Show ContentsClancey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Clancey 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.

Early Origins of the Clancey family

The surname Clancey was 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]

Early History of the Clancey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clancey research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clancey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clancey Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Clancey revealed spelling variations, including Clancy, Clancey, Clanchey, Clanchy, Clansey and many more.

Early Notables of the Clancey family

More information is included under the topic Early Clancey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Clancey migration to the United States +

Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Clancey:

Clancey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Dennis Clancey, aged 43, who arrived in Maryland in 1777 [2]
Clancey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Clancey, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [2]
  • Michael Clancey, aged 24, who landed in Missouri in 1844 [2]
  • James Clancey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [2]
  • Moses Clancey, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1854 [2]

Canada Clancey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clancey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Clancey, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland

Australia Clancey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Clancey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Bernard Clancey, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Mr. Michael Clancey, (b. 1802), aged 17, Irish servant who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years for uttering forged notes, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • John Clancey, aged 24, a cow keeper, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [4]
  • Mary Clancey, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Northern Light" [5]
  • Eliza Clancey, aged 26, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Clancey migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Clancey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Clancey, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Malborough aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [6]

West Indies Clancey migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [7]
Clancey Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Cornelius Clancey who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife and servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Clancey (post 1700) +

  • William J. Clancey (b. 1952), American computer scientist who specializes in cognitive science and artificial intelligence
  • George Clancey (1881-1921), American actor of the silent era, best known for The Cringer (1912), The Stinger Stung (1916) and The Sheriff's Prisoner (1912)
  • Ty Clancey, American director and producer, known for Gigi: Almost American (2011), Marvel Mash-Up (2012) and The Lost Nomads: Get Lost! (2009)
  • Margaret Clancey (1897-1989), American film editor, best known for her work on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), Four Sons (1928) and History Is Made at Night (1937)
  • Julia Clancey, British London-based fashion designer
  • Phillip Alexander Clancey (1917-2001), Scottish authority on the ornithology of South Africa
  • Carol Clancey Harter (1941-2023), American academic administrator who was the 7th president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) (1995–2006)

Halifax Explosion
  • Master Wilfred Lawrence  Clancey (1914-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [8]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. James Alfred George  Clancey, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [9]

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TRAFALGAR 1850. Retrieved
  5. South Australian Register Monday 9th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Norther Light 1855. Retrieved
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 3rd November 2011). Retrieved from
  8. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from
  9. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook