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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Clancy family come from? What is the Irish Clancy family crest and coat of arms? When did the Clancy family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Clancy family history?

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Clancy originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Fhlannchaidh. The exact meaning of this name is undetermined; it can be translated as "son of Fhlannchadh," where "flann" means "reddish" or "ruddy." However, whether "caidh" denotes warrior as has been asserted is unknown.

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Names written in official documents were generally spelt as they sounded, leading to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion in records of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Clancy that are preserved in documents of the family history are Clancy, Clancey, Clanchey, Clanchy, Clansey and many more.

First found in Counties Clare and Leitrim. The more important of the two MacClancy septs were a branch of the MacNamaras and were from the north of County Clare, where they gave their name to Cathermacclancy. They traced their lineage from the Heber kings, and provided hereditary brehons (judges) to the O'Briens. They were most numerous in County Clare and the neighboring counties of Galway and Tipperary. The other sept of MacClancys were indigenous to Leitrim, and were Chiefs of Darty or Rosclogher. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clancy research. Another 169 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clancy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Clancy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The English-ruled Ireland of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Clancy:

Clancy Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Felix Clancy, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739

Clancy Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Clancy, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • James Clancy, aged 24, arrived in Missouri in 1840
  • John Clancy, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • Patrick Clancy, aged 22, landed in Missouri in 1848
  • Joseph J Clancy, who landed in America in 1850


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  • Thomas "Tom" Clancy (1947-2013), American author of political thrillers, probably best known for his novels The Hunt for Red October (1984) and Patriot Games (1987), both of which were turned into blockbuster movies
  • Gilbert Thomas "Gil" Clancy (1922-2011), American Hall of Fame boxing trainer of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman
  • James "Jim" Clancy (b. 1955), American former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1977 to 1991
  • Sam Clancy Jr. (b. 1980), American professional basketball player
  • Stu Clancy, American NFL quarterback for the New York Giants from 1932 to 1935
  • Jack David Clancy (b. 1944), former American NFL football wide receiver who played from 1967 to 1970, American Football League All-star
  • George Clancy (b. 1977), Irish international rugby union referee
  • Tim Clancy (b. 1984), Irish professional footballer who has played since 2003
  • John Joseph "J.J." Clancy (1847-1928), Irish nationalist politician, one of the leaders of the later Irish Home Rule movement and promoter of the Housing of the Working Classes (Ireland) Act 1908, known as the Clancy Act
  • George "Seoirse" Clancy (1881-1921), Irish nationalist politician and Mayor of Limerick who was shot dead, he was the inspiration for the character Michael Davin, in Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  5. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Clancy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Clancy Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 March 2014 at 15:14.

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