Person NameMcDonnell family; family; Earls of Antrim
ActivityThe McDonnells of Antrim stem from Sorley Buie Macdonnell, fourth son of Alexander of Dunnyveg (Dunivaig) (died 1536), son of John Cathanach. He was made a free citizen of Ireland in 1573. He married firstly Mary, daughter of Con O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. He died in 1589. His eldest surviving son, Sir James Macdonnell of Dunluce, had a number of sons, but they were not permitted to succeed to the family honours. Instead, Sir James's younger brother, Ranald, succeeded. He was created Viscount Dunluce in 1618, and in 1620 he was advanced as 1st Earl of Antrim. He died in 1636. His elder son, Randal McDonnell, 2nd Earl, was created Marquis of Antrim in 1644, but had no issue, and the Marquisate expired. The dignity of the earldom continued to Randal William McDonnell, 6th Earl of Antrim, who died in 1791. As he had no male heirs, in 1785 he was re-created Viscount Dunluce and Earl of Antrim, allowing his daughter to succeed to those titles, and in 1789 was advanced to the Marquisate of Antrim. His daughter, Anne Catherine, succeeded him as Viscountess Dunluce and Countess of Antrim. She died in 1834, to be succeded by her sister Charlotte. Her marriage produced a number of children, of whom the eldest surviving son, Hugh Seymour McDonnell, succeeded in 1835 as 4th Earl of Antrim (of the new creation). The line continues to the present day. The main family estate is at Glenarm, County Antrim.
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