Show ContentsMcCloy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the McCloy family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Worcestershire. The earliest instances of the name in England appear for the most part to be of local origin; that is, derived from the name of the place where an original bearer lived or where he once held land, the place in this instance being a hlaw, the Old English word for a hill. Any individual case may also be of nickname origin, deriving from loup, the Old French word for a wolf, or from one of the pet-names for Lawrence, such as Law or Low. [1]

Exploring the Norman (French) connection more, we found Richard Lowes was listed in Normandy 1180-95 (Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae.) [2]

Early Origins of the McCloy family

The surname McCloy was first found in Worcestershire. Later, a branch of the family was found at Alderwasley in Derbyshire. " The Le Foune or Fawne family held lands here in the reign of Henry III., and their heiress intermarried with the Lowes, who obtained a grant of the manor from Henry VIII." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Ralph de la Lowe, Salop (Shropshire); and Hugh de la Lowe, Herefordshire. [4]

In Somerset, Crist atte Lowe was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edwar III.) [5]

In Cheshire, the family has a long history of serving as Mayors of Macclesfield: Thomas del Lowe, 1430; Thomas Lowe, 1448; and George Lowe, 1607. [4]

In Gloucestershire, John le Luv was listed in the Pipe Rolls for 1207 and later, Robertus Lupus and Robert le Lu were listed in the Assize Rolls for Warwickshire in 1221. Walter le Lou was found in Devon in 1242 and later again, William le Low was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1284. In London, Martin le Low was found there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275. In the same year, Robert de la Lowe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire and later, Roger del Lowe was found in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1288. [6]

"Essentially a name of the midlands and adjacent north - west counties, being most numerous in Derbyshire, Warwickshire, and Cheshire. Lowes is the north of England form, occurring in Northumberland and Durham, and in the North and East Ridings in the form of Lowish. In Scotland Low has an independent home in Aberdeenshire." [7]

Taking time to explore Scotland in more detail, we found the name is more commonly in the form Lowes and is: "from old lands of the name near the Loch of Lowes in Selkirkshire. Lowys, Lowis, Lowes, is a Lowland surname the first record of which appears to be in 1318. In that year Walter Lowys witnessed a charter to lands in the earldom of Dunbar. Patrick de Lowis appears as burgess of Edinburgh, 1447, and in 1449 as Patrick Lowis (without 'de') attested a renunciation by Walter Scott of Bukcleuch. There was a family of Lowis of Mener in Peeblesshire in record 1463-1464, and the family is to be traced beyond the year 1622. Thomas of Lowis in record, 1473. Families of the name were also long tenants under the see of Glasgow in Eddleston parish. Margaret Lowyss held half the lands of Burnetland, Peeblesshire, 1557. " [8]

Early History of the McCloy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCloy research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1318, 1428, 1432, 1433, 1439, 1443, 1467, 1517, 1524, 1550, 1565, 1588, 1589, 1594, 1596, 1598, 1599, 1601, 1602, 1603, 1607, 1612, 1613, 1618, 1628, 1640, 1644, 1661, 1667, 1680, 1682, 1689, 1690, 1694, 1720, 1724, 1790 and 1890 are included under the topic Early McCloy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCloy Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Lowe, Lowes, Lowis, Lowse, Low, McLoy and others.

Early Notables of the McCloy family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Humphrey Lowe, High Sheriff of Shropshire; George Lowe (c. 1594-1682), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Calne (1640-1644), a Royalist supporter; John Lowe (1628-1667), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1667; and Captain Edward "Ned" Low, also Lowe or Loe, (c. 1690-c. 1724), a notorious English pirate active in the Caribbean and the Bay of Hounduras during the early 1720s.John Lowe (d. 1467), bishop successively of St. Asaph and Rochester, is said to have been a native of Worcestershire. Nash (Worcestershire, ii. 95) connects him...
Another 224 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCloy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCloy Ranking

In the United States, the name McCloy is the 14,550th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [9]

Ireland Migration of the McCloy family to Ireland

Some of the McCloy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McCloy migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name McCloy or a variant listed above were:

McCloy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Margret McCloy, aged 33, who arrived in America in 1822 [10]
  • William McCloy, aged 38, who landed in America in 1822 [10]
  • George McCloy, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1831 [10]
  • John McCloy, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1841 [10]

Canada McCloy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCloy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Honora McCloy, aged 50 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Odessa" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [11]

Australia McCloy migration to Australia +

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

McCloy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand McCloy 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:

McCloy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Susannah Mccloy, (b. 1844), aged 22, British domestic servant travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Bombay" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 18th August 1866 [13]
  • Miss Mary Ann Mccloy, (b. 1843), aged 24, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd January 1868 [13]
  • Mr. Patrick Mccloy, (b. 1846), aged 21, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd January 1868 [13]
  • Miss Catherine Mccloy, (b. 1848), aged 19, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd January 1868 [13]
  • Miss Martha Mccloy, (b. 1850), aged 18, British dairymaid travelling from London aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th February 1869 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McCloy (post 1700) +

  • Lieutenant Commander John McCloy USN (1876-1945), American officer in the United States Navy, two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Helen McCloy (1904-1994), American mystery writer who used the pseudonym Helen Clarkson
  • John Jay McCloy (1895-1989), American lawyer, banker and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Phillip McCloy (1896-1972), Scottish association football player for the Scotland National Team (1924-1925)
  • Peter McCloy (b. 1946), Scottish former football goalkeeper who played from 1964 to 1989 including a stint with the Scotland National Team in 1973
  • Jeffrey Raymond "Jeff" McCloy, Australian property developer and politician, Lord Mayor of Newcastle between 2012 and 2014

The McCloy Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Spero meliora
Motto Translation: I hope for better things.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  8. 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)
  9. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  10. 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)
  11. 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)
  12. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st July 2021). Retrieved from
  13. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook