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

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

The name McElroy has seen many modifications since the time in which it was first devised. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Giolla Rua, which means son of the red-haired youth.


In the Middle Ages, a name was often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer. Literacy was rare at that time and none of the languages to be found in the British Isles had achieved any great semblance of standardization. Variations of the name McElroy found include Gilroy, Kilroy, MacGilroy, MacElroy, MacGreevy, Greevy, MacGilrea, McGilroy, McElroy, McGreevy, McGilrea, MacIlrea, McIlrea, Magilroy, Magilrea, MacElry, McElry, MacIlree and many more.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they were the Chiefs of Clonderlaw, conjecturally descended from Tiobraid, son of Iral Glunmhar, King of Ulster. [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElroy research. Another 295 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1376, 1638 and 1640 are included under the topic Early McElroy History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the late 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape such hunger and disease. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name McElroy:

McElroy Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander McElroy, who arrived in America in 1810
  • Michael McElroy, aged 22, arrived in Maine in 1812
  • Peter McElroy, aged 25, landed in New York in 1812
  • Arch'd McElroy, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1817
  • Bridget McElroy, who landed in New York, NY in 1817


  • John McElroy (1846-1929), American soldier, journalist and author
  • Joseph McElroy (b. 1930), American novelist
  • Neil Hosler McElroy (1904-1972), American Secretary of Defense and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • William David McElroy (1917-1999), American biochemist, recipient of the Howard N. Potts Medal in 1971
  • Hugh McElroy (1884-1971), American soldier, recipient of the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War I Victory Medal, the Philippine Insurrection Service Medal, the World War Volunteer Service Medal, and the National Defense Medal
  • Edward J. McElroy Jr. (b. 1941), American teacher and labor union leader
  • Charles Dwayne "Chuck" McElroy Sr. (b. 1967), American former Major League baseball relief pitcher who played from from 1989 to 2001
  • Gregory Vincent "Greg" McElroy Jr. (b. 1988), American NFL football quarterback for the New York Jets
  • Michael McElroy (b. 1967), American Tony Award nominated and two-time Drama Desk Award nominated musical theatre actor, singer and music director
  • Captain George Edward Henry McElroy MC and Two Bars, DFC and Bar (1893-1918), Irish WWI Flying Ace, credited with 47 aerial victories



  • The Box Book with McElroy and Floyd by Mrs. Jeff Wade.
  • Family Adventures of John Mackelroy of Maryland 1690-1983.

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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)

Other References

  1. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  11. ...

The McElroy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McElroy 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 7 August 2014 at 00:25.

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