Genealogy: Children of Danu
Children of Danu
The Children of Danu were the people of Danu or as the Irish called them – the Tuatha Dé Danann. I have completed several different version on the genealogy of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
The Tuatha Dé Danann, like the other invader of Ireland called the Firbolgs, were actually descendants of Nemed. Nemed had migrated to Ireland with his family and followers, known as the Nemedians, long before the arrival of the Firbolgs and the Tuatha Dé Danann. For this reason, I have included both the Nemedians and the Firbolgs in this page.
As to the last invaders, the Milesians or descendants of Míl, you will find a separate page for the genealogy of the Milesians.
My main sources for these family trees come from:
Lebor Gabálá Erenn: The Taking of Ireland
Cath Maige Tuired: The Second Battle of Mag Tuired
There are sources that can be used, which I have not read, such as
Duanaire Finn (Poem Book of Finn) 17th century
|Tuatha De Danann|
The Nemedians were children and followers of Nemed. Nemed was a direct descendant of the Biblical Noah, through Japheth and Magog, Noah’s son and grandson. According to the Book of Invasions, Magog settled around the Russian Steppes, the kingdom of the Scythians, where later, Nemed would leave, before migrating to Ireland. See the Nemedians in the Book of Invasions.
After the ruinous war against the Fomorians, the surviving Nemedians left Ireland. Several groups of people were descendants of the Nemedians, including the Firbolgs and the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Fergus Lethderg, Nemed’s son, migrated to Alba (Scotland) with his son, Britain Máel, whom the whole island was named after.
Semion, the great-great-grandson of Nemed would migrated to Greece, where they later became known as the Firbolgs. The Firbolgs returned to Ireland after eleven generation after Semion.
Iobath, son of Beothach and the great-grandson of Nemed, had also migrated east to the northern island of Greece, or else to north-east of unknown location. Iobath was ancestor of Tuatha Dé Danann, who later returned to Ireland, shortly after the Firbolg migration.
See the Children of Danu in the Book of Invasions, for more detail about the Firbolgs and Tuatha Dé Danann.
For the sake of convenience, I have included the Cesairians and the Partholonians to the Nemedian genealogy, so that you can the close relationship that the Nemedians have with the other people.
The Firbolgs or Fir Bolgs were descendants of the surviving Nemedians who fled from Ireland to Greece. The Firbolgs arrived in Ireland 230 years after Starn departed from Ireland.
Seimon, the son of Erglan and great grandson of Starn (son of Nemed), was the leader who brought them to Greece. The Firbolgs didn’t migrated to Ireland until eleven generations after Seimon.
Five sons of Dela migrated to Ireland with their family and followers, where they divided the whole isle between themselves. However their power in Ireland was short-lived, because they only ruled for 37 years, before Tuatha Dé Danann arrived and defeated them.
The Firbolgs’ last king was Eochaid Mac Eirc, whose wife, Tailtiu, was the foster mother of Lugh Lamfata, the Danann hero and solar god.
See also the Firbolgs in the Book of Invasions.
Eochaid Mac Erc was the last Firbolg king in Ireland, and he died in battle. Eochaid was married to Tailtiu, daughter of the King of Spain, who was sometimes known as Magmor (though this could be the name of place). Tailtiu was also the foster-mother of the Danann hero, Lugh Lamfada. One of the great fairs in Ireland was named after her. Lugh held a feast and funeral games after her death.
Tailtiu was a scene of the battle between the Danann and the Milesians, where the Milesians became the conqueror and the Danann were forced to live in the Otherworld.
The genealogy in Irish myths, particularly those of the Irish deities are very confusing. Particularly, if you decided to read from several different sources to construct the family tree.
Not only those genealogy of the Tuatha Dé Danann can be conflicting or contradicting from one source to other sources, but the genealogy can be conflicting within the same material (source). This can be frustrating.
Here, I have set up several different trees for the sake of completeness. Unfortunately, the three genealogy are far from complete, since there are other materials (sources or translated texts) that I have not yet read.
Please try to refrain from thinking that these genealogy to be accurate, since Irish myth never claimed to be accurate. It was much more easier completing genealogy for the Welsh deities than for the Irishs.
I have also a new tree called Nemedians, whom the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Firbolgs were descendants of.
The first genealogy show that most of the Tuatha Dé Danann come from the mother goddess, Danu. Danu, or Anu in Irish myth may have played a more important role in early Irish myth.
The alternative genealogy show that some of the Tuatha Dé Danann are more closely related to the Fomorians.
Example of this, is that the Dagda and Ogma were seen as the son of Elatha, king of the Fomorians, and of Ethlinn, the daughter of Balor of the Evil Eye (a Fomorian leader).
Note that all the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians, shown below, are descendants of Alldui, a shadowy figure. Alldui was the grandfather of Neit and the great, great grandson of Nuada Airgetlám (Nuada of the Silver Hand). To avoid more confusion, I decided to leave out Alldui’s different ancestors.
Below, is another alternative genealogy, which show that the seven Danann champions or chieftain happened to be the seven sons of Ethliu.