Ganley Family Crest, Coat of Arms & Ganley Name Origin

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Ganley Family Crest

Ganley Coat of Arms, Family Crest - Click here to view

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Origin of the Name Ganley

The Ganley family history was found in the 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 Ganley
include McShanly, Shantley, Shanly, Shanley and Ganly. This name in Irish is Mac Seanlaoich, meaning 'old hero'. The prefix 'mac' is now only found occasionally since falling into disuse during the seventeenth century. The sept is of County Leitrim, the Chief being known as 'MacShanly of Dromod'. One bearer of the name is described in 1404 as a wealthy farmer of this place, his father Murray being 'servant of trust' to the King of Connaught . They were often at war with their more powerful neighbours the MacRannalls, and in 1473 the latter destroyed their dwellings by fire and put several of their leading men to death. A notable person of the name was Cormac Shanely, who was one of the priests enumerated in a Penal Law presentment for County Leitrim in 1714. As Ganley the name is first recorded in the 1659 Census and was numerous in County Westmeath.
The Ganley 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 Ganley descendants.
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