McCleary History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name McCleary 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 McCleary family

The surname McCleary 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. [1] 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.

Important Dates for the McCleary family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCleary 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 McCleary History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCleary Spelling Variations

Official documents, crafted by early scribes and church officials, primarily contained names that were spelled according to their pronunciation. This lead to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating an illusion that a single person was many people. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McCleary that are preserved in the archival documents of the time are Clery, Cleary, Claree, Clarey, Cleare, Clearey, Clerey, O'Cleary, O'Clery, Macchlery, Clerkin, Clark and many more.

Early Notables of the McCleary family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCleary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCleary migration to the United States

Irish families fled the English-colonized Ireland in record numbers during the 19th century for North America. Many of those destitute families died from disease during, and even shortly after, the long journey. Although those that immigrated before the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s often were granted a tract of land, those that arrived later were generally accommodated in urban centers or in work camps. Those in the urban centers would labor in the manufacturing sector, whereas those in work camps would to build critical infrastructures such as bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Regardless of when these Irish immigrants came to North America, they were critical for the rapid development of the young nations of the United States and Canada. Early immigration and passenger lists have recorded many early immigrants bearing the name of McCleary:

McCleary Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel McCleary, who landed in New England in 1718 [2]
McCleary Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter McCleary, who arrived in Maryland in 1811 [2]
  • John McCleary, aged 34, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]
  • James S McCleary, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823 [2]
  • Hugh McCleary who arrived in Philadelphia in 1836
  • Samuel McCleary, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McCleary Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Gertrude McCleary, aged 9, who landed in America from Antrim, in 1905
  • David McCleary, aged 20, who landed in America from Cavan, Ireland, in 1909
  • Elizabeth McCleary, aged 25, who settled in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1915
  • Charles J. McCleary, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1919
  • Andrew McCleary, aged 18, who settled in America from Clough, Ireland, in 1920
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McCleary migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCleary Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Margaret McCleary, aged 50 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Pursuit" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in June 1847 [3]
  • Mr. John McCleary, aged 4 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Independance" departing 23rd May 1847 from Belfast, Ireland; the ship arrived on 7th July 1847 but he died on board [4]

McCleary migration to Australia

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

McCleary Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William McCleary, aged 33, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

McCleary 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:

McCleary Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Samuel McCleary, aged 21, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • David McCleary, aged 19, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name McCleary (post 1700)

  • Urie McCleary (1905-1980), American two-time Academy Award winning art director and designer
  • William Boyd McCleary CMG CVO (b. 1949), British diplomat, Governor of the British Virgin Islands (2010-2014)
  • Trent Kenneth McCleary (b. 1972), Canadian former professional NHL hockey player who played from 1993 to 2000
  • James McCleary (b. 1853), Canadian-born, American politician, United States Representative from Minnesota (1893-1907), Secretary of the American Iron and Steel Institute in New York City (1911-1920)
  • Brian Verdon McCleary (1897-1978), New Zealand rugby player and boxer, member of the All Blacks (1924 and 1925), New Zealand and Australasian amateur and professional light-heavyweight and heavyweight boxing champion
  • Andrew McCleary (1863-1944), Canadian politician in Manitoba who served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1927 to 1932
  • William McCleary (1853-1917), Canadian politician and merchant from Ontario
  • Garath McCleary (b. 1987), English professional footballer

Historic Events for the McCleary family

HMS Hood
  • Mr. William McCleary (b. 1917), Scottish Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Kirkcowan, Wigtownshire, Scotland, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [5]

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Citations

  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 43)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 86)
  5. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
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