The Massys of Killakee

South Dublin Libraries Local Studies Blog

by Frank Tracy

The Massy family lineage can be traced to Normandy where they were landowners in the ninth century. In 1066 members of the family, led by Hamon de Masci, were among the Normans who invaded England with William the Conquerer. Hamon de Masci was created a Baron by William and he and his relatives were granted extensive landholdings in Cheshire. Over time, the family surname was anglicised to Massey. Baron Massey established his seat at Dunham Massey near Altringham and thirteen successors, each named Hamon, resided there. Dunham Massey is now in the ownership of the English National Trust and is a major visitor attraction.

In 1649, Hugh Massy, a cavalry commander from Cheshire, was among the Cromwellian forces that landed in Ireland. From the time of his arrival in Ireland, his surname is recorded as ‘Massy’. It is this form of the surname that is used by…

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