McAlary History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name McAlary originally appeared in Gaelic as O Cleirigh, from the word "cleireach," which means "clerk" or "cleric." The name denotes a descendant of Cleireach, who was born around 820 AD, and descended from Guaire the Hospitable, the famous king of Connacht.
Early Origins of the McAlary family
The surname McAlary was first found in County Galway. A descendent of Guaire, Cleireach, the namesake of the O'Clerys, was born around 820 AD, about two hundred years before hereditary surnames came into general use.  However, the name O'Clery first appeared around 950 AD, making it one of the earliest recorded hereditary surnames. The O'Clerys were the dominant sept in what is now the diocese of Kilmacduagh in the county of Galway, but declined in power until they were forced out of their original territory by the mid-13th century. The most important branch of the family settled in Counties Derry and Donegal and became prominent historians and poets. The branch that settled in County Cavan has seemingly all but vanished. However, the English surname Clarke has been widely substituted for O'Clery there, following the Plantation of Ulster, and many Irish Clarkes may actually be O'Clerys, rather than descendants of English settlers. Another branch is still fairly common in the counties of Kilkenny, Waterford, and Tipperary. The name is presently found mostly in Munster and Dublin.
Early History of the McAlary family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAlary research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1636, 1450, 1507, 1507, 1781 and 1860 are included under the topic Early McAlary History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McAlary Spelling Variations
Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name McAlary revealed many variations, including Clery, Cleary, Claree, Clarey, Cleare, Clearey, Clerey, O'Cleary, O'Clery, Macchlery, Clerkin, Clark and many more.
Early Notables of the McAlary family (pre 1700)
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McAlary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McAlary 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:
McAlary Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Bernard McAlary, aged 42, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878
- Elizabeth McAlary, aged 44, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878
- William McAlary, aged 15, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878
- James McAlary, aged 13, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878
- Jane McAlary, aged 10, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name McAlary (post 1700) +
- Mike McAlary (b. 1957), American reporter who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
- Shirley McAlary, Canadian politician, 63rd Mayor of Saint John, New Brunswick (1995-2004)
Related Stories +
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)