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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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.


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]


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.


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


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 United States in the 18th Century

  • Felix Clancy, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739

Clancy Settlers in 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

Clancy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Clancy settled in Quebec with his wife and five sons in 1825
  • Michael Clancy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • William Clancy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • James Clancy, aged 34, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
  • John Clancy, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Lady Douglas" from New Ross

Clancy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Michael Clancy, aged 37, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Constance"
  • James Clancy, aged 38, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham"
  • Alfred Clancy, aged 21, a porter, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Royal Charlie"
  • Charles Clancy, aged 22, a smith, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Royal Charlie"
  • Emily Clancy, aged 27, a tailoress, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Royal Charlie"

Clancy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • D. Clancy arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ulcoats" in 1864
  • John Clancy arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • Bridget Clancy arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875


  • Jack David Clancy (b. 1944), former American NFL football wide receiver who played from 1967 to 1970, American Football League All-star
  • Stu Clancy, American NFL quarterback for the New York Giants from 1932 to 1935
  • Sam Clancy Jr. (b. 1980), American professional basketball player
  • James "Jim" Clancy (b. 1955), American former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1977 to 1991
  • Gilbert Thomas "Gil" Clancy (1922-2011), American Hall of Fame boxing trainer of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman
  • 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
  • William "Liam" Clancy (1935-2009), Irish folk singer
  • 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
  • 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
  • Tim Clancy (b. 1984), Irish professional footballer who has played since 2003



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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. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  10. 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).
  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 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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