Show ContentsClooney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Clooney family were part of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. They lived in the lands of Clunie in Stormont, Perthshire. "This place, which is of remote antiquity, is distinguished as the scene of a battle between the Caledonians and the Romans under Agricola. In a field near the Hill of Gourdie, are still remaining several mounds, in a parallel direction, separated by trenches of equal length, called the "Steeds Stalls;" and here the advanced guard of the Caledonian army was posted to watch the movements of the Roman army, which was encamped on the plains of Inchtuthill, about two miles to the south." [1]

Early Origins of the Clooney family

The surname Clooney was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) where "William de Clonin witnessed a confirmation charter by Alexander II to the Abbey of Arbroath c. 1214-1218. The ward of Eugene de Cluny is referred to in 1263. William de Cluny of Perthshire rendered homage in 1296, and appears again on an inquest at Perth in 1304. Another William de Cluny, chaunteur of Breghyn in the county of Strivelyn, also rendered homage in that year and is mentioned again in 1305 as Sir William de Clony, chaplain to the bishop of Brechin. Adam Cluny of Fifeshire also rendered homage in 1296, and John de Cloni or de Cloney of Fife was one of the Scots prisoners taken at Dunbar Castle in the same year." [2]

The mentions of "rendered homage" in the preceding paragraph refers to King Edward I of England's intrusion into Scotland.

Cluny is a parish in the district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen "The name of this place, signifying, in Gaelic, meadows interspersed with rising grounds, is descriptive of the appearance of the locality." [1]

Early History of the Clooney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clooney research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1296, 1296, 1686, 1757, 1616, 1757, 1819, 1757, 1784, 1790, 1791 and 1787 are included under the topic Early Clooney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clooney Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Clooney has been spelled Clunie, Clooney, Cloon, Cloone, Clowney, Clune, Cluney, Clunis and many more.

Early Notables of the Clooney family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was John Clunie (1757?-1819), "the supposed author of the beautiful Scotch [(Scottish)] song 'I lo'e na a laddie but ane,' born about 1757. He was educated for the church of Scotland, and licensed by the presbytery of Edinburgh on 29 Dec. 1784. He then became schoolmaster at Narkinch, Fifeshire, and possessing a fine voice and some musical skill acted as precentor in the parish church. In 1790 he was presented by the Duke of Buccleuch to the parish of Ewes, Dumfriesshire, and...
Another 88 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clooney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canada Clooney migration to Canada +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Clooney:

Clooney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Clooney, aged 40, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Richard Clooney, aged 4, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Thomas Clooney, aged 2, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland

Australia Clooney migration to Australia +

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

Clooney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Clooney, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Northern Light" [3]
  • Margaret Clooney, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Agincourt"

New Zealand Clooney 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:

Clooney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William M. Clooney a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hindostan" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Clooney (post 1700) +

  • Nicholas Clooney (b. 1934), American television journalist, anchorman and game show host
  • Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002), American popular entertainer
  • George Clooney (b. 1961), Academy Award-winning American actor
  • Nicholas Clooney (b. 1934), American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 4th District, 2004 [4]
  • John E. Clooney, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1912; Candidate for Presidential Elector for Missouri, 1924 [4]

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. South Australian Register Monday 9th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Norther Light 1855. Retrieved
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook