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Family group of four generations, the descendants of a common greatgrandfather, in early Ireland and Gaelic Scotland; the normal property-owning unit and unit for dynastic succession, as any male member of a king's derbfhine—son, uncle, brother, nephew—might succeed him. In short, primogeniture did not prevail; property and power did not go automatically to the eldest legitimate male. See T. M. Charles-Edwards, Early Irish and Welsh Kinship (Oxford, 1993); Nerys T. Patterson, Cattle-Lords and Clansmen: Kingship and Rank in Early Ireland (New York, 1992); Liam Ó Buachalla, ‘Some Researches in Ancient Irish Law’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 52 (1947), 41–54, 135–48; 53 (1948), 1–12, 75–81; Donnchadh Ó Corráin, ‘Irish Regnal Succession: A Reappraisal’, Studia Hibernica, 9 (1971), 7–39. See also DÁL; KINGSHIP.

Subjects: Religion.

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