Crowley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Crowley family

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]

Early History of the Crowley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crowley research. Another 119 words (8 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Crowley Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Crowley family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crowley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crowley Ranking

In the United States, the name Crowley is the 1,057th most popular surname with an estimated 27,357 people with that name. [3] However, in Australia, the name Crowley is ranked the 893rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,392 people with that name. [4]


United States Crowley migration to the United States +

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 19th Century
  • Patk Crowley, aged 39, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [5]
  • Daniel Crowley, who landed in America in 1831 [5]
  • Walter Crowley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [5]
  • Timothy Crowley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [5]
  • Alice, Bridget, Catharine, Cornelius, Dan, Eliza, Harry, James, Johanna, Judith, Mary, Michael, Pat, Timothy, and William Crowley, all, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Crowley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Crowley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Crowley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Crowley, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Charles 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, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Independence" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Cornelius Crowley, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Catherine Crowley, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Ellen Crowley, aged 29, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Crowley migration to Australia +

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

Crowley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Crowley, (b. 1778), aged 42, Irish plasterer who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. John Crowley, (b. 1803), aged 19, Irish reaper who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 3rd September 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Nicholas Crowley, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Daniel Crowley, (b. 1804), aged 22, Irish stable boy who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for life for theft, transported aboard the "Boyne" on 28th October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1846 [9]
  • Mr. Denis Crowley, (b. 1767), aged 59, Irish quarry man who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for life for coining, transported aboard the "Boyne" on 28th October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Crowley 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:

Crowley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Crowley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Sarah E. Crowley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Kate Crowley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Jonathan Crowley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Miss Mary Crowley, (b. 1863), aged 7 months, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Crowley 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. [11]
Crowley Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Alice Crowley, who settled in Jamaica in 1661

Contemporary Notables of the name Crowley (post 1700) +

  • Edward Martino Crowley (1935-2020), American playwright, best known for his play The Boys in the Band
  • Joseph Neil Crowley (1933-2017), American academic, 13th President of University of Nevada, Reno from 1978 to 2001
  • Kathleen Crowley (1929-2017), born Betty Jane Crowley, an American actress who starred in a number of TV shows and films throughout the 1950s and 1960s, ending her career in 1970
  • 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
  • Mart Crowley (b. 1935), American playwright and screenwriter
  • Clem Crowley, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Colorado State House of Representatives, 1950 [12]
  • Charles W. Crowley, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Orleans County, 1944 [12]
  • Charles Crowley, American politician, Mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts, 2011 [12]
  • ... (Another 76 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Estella Marie  Crowley (1894-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. James Crowley, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Thomas Ewing Crowley, American Lieutenant Commander Dental Corps from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [15]


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 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)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dorothy
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Boyne
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  13. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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