Sola Nobilitas     [Virtue alone enobles]



O'Dwyer Name

"The History of the O'Dwyers"

O'Dwyer Castles

Clan Territory

O'Dwyer Music

Distribution Map

O'Dwyer DNA

Clan Association

Clan Rally 2000 Report

Links to other Irish clans......

Ryan Clan

Meagher Clan

Kennedy Clan

Murnane Clan

Links to Irish genealogy sites...

County Tipperary Historical Society

Tipperary Heritage Unit

Tipperary Libraries

O'Corrain Heraldry

International Clan Rally 2012

Sept 20-22nd 2012
Woodlands Hotel and Suites, 105 Visitor's Center Drive,
Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.A.

Schedule of Activities
Thu 6pm onwards Registration and informal social gathering
Fri Morning Some interesting talks on the clan history, including:
New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy & DNA Applications to Irish Clans – Ms Jane Buck
The origins of the surname 'O'Dwyer' and the clan's Celtic roots – Mr Tom O'Dwyer
A case study in family history – Mr Mike O'Dwyer
Fri Afternoon Family networking
Fri Evening Clan dinner
Sat Morning Tour of the historic site of Colonial Williamsburg, the largest outdoor museum in the U.S. Neighboring Jamestown and Yorktown are also options for those interested.
Sat Evening Rally close

We recommend that you stay at the SpringHill Suites, 1644 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185, where a number of rooms have been reserved to accommodate attendees. The hotel is only a short walk from the rally venue. Reservations can be made directly with the hotel (Tel: 757-941-3000), and please quote the O'Dwyer Clan Rally to receive the preferential room rate.
For further information, please contact Mike O'Dwyer.

Saddle up for Williamsburg!

As we signalled in the last newsletter, Dwyers and O’Dwyers will  gather once more in 2012, this time in the U.S. at Colonial  Williamsburg in Virginia from Thurs-Sat Sept 20-22nd inclusive.

The setting is indeed historic. Williamsburg, together with sister towns  Jamestown and Yorktown, form the Historic Triangle and is probably the most-visited historic site in the U.S. The epicenter at Colonial Williamsburg  comprises a fully restored town with many surviving original buildings as well as newly reconstructed replicas on over 300 acres, and claims to be the “largest outdoor museum in the world”.  With period costumes and the occasional re-enactment, the visitor gets a real feel for life in the days of the American Revolution.

A full schedule has been organized by Mike O’Dwyer of Ohio and his team (details above).

It promises to be a great weekend for young and old, and all those associated with the O’Dwyer name are very welcome to attend. It will be an ideal opportunity to meet new friends, and who knows, maybe find a long-lost cousin or two.

We hope to see you there.

Tom O’Dwyer

More details on the venue can be found at: 


Welcome to the Dwyer/O'Dwyer Clan information centre, dedicated to the collection and sharing of information related to this illustrious Celtic family of warriors

Outside of Ireland, the "Dwyer" form of the name, without the "O" prefix, is more widely used, but both share the same clan roots. The dropping of the prefix dates back to the mid-seventeenth century, and was brought about by the policy of the English government to suppress the ancient Irish Celtic culture and clan system.

The original form of the name in the Irish language, and still widely used today, is O'Duibhir (pronounced O Dweer), meaning descendant of Duibhir, an ancestor who, by tradition, lived sometime around the tenth century. The precise meaning of this ancestor's name remains obscure - 'black skirt' has been suggested, but the common modern consensus is 'black and dun-coloured', probably referring to a mixture of hair colouring on the head and face as a personal characteristic.

While the O'Dwyers are strongly associated with south Leinster (the most easterly of Ireland's four provinces), it is beyond doubt that the main territory under their control was an ancient district called Kilnamanagh in County Tipperary, Ireland. The name still survives as a modern civil barony, and extends over perhaps 100 sq. miles in the mountains between Limerick, Tipperary, Cashel and Thurles. The crumbling ruins of nine of the O'Dwyer castles can still be seen on the Kilnamanagh landscape even today.

The territory of Kilnamanagh was lost to the clan in the aftermath of the Cromwellian wars of the mid-seventeenth century, following the ill-fated capture of Cashel, the ancient Celtic seat of the Munster kings, by Philip O'Dwyer, the last clan chief. The clan was scattered - a few were permitted to take up lands west of the River Shannon in County Clare and other places, but the majority were part of the estimated 7,000 Irish who were exiled to mainland Europe with Colonel Edmund O'Dwyer, the leader of the Munster forces who surrendered to the Cromwellian army at Cahir, Co. Tipperary in 1652. Doubtless, many of their descendants are to be found across Europe today, though the surname has probably been modified to suit local pronunciation. For example in France, it appears as 'Haudoire'. It is interesting to note that many O'Dwyers remained or returned to their ancient territory of Kilnamanagh, because, even today, the highest concentration of the surname in the world is still to be found in this corner of Tipperary.

As with most Irish clans, the O'Dwyers have a legendary ancestral line which traces the pedigree of the chiefs from before recorded history (to no less a figure than Adam!) down to the seventeenth century. These genealogies were originally handed down by word of mouth by the Fili, or poet of each clan, and were first published in book form by Geoffrey Keating in the mid-seventeenth century.

For a more comprehensive history, see 'The History of the O'Dwyers' by Sir Michael O'Dwyer (The Celtic Bookshop, 2000, ISBN 0-9534683-2-1) available from The Celtic Bookshop, Rutland St., Limerick, Ireland. (  O Dwyer Clan Homepage




The Spring 2012 Newsletter has now been sent out to all members on the up to date membership list.

If you have not have received your hard copy you can contact Pádraig Ó Duibhir at

"The O'Dwyer Diaspora"
A book featuring experiences and stories of O'Dwyer emigrants

To enrol as a member of the O'Dwyer Clan, Click here to download membership form.

O'Dwyer DNA Project
The O'Dwyer DNA project is now up and running.
Click here for details