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The O'Dwyer pedigrees of Dr. Geoffrey Keating and John O'Hart
As with all Gaelic clans, the pedigree of the O'Dwyers was an important part of its culture, and was originally passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. The genealogies of the clans were first recorded in manuscript form from perhaps the seventh or eight centuries onwards by Christian monks. They first appeared in published form in Dr. Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Eireann, (1640), and John O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees.
Although probably containing substantially accurate information for the later generations, the renowned Celtic scholar Prof. Eoin Mac Neill has successfully argued that the weaving of the various Gaelic families into common strands was, in fact, contrived. (See Eoin MacNeill, Celtic Ireland, Martin Lester, Dublin, 1921, "The Irish synthetic historians", pp. 25-42). In addition, note that while there is moderate agreement between Keating's version and O'Hart's 'Dwyer (No. 2) of Kilnamanagh', there are also substantial differences, with the name Gilla-na-naemh ('servant of the saint') appearing much more frequently in Keating's version. Consequently, these genealogies owe more to myth than historical fact, but nonetheless form an intriguing part of the family folklore.