The O'Caoindealbhain sept, a branch of the southern UiNeill originated in northern Meath but migrated to Munster where the family was concentrated in County Tipperary by the latter half of the 17th century. The surname is still fairly common in that county and also scattered through the counties of Cork and Limerick and as far west as Kerry. Tralee is the chief town of the county and was a borough, the only other market towns were Dingle, Cahirciveen and Killarney. Before the Anglo-Invasion of Ireland the principal families in County Kerry were the O'Connors, O'Sullivan, O'Moriartys, O'Mahonys and O'Donoghues. Soon after the invasion, as the newcomers pushed into western Munster, the McCarthy's retreated into Kerry. The Geraldine FitzMaurices and FitzGeralds gained a foothold in the county by the 13th century and eventually extended their power there at the expense of the earlier overlords. Kindelan, a variant of this name is now rare in Ireland, but survives in Spain where members of the sept emigrated in the 17th century from County Meath and rose to prominence. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being about the year 1000, and indeed some appeared even earlier. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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