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MacCotter, Paul 1958-

MacCotter, Paul 1958-


Born August 30, 1958, in London, England; son of John and Margaret MacCotter; married Josephine Mehigan, August 19, 1983; children: Niamh and Eoin. Education: Attended University College Cork.


Home—Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland. E-mail—[email protected]


Genealogist and historian. Genealogy consultancy, Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland, owner and consultant.


(Editor, with Kenneth Nicholls) The Pipe Roll of Cloyne, Cloyne Literary and Historical Society (Innygrega, Ireland), 1996.

Colmán of Cloyne: A Study, Four Courts Press (Portland, OR), 2004.

Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political, and Economic Divisions, Four Courts Press (Portland, OR), 2008.

Contributor to journals.


Paul MacCotter is an Irish genealogist and historian. MacCotter was born in London, England, on August 30, 1958, and lives in Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland. As a student, MacCotter studied at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. On August 19, 1983, MacCotter married Josephine Mehigan and later had two children, Niamh and Eoin. As a historian, MacCotter has published his findings in a number of scholarly journals. MacCotter also runs a historical and genealogical consultancy focusing on a number of aspects, including Irish medieval studies, place name studies, pre-1800 genealogy, research on Irish surnames and clans, and baronial and manorial titles.

In 1996 MacCotter edited a book with Kenneth Nicholls called The Pipe Roll of Cloyne. The Cloyne Literary and Historical Society published the book, marking MacCotter's debut in book publishing. With Four Courts Press, MacCotter expanded his scholarship out of Ireland and into the United States with the publication of his second book in 2004, Colmán of Cloyne: A Study. Colmán of Cloyne is the patron saint of the diocese of Cloyne, in County Cork, Ireland. The book discusses the saint, the sixth-century world he lived in, and the history of County Cork of the time.

Thomas J. O'Loughlin, reviewing Colmán of Cloyne in a Catholic Historical Review article, found "value" in the book for those tracing the cults of the early Irish saints. O'Loughlin added that he found the book "refreshing" as it spurs increased knowledge in a well-liked field, but adds new depth and understanding of the Celts, particularly in the areas of law, land, family, power, and church government. O'Loughlin remarked that he "wished to see a greater familiarity with the methods of hagiography and a keener awareness of the religious role of saints in pre-Reformation society's self-understanding." However, he concluded that this issue is easily "offset by an intelligent use of a wide variety of sources and accurate references."

MacCotter told CA: "My book Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political, and Economic Divisions is the first ever study of early Irish spatial and administrative divisions, and includes a political geography of Celtic Ireland.

"My career as a writer is secondary to that of historian. Historians need to publish the results of their work, hence the writing. My interest in medieval history as well as in genealogy lies with a fascination for uncovering the truth and getting at the real story. My work ethic in performing vast amounts of research has qualified me well for the task of advancing our knowledge of medieval Irish history. This is a difficult and obscure area of study, attracting few adherents today. Medieval history is not currently fashionable in academic circles."



Catholic Historical Review, January, 2006, Thomas J. O'Loughlin, review of Colmán of Cloyne: A Study, p. 106.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2004, review of Colmán of Cloyne, p. 37.

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