G Boyle's Genealogy

Descendants and relatives of Thomas and Henry Boyle,; and Sir Richard Boyle, First Earl of Cork


Sir Richard Boyle, the First Earl of Cork (1566-1644), and often called the 'Great Earl', lived during an exciting time in English history, during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.  During his life, the following things happened: the attack of the Spanish Armada (1588) and the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585-?); Shakespear walks the stages of Britain (1564-1616); the rise, fall and ultimate end of the fortunes of Sir Walter Raleigh, the plantation of Ulster (1609-?), the colonization of the Americas; the translation and publication of the King James Versions (KJV) of the bible (1604-1611).

Losing both mother and father by the time he reached his early twenties, Richard Boyle had to stop his studies and 'seek his fortune'.  He went to Ireland in a rather impecunius state in 1588, and by hard work, care and good luck he became wealthy and powerful.  For example, when Sir Walter Raleigh was in need of money, he sold his extensive but empty, poor and degraded Irish estates to Richard Boyle for a small price, and Richard found a way to make them very prosperous.  He refurbished thirteen castles across his estates for defence, built towns, roads and bridges to encourage travel and business, and he imported large numbers of immigrants from England to live in his towns and work his lands.

His wealth grew and so did his political influence.  By the time he died it is estimated that he was the most wealthy subject in the British Isles.

If you are interested in the historical roles played by members of this family, the internet is just dripping with them.  Robert Boyle, the first chemist, was his son.  The Earls of Shannon, Burlington, and Orrery were also his descendants.  His daughters and grand-daughters were married into many noble lines of Britain.  We have many interesting relatives.

Thomas and Henry Boyle lived in the town of Bandon (founded 1604) in County Cork in Ireland, and from there came to Canada.  Bandon was a town built by Sir Richard Boyle, and in the 1790s when Thomas and Henry were born, it was, I believe, still under the political influence of his descendants.  Henry Boyle was my great-great-great grandfather.  Our family lore says that Thomas' and Henry's father was a shipbuilder in County Cork, that he was related to the Great Earl's family in some way, and that he hoped to restore the honour of his family.  We think this man's name was William Boyle.  We do not know the relationship between him and Sir Richard's family.  We do not know the manner in which he believed his family honour had been impugned.

However, knowing that there is a strong possibility of a genealogical connection from me to Sir Richard Boyle, I have made some effort to understand the structure of Sir Richard's family, as well as the origins of his family.  The files accessible via this page present some of the results of those efforts.


For a family tree showing Sir Richard Boyle and his direct relatives (PDF version, 554 Kb Click here; DOC version, 496 Kb Click here).  This file is a composite of data obtained from a variety of books with a focus on the nobility of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland by authors such as Burke, Collins, and Archdall, as well as many biographical dictionaries.  However, the bulk of the more recent information comes from the website thepeerage.com which describes itself as "A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe".  It is, indeed, an exceptionally informative website, if you have the patience to click your way through it.

My interest in producing these files was three-fold.  First, I was looking for a connection to my family here in Canada, so I wanted to have as much detail as possible, up to at least 1823, when my personal ancestors left Ireland for Canada.  Second, I was interested in tracing the genealogy as far into the past as I could.  Third, I am mildly obsessive, and, once started, I had to follow the trail of news about distant relatives as far as it would take me, until I became exhausted with the effort.  :-)     So, I believe this includes most branches of the family up to the year 1900 or later.  For some branches I stopped at 1900.

The PDF file prints on 8.5 by 11 inch paper, and includes 81 pages of family tree.  If you want to know if you are included, and on what page, the attached index is useful.  However, the text of this document in not searchable by computer.  The DOC version prints on 8.5 by 14 (legal) paper and is provided here in an attempt to allow the internet search engines to have access to the names.  Unfortunately, it does not come with an index for people.  So, the PDF version is searchable with eyeballs, but not with a computer.  The DOC version is searchable with a computer, but not easily with eyeballs.  DEEP SIGH! 

Both versions of the file contain an identifier called an AID.   For an explanation of AIDs, go to ABOUT AIDs.

Finally, a word about origins.  Theories about the origins of the Boyle family are both varied and interesting (see the next section).  In these files I represent only one variation of several.  If you do a Google search for "Humphrey de Binville" (or several variant spellings) you will find a firm statement about our origins.  I have my doubts about the veracity of this tale, but, nevertheless, I have identified him as the earliest possible ancestor of this line.

For an alternate version of the deep roots of this family download this file (PDF version, Click here; DOC version, Click here).

For a family tree of the Earl of Glasgow download this file  (PDF version, Click here; DOC version, Click here).


I have written a booklet describing my search for the origins of the family of Sir Richard Boyle (7.8 Mb, PDF form  Click here) in draft form only at this time

I am in the process of finalization of the writing of this booklet.  I wrote this, part-by-part, as I researched the origins of the family.  For me it was an enjoyable, and even exciting, experience, and, I hope you enjoy some of that sense of surprise as you read it, that I injoyed as I researched it.

A Version of slightly higher pixel density, suitable for printing as a bound copy, is available via email at the address shown below. 


This is a surname wordle composed using a list of all of the surnames in the family trees of Sir Richard Boyle, First Earl of Cork and David Boyle, First Earl of Glasgow.  In this wordle, size does not indicate occurrence rates.  

For a list, in order of AID, of all people in the Cork/Glasgow trees, using fully qualified names, click here.

This wordle displays all of the titles identified for Boyle descendants (for lineages of both the Earl of Cork and the Earl of Glasgow) and their fairly immediate inlaws.  I like this one, because you can see at a glance how influential the Boyle families have been due to their marital connections.

For a list of titles associated (often by marriage) with the Boyle descendants, click here.


The human genome contains 23 pairs of chromosomes.  For each pair, each person receives one chromosome from each parent.  So, for example, for the first chromosome, each parent has a pair, with four possible first position chromosomes to be passed on.  The child get two, and two are not passed on (to this child).  For each of the 23 positions, the child gets two chromosomes of the four possible.  For the first 22 positions the chromosomes look very similar, and have only minor differences, but these differences are enought to produce a unique child each time.  However, the pair in the 23rd position are different.  In a female (a mother), there are two X-shaped chromosomes.  In a male (a father) there is one X-shaped chromosome and one Y-shaped chromosome.  The mother, therefore, always donates an X-shaped chromosome to position 23.  The father, however, may donate an X-shaped chromosome (causing the child to be a daughter) or a Y-shaped chromosome (causing the child to be a son).  Every male child has a Y-shaped chromosome received from his father.  And, he got it from his father.  And, he got it from his father.  Etc.  All Y-shaped chromosomes come in a direct line from father to son.

In a society in which surnames are passed father-to-son, there should be a genetic match between the Y-shaped chromosomes of males having the same surname.  In the BOYLE surname project, men with the surname of BOYLE are asked to send in DNA material.  If sufficient people participate, we should be able to determine the deep genetic roots of the BOYLE family.

To learn more about the BOYLE surname project click here


Here are a variety of links that pertain to Sir Richard Boyle, the First Earl of Cork, his immediate family, his ancestors, and genealogical or historical works relating to him:

- For those of you who are not familiar with that excellent website thepeerage.com, here is an access point that will take you to Sir Richard Boyle, First Earl of Cork.  (Click here.

- Turtle Bunbury, a historian and genealogist, writes about the connection between Sir Richard Boyle and the Smyth family.  (Click here.)

- Graham Boyle maintains this site about the Boyle families of Great Britain, with a particular focus on the families of the Earl of Cork, the Earl of Glasgow, and their descendants.  (Click here.)

- The papers of the Earls of Shannon are located in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), and are summarized in a PDF file.  (Click here.)

- In addition, my booklet about origins has MANY links of interest to those researching the BOYLE name and families.

Last Updated: 13 February 2017