Origin of the Name MacElroy
The origin of the name MacElroy
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name McElroy
include McIlroy, McGilroy, Gilroy and Kilroy. This name is Mac Giolla Rua in Gaelic, taken from the words 'giolla' meaning 'lad' and 'rua' meaning 'red'. The sept originated in County Fermanagh where the place name Ballymackilroy is found. Their territory was on the east side of Lough Erne. The McElroys were of some importance in Gaelic Ireland , particularly in the fifteenth century, as their frequent mention in the 'Annals of the Four Masters' and the ancient manuscript of 'Loch Ce' testifies. A notable bearer of the name in modern times was Rev. John MacElroy, S. J. (1782-1877), a native of Fermanagh, where he was educated at a hedge school and was associated with the United Irish men in 1798. Birth registration statistics 1864-1890 indicate that the name was mainly associated with North Connacht Province.
The MacElroy coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all MacElroy descendants.