MacIlroy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name MacIlroy has seen many modifications since the time in which it was first devised. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Giolla Rua, which means son of the red-haired youth.

Early Origins of the MacIlroy family

The surname MacIlroy was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they were the Chiefs of Clonderlaw, conjecturally descended from Tiobraid, son of Iral Glunmhar, King of Ulster. [1]

Early History of the MacIlroy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacIlroy research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1376, 1638 and 1640 are included under the topic Early MacIlroy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacIlroy Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, was what guided scribes and church officials in recording names, a practice that often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname MacIlroy are preserved in documents that were examined for evidence of the family's history. The various spellings of MacIlroy included Gilroy, Kilroy, MacGilroy, MacElroy, MacGreevy, Greevy, MacGilrea, McGilroy, McElroy, McGreevy, McGilrea, MacIlrea, McIlrea, Magilroy, Magilrea, MacElry, McElry, MacIlree and many more.

Early Notables of the MacIlroy family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the MacIlroy family

In the 18th and 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants landed on North American shores. Although many of them were merely looking for a free plot of land and living of their very own, many later immigrants were desperately fleeing an overcrowded land that did not have sufficient food for its inhabitants. The exodus from Ireland was greatest during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine had stricken the island. Although this large influx of Irish was unpopular with the great majority of people already established within the major centers, these Irish were critical to the speedy development of the United States and those colonies that would eventually become known as Canada. These immigrants provided the cheap labor required to build modern roads, bridges, canals, and railways. Research of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of immigrants to North America baring the name of MacIlroy: John MacElroy, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1798; and James Gilroy, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1864; they also settled in Massachusetts, New York, and California between 1765 and 1854. The Kilroys also settled in the above states between the same periods. The 1984 edition of the ".



  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)


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