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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Crowley is "O Cruadhlaoich." This is derived from the words "cruadh," which means "hard," and "laoch," which means "hero." [1]

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The surname Crowley was first found in Moylurg, in the County Roscommon, where they started as a branch of the MacDermots. It is from Teige, a Prince of Moylurg, down to Cruadhlaoch that the line of descent for the Crowleys begins. A junior branch of the Crowley family also emerged and moved to the area of Dunmanway, in the west of County Cork. They eventually became a distinct sept with their chief at Kilshallow, thriving while their parent family gradually withered. The majority of the Crowley family came to be found in the county of Cork, with three-quarters of the family being born there in modern times. [2]

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Crowley revealed many variations, including Crowley, Crowly, O'Crowley, Croaley, Croawley, O'Crowly and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crowley research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1658, 1713, 1819 and 1857 are included under the topic Early Crowley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crowley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Crowley or a variant listed above, including:

Crowley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Alice Crowley settled in Jamaica in 1661

Crowley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Patk Crowley, aged 39, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Daniel Crowley, who landed in America in 1831
  • Walter Crowley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • Timothy Crowley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848
  • Philip Crowley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1849


Crowley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Chas Crowley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Cornelius Crowley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

Crowley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Mary Crowley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • James Crowley, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Independence" from Kinsale
  • Cornelius Crowley, aged 30, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork
  • Catherine Crowley arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork
  • Ellen Crowley, aged 29, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork


Crowley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Nicholas Crowley, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Ellen Crowley, aged 20, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk"
  • Jeremiah Crowley, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Royal Albert"
  • Simon Crowley, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Royal Albert"

Crowley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Frederick Crowley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Sarah E. Crowley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Kate Crowley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Jonathan Crowley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • William Crowley, aged 26, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Halcione" in 1875


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  • Thomas M. Crowley (1935-2013), American businessman and legislator, Vermont State Senator (1966-1990)
  • Candy Alt Crowley (b. 1948), American news anchor, CNN's Chief Political Correspondent
  • William Michael "Bill" Crowley (1857-1891), American Major League Baseball player
  • Charles W. Crowley, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Orleans County, 1944
  • Charles Crowley, American politician, Mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts, 2011
  • Catherine Crowley, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1972
  • Bill Crowley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 2008
  • Mrs. Ben Crowley, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1952
  • Barbara Crowley, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for California, 1972
  • Clem Crowley, American Democrat politician, Member of Colorado State House of Representatives, 1950

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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  3. 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.
  4. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. 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. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Crowley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Crowley 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 3 April 2016 at 20:26.

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