MacAuley/McCauley Clans os Ireland



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McAuley is among the 100 most common surnames in Ireland, if we include the many variations of the name: McCauley, MacAulay, McCawley, McGauley, McCowley, McColley, Macauley, Cawley, Magawley, McCooley, Gawley, etc.

The original Gaelic form of MacAulay was MacAmlaiobh (Son of Olaf) or MacAmhalghaidh (Son of the Spear Warrior?). There were at least two Irish McAuley clans from which these surnames are derived:

(1) in southern Fermanagh the descendants of Awley Maguire formed a sept of the Maguire clan,
(2) in County Westmeath an important branch of the Southern O’Neill clan took the surname MacAwley.
(3) Scottish settlers, most of whom settled in Ulster, especially County Antrim,are believed to account for the majority of McAuleys in Ireland.

In addition, there is evidence of possible McCauley septs in Donegal, Sligo, and elsewhere. These septs were not well documented because of the chaotic history of Ireland during the late Middle Ages, but modern research is shedding light into these MacAuley ancestors.

(McAuliffe, O’Cally, McCully, and McCollough are different surnames which may have occasionally been anglicized as McCauley. )


Since there were at least five McCauley clans (two Irish and three Scottish), and since most of their descendants have dispersed from the ancestral territories, it is extremely difficult for many McAulays to pinpoint their ancestral clan. Fortunately, DNA analysis technology can now help identify long-forgotten relationships, and the MacAulay Clan Society is coordinating a MacAulay DNA Study that will help MacAuleys find out which McCauley clan they are descended from.



Distribution of McAuleys in Ireland (1901)

According to the 1901 Census of Ireland, there were 4,571 persons named McAuley, McCauley, McGauley, or one of the variant spellings. In addition, there were 1,266 persons in Ireland named Cawley or Cauley. But MacAuleys are not spread evenly throughout the island-- only six of the 32 counties had more than 100 McAuleys, accounting for over 90 percent of the total. The six McCauley-rich counties are Antrim, Cavan, Donegal, Dublin, Down, and Fermanagh.

The McAuleys of Dublin are believed to have come from other places in Ireland. The McCauleys in the other five McAuley-rich counties are probably the descendants of people who have lived in those counties for centuries. The McAuleys of Antrim and Down are probably mostly descended from Scotch-Irish (Ulster-Scot) settlers. The McCauleys of Fermanagh and Cavan mostly descend from the MacAuley sept of the Maguire clan. (The MacAulay DNA Study has confirmed this.) The large number of Donegal McCauleys are believed to are believed to be descended from one or more poorly-documented septs that existed in the late medieval period.

County Westmeath had only 54 McAuleys in 1901, so it appears that most of the descendants of the medieval MacAmhalghaidh clan had dispersed. The best-known descendants of this clan, Mother Catherine McAuley and the Counts Magawley-Cerati, are evidence of this dispersal.

Many, but not all, of the 1,266 Cawleys of Ireland are believed to be descended from McCauleys who dropped the "Mac" prefix. Some of these Cawleys were in the five McAuley-rich counties, but the largest concentrations are in Sligo and Mayo, and probably descend from poorly-documented septs.

The Fermanagh MacAuleys

The barony of Clanawley in southern Fermanagh is the ancient homeland of this McAuley sept, which is descended from Awley Maguire (d. 1306) who was a younger son of Donn Carrach Maguire (d. 1302) the first Maguire ‘king’ of Fermanagh. It was during the lifetime of Awley and his sons that the Maguires spread from their stronghold in northeastern Fermanagh and crossed Loch Erne. Awley’s obituary cites him as “Chief of Muintir Pheodacain”, a district which was later renamed ‘Clanawley’ as his descendants proliferated.

  The Clan Awley reached the peak of its influence in the fifteenth century with the chieftainship of Brian mac Awley oge Maguire (d.1466), whose sons were the first to use the surname MacAwley instead of Maguire. After Brian’s death the ClanAwley splintered into several smaller septs (McHugh, McMahon, McArt, etc.) and only the senior branch retained the McAuley surname. Nevertheless, the clan flourished in South Fermanagh as evidenced from this entry in the Annals of the Four Masters for 1508: “Philip oge MacAwley, son of Philip Reagh son of Brian, son of Awley son of Philip son of Awley son of Donn Carrach Maguire, died. He was head of his own tribe, and kept a house of hospitality.”

The territory possessed by the McAuleys was a swathe of land in South Fermanagh extending roughly from the present town of Arney south to Swanlinbar. Three different invasion routes into Fermanagh passed through this territory, and the Irish Annals mention several battles against invaders that took place in Clanawley. In 1502 Eamon MacAwley son of Phillip Reagh (see pedigree) was slain defending his territory against a force of O'Reilleys. In 1538 another raid by O'Reilleys burned the 'town of Clanawley'. In 1594 an English force marching to Enniskillen Castle was defeated by a Maguire-led army at a ford near the Arney bridge that was renamed "Ford of Biscuits" after the provisions that were left by the fleeing English army.

The MacAuleys were virtually dispossessed by the plantation of Ulster in 1607. Although Felim McAwly (apparently the chief) was allowed a lease for 50 acres, it appears that the bulk of the clan remained in its traditional stronghold between Arney and the rugged country along the Fermanagh-Cavan border. During the vicious wars of the 1640s, Reamon oge MacAuley was an early leader in the Fermanagh uprising. The last McCauley chief in Fermanagh was Arthur McAwley, who took a prominent role in support of James II in 1688, and apparently died during the war. Arthur’s oldest son, Thomas oge McAwley, was outlawed by name by the British Parliament in 1691 as an “Irish Jacobite”. (See the pedigree of this family in Appendix 1.)


The Westmeath MacAwleys

The MacAwleys of Westmeath ruled Calry, a territory in County Westmeath which British records of the 1500s referred to as McGawley’s Country. The core of this territory is the parish of BallyLoughlowe. They were a branch of the Southern O’Neills, with a pedigree that reaches back to Niall of the Nine Hostages (d. 405 A.D.), who was High King of Ireland and a contemporary of Saint Patrick. (See Appendix 2.) The eponomous ancestor was named "Amhalghaid" an ancient but difficult-to-pronounce Irish personal name. In English this was sometimes spelled 'McAwaley', but more commonly it is 'McGauley' or 'McAuley'.

The chiefs of this clan were known in Irish as Lords of Calry. The first reference to these McAuley chiefs in the Annals of Four Masters appears in 1045 : "Amhalghaidh, son of Flann, chief of Calraighe, died of an unknown disease...". The surname MacAmhalghada first appears in 1103 in an account of "The battle of Ath-Calgain ... in which Cinaedh, son of MacAmhalghada, lord of Calraighe-an-Chalaidh, died". Between 1103 and 1527 the MacAuleys are mentioned occaisonally in the Irish records, always as chiefs of Calry. Elizabethan records refer to this territory as "McGawley's Country". According to O'Donovan's research this territory included at least four castles. (See Appendix 2.)

In 1590 Awley McGawley of Ballyloughlowe, claiming to be lord of four castles and towns, petitioned the Queen's Privy Council to surrender his possessions in Westmeath in return for a regrant of these properties to him as well as a knighthood. This could have transformed Awlie from a clan chief to a feudal lord with his clansmen as tenants. This petition was probably resisted by the English authorities and/or other members of the MacAwley clan, including Awlie's own brother William. In 1600 during the Elizabethan wars, the army of Hugh O'Neill of Tyrone was hosted by William MacAwley at his castle at Ballyloughloe.

The McGauleys of Westmeath were not entirely dispossessed by the Elizabethan conquest, but most became landless during the turmoil of the 1600s. Many of them went into exile, of whom the most remarkable was Philip Henry Magawley (1675-1756) who fought for James II and became a Jacobite exile to the continent in 1693. Joining the Austrian Army, he rose to the rank of general, and in 1734 was made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire. Although Philip Henry Magawley had no male survivors, he was allowed to pass the title to his nephew Francis and this line continues to the present. Francis's grandson married into the influential Cerati family, creating the line known as the Counts Magawly Cerati di Calry, which served the Austrian Empire in important military and administrative positions. In the 1840s this Austrian title received the "assent" of the British monarchy, so that the Counts Magawli Cerati were able to live in Ireland as gentry. The Counts apparently became Italian citizens after the breakup of the Austrian Empire in 1918, although some female-line descendants are Irish. Another branch of the Counts Magawley became German citizens about 1900, where they were distinguished in military and intellectual pursuits. Their arms are shown in Appendix 2.

The best-known member of this clan was Mother Catherine McAuley (1779-1841) daughter of James McGauley (1722?-1783). Born in Dublin, she was orphaned at an early age. Devoting her life to religious service, she founded the Sisters of Mercy. She was pictured on the Irish five-punt note until 2002 when the Euro became the currency of Ireland.

Scottish MacAuleys in Ulster

The majority of the MacAuleys in Ireland appear to be descended from Scottish settlers, rather than the two indigenous clans mentioned above. The bulk of these settled in Ulster, especially counties Antrim and Donegal.
The largest concentration of McAuleys in the world is probably in County Antrim and in the Belfast environs of County Down. Nearly all of these are of Scottish origin although a few are known to be Fermanagh McAuleys. Although the MacAuleys of Ardincaple are known to be associated with Antrim, DNA tests have shown that the Ulster McAuleys are descended from at least five Scottish ancestral families.

McAuleys began arriving in the Glens of Antrim in the 1500s, long before the Plantation of Ulster in 1607, with many of them in the service of the McDonnells. After 1607 large numbers of Scots were encouraged to settle in Ulster to populate the region with loyal citizens. The Antrim McAuley population is divided fairly evenly between Protestants and Catholics, but it is likely that they have common Scottish ancestry, with the Catholics probably descended from MacAulays who settled before the Reformation.


Many of the Antrim McAuleys appear to have a direct connection to the Scottish MacAulays of Ardincaple, including some of the most senior branches of the clan. This remarkable quote is from a book published in 1723 by William Buchanan of Auchmor, Brief Enquiry into the Genealogy and present state of ancient Scottish surnames: “The next of that name to the family of Ardincaple is the representative of Major Robert MacAulay, a gentleman of good estate in Glenarm, in the County of Antrim, in Ireland, in which county a great many of the surname reside.”

County Donegal also has a large number of McAuleys. Even though Donegal is adjacent to Fermanagh, most of the McAuleys of Donegal are probably unrelated to the Fermanagh clan. Between 1300 and 1600 the Irish clans of Ulster and Western Ireland hired thousands of Scottish mercenaries (known as gallowglass), many of whom settled in Ireland. MacAulay was a gallowglass name, so perhaps some of the Donegal McCauleys are descended from these warriors. In addition, one of the Undertakers of the Plantation of Ulster was Alexander MacAwley “alias Stewart”, who created a fortified settlement in Donegal in the 1610s. (See Appendix 3.)

  Most of the Scotch-Irish McCauleys of America are descended from these Scottish settlers in Ulster, who left Ireland in waves of organized emigration (often organized by Presbyterian ministers) that began about 1715 and continued until the 1780s. Their experience as settlers and fighters in Ireland made them ideal pioneers on the American frontier, where they were able to obtain the land ownership and religious freedom that often eluded them in Ulster. After 1815 emigration to America resumed with even greater force, but later immigrants were more likely to head for urban areas or mining towns. 


Notes regarding Fermanagh McCauley Sept

from Grant of Arms to Constantine Maguire
Courtesy of Robert Charles Maguire

Genealogy of the Chiefs of the ClanAwley of Fermanagh

Donn Mor Maguire (sons: Magnus, GillaIosa, Gofraidh ruadh,GillaIosa eile, Niall)

GillaIosa Maguire (sons: Donnell, ...)

Donnell Maguire (sons: Donn Carrach, Lochlainn, Caffrey)

Donn Carrach Maguire (Maguire Chief and King of Fermanagh, d.1302)
sons: Flaherty, Awley, MacCraith

Awley Maguire (Chief of Muintir Pheodacain, d 1306)
sons: Philip, Mahon, Art, Turlagh, Davin, Hugh

Philip Maguire (Chief of Muintir Pheodacain, d. 1351)
sons: Awley oge, Niall, Hugh, GillaIosa, Flaherty, Rory, Sean

Awley oge Maguire (Chief of Muintir Pheodacain, d.1400) son: Brian

Brian MacAwley Maguire (Chief of his tribe and Lord of Clanawley, d.1466)
sons: Philip reagh, Sean buidhe, GilPatric dubh, Taidg, Manus

Philip Reagh MacAwley (Chief of his tribe, d.1480)
sons: Eamon, Phillip oge, Magnus?…

Eamon MacAwley (sl. 1502) sons: Donnach, …

Donnach MacAuley (sons: Donnach oge, Reamon, Hugh, Magnus dubh)

Hugh MacAuley (sons: Brian, Art, GilPatrick)

Art MacAuley (sons: Thomas, William)

Thomas MacAuley , (sons: Arthur, Brian, Reamon oge)

Arthur MacAuley (sl. 1689?) sons: Thomas oge, Felim, Brian buidhe, Patrick

Thomas oge MacAuley (outlawed 1691) sons: Arthur, Dominick

[NOTE: The pedigrees of the other branches of the sept are provided in Geinealaighe Fearmanach, entries #797 through #839 plus #898 through #911.]
Sources: Annals of Ulster, Geinealaighe Fearmanach, Annals of the Four Masters

A 1718 Account of the Fermanagh MacAuleys, by John Dolan

[John Dolan was a local historian who wrote a manuscript circa 1718 about the leading families and places in Fermanagh. The following paragraph is taken from this manuscript, which was published in The Clogher Record, 1958. Note that all the people mentioned below also appear in the pedigree above.]

“From Donn the son of Daniel are derived several off-spring in Fermanagh. From Amhly his son are the family called the progeny of Brian mac Awly who had an estate in the Legan of Clinawly called of that ilk, i.e. Duthaigh Sleachta Brian. Of this family are many but the most eminent in credit and ability since our remembrance was Artt MacAwly whose sons were Thomas oge, deceased , and Brian boy, now extant, who also pretends to as much antiquity by demonstrations of writings and traditions as any of the name or more. Yet I do not here undertake to insert them for being the very eldest of the name lest I shoulden. I leave the deciding of such to the old antiquaries of the county.”


APPENDIX 2. Notes regarding Westmeath MacAuleys


Pedigree of the MacAwley Chiefs of Westmeath

The pedigree of this family is recorded in detail in the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland, according to Edward MacLysaght, former Chief Herald. I have not seen this detail, but below is a pedigree copied by O'Clery about 1635 from an older manuscript, probably the Book of Ballymote from about 1375.

From O'Clery's Pedigrees: [copied c.1635 from an older manuscript]

" #851. Amlaibh mac Amlaibh mac Muircertaigh mac Aedha finn mac Magnusa mac Muircertaigh mac Domnhaill mac Floinn mac Aedha mac Amhlaibh mac Ferghail mac Con coiccriche mac Forannain mac Suibnhe mac Domnaill mac Ruaric mac Cathusaigh mac Aedha mac Cuinn mac Maoil fhoithaid mac Croimthainn mac Brennan mac Brain mac Maine mac Niall noigiallaigh.”
[ O’Cleary uses the Gaelic name “Amhlaibh” for this clan, while every other authority uses the form “Amhalghaidh”. In The McCarthy's Book of Annals is an entry for 1392 mentioning 'Amhlaoibh mac Amhlaoibh MacAmhalghadha, chieftain of Calraighe", who is probably the first man on this pedigree.]


From Analecta Hibernica, 1970, by the Irish Manuscripts Commission; here is a chart prepared to accompany some court documents describing a property dispute between leading members of the Westmeath Magawley clan:

__________________Auly Mor McAuly____________________

Auly Maol


Auly Duff (sl.1527)

Auly Oge

Honora (alive 1610)


Farrell Carragh

Farrell Oge

___________Auly Oge________

Auly (d.1606)
William (d.1613)
James (d.1617)

[ Note that there appears to be a gap of several generations between the end of the pedigree and the beginning of the genealogical chart from Annalecta Hibernia. Fortunately, the descendants of William MacAwley (d.1613) left a pedigree, printed in John O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees, which fills in the missing generations.]


Exerpts from Ordinance Survey Letters, by John O'Donovan (September 4, 1837)

The parish of Ballyloughloe derived that name from a small village of the same name, situated about five miles east and north of Athlone... the people never call the parish Ballyloughloe, but Calree, which was the ancient name of Magawley's country in Westmeath. The name Ballyloughloe seems originally have been that of a castle situated on the bank of a lake called Loch Luatha, and to have been in later ages transferred to the parish. Of this castle only one vault remains, but its site should be marked on the ordinance map. ...I find that local tradition ascribes the erection of it to Magawley, the Irish chief of Calree.

...The hill of Tullymagawley preserves as a 'momumentum aere perennius' the name of the ancient lord of the soil. It was perhaps, the hill on which Mag Amhalghadhe was inaugurated. Mag Amhalghadha of Calraighe an chalaidh is of the southern Ui Neill, and descends from Maine progenitor of the men of Teffia.

The following ruins of castles are still to be seen in this territory of Calry, and if, according to tradition , they all belonged to Magawley, he must have been a chief of no small power:

1. The castle of Carn (Ballyloughloe),

2. The castle of Creeve,

3. The castle of Cloghamarshall (Cloghmarichall),

4.The castle of Moydrum.

APPENDIX 3. Notes regarding Scotch-Irish (Ulster-Scot) McAuleys


In 1586, Pardons for MacAuley followers of Sorley boy MacDonnell

One of the oldest surviving documents of the name McAuley in Antrim was the 1586 pardon granted to Sorley boy MacDonnell and 187 of his followers. Of the 188 names on this document, nine of them were McAuley/McCauley: #127 Bernard McAuley, #149 Donchye Grouma McColla, #150 Alister McDonaghy Grouma McColla, #155 Bernard Boy McAuley, #158 Brian McAuley, #178 Turlough McAuley, #181 Brian McAuley, #182 Gilladuff McAuley, #187 Gillagrouma Roy McAuley. The spellings are as written by an English scribe. It might be significant that two men are listed as "McColla" while seven are "McAuley".


Alexander MacAwley, an Undertaker in the Plantation of Ulster

In 1609 Alexander MacAula of Durlin, Scotland, was granted 1,000 acres of confiscated land in County Donegal, on condition that he fortify it and settle it with British tenants. A follow-up survey by Nicolas Pynnar in 1619 showed that MacAwley was among the more successful undertakers:

"LXXXIX. 1,000 acres. Alexander MacAwley, alias Stewart, hath one thousand acres, called Ballyneagh. Upon this there is built a bawn of lime and stone, seventy feet square, with four flankers, and a stone house in it.
" I find planted and estated upon this land, of British Birth ...[acreages listed, but no names]... Total eleven families, who with their undertenants , are able to make thirty men armed; these have taken the Oath of Supremacy [to the Protestant Episcopal Church]. Here is good tillage, and I saw not one Irish family on the land."

This Alexander MacAwley of Durling was a first cousin of Sir Aulay MacAulay, chief of Ardincaple (see below). When Sir Aulay died without heirs, Alexander became the next chief of the MacAulays of Ardincaple, and he sold his Donegal property.


Sir Aulay MacAulay, chief of Ardincaple, unsuccessful Petitioner in Plantation of Ulster

In 1610, as the confiscated lands of Ulster were being distributed, Sir Arthur Chichester received a petition from Sir Aula M'Aula of Ardincaple, Scotland, requesting the tuaths of Parke and Larne in Antrim, as well as the Castle of Glenarme and all lands belonging to it. However, King James decided to leave County Antrim out of the Plantation and re-grant it to Randall MacDonnell. Although Sir Aula was unable to obtain these lands in Antrim, it appears that numerous MacAulay clansmen emigrated to Antrim, many in service to MacDonnell. And in 1642 Major Alexander MacAulay, believed to be a nephew of Sir Aulay, was able to obtain land near Cushendell in Antrim. (see below)

Source: Rev. George Hill, An Historical Account of the Macdonnells of Antrim


Circa 1659 ‘Census’ of Ireland

In the 1660s the British government levied poll taxes and hearth taxes on the population, and from this a rough ‘census’ of households or adults was made. By far the largest concentration of MacAuleys on the island was in County Antrim, where 51 McAuleys were found. The only other concentrations were in County Fermanagh (Clanawley Barony) with 11 McAuleys and Sligo (Tyrell Barony) with 10.

In County Antrim, a total of 42 McAullys were in the barony of Glencarne, making it the most common surname in the barony. The most important McAuley appears to be Major Alexander MacAwley of Glenville, (see descendants below). Two other McAuleys owned title to land, and they are the only ones named in this census: Neill oge McAully, gent.; and Mortagh McAully, gent.; both residing in the townland of Glendune in Glenarm parish. (Fortunately, many of the hearth tax records from the 1660s have been saved, and 24 additional McAuley householders are identified by name, nearly all of them in Layd parish.)

The identity of the 10 McAuly families in County Sligo are a mystery. Perhaps these are fugitives from Donegal or Westmeath or Fermanagh who relocated during the turmoil of the 1640s and 1650s. We know that in the rebellion of 1641 the rebels destroyed most of the plantation settlements of Donegal and that many settlers fled to Sligo. Also, in the 1650s it was Cromwell’s policy (started but not completed) to resettle all Irish Catholics to Connaught province, which would include Sligo. Another possibility is that there was a long-established Irish clan in the area that has been poorly documented. The surname Cawley is very common in Sligo, and perhaps Sligo Cawleys are descended from these 10 McAuly families.


The Family of Major Alexander MacAulay of Glenville

In the 1850s Rev. George Hill observed a tombstone in the old church-yard of Layd, near Cushendell in Antrim that refers to the Major Alexander MacAulay who was prominent in the 1660s. The stone stated that the first of the Glenville MacAulays was Alexander MacAulay of Ferdincaple (Ardencaple?) who came to Ireland in the Scotch army of Charles I [circa 1642]. Hill continues with information on at least four generations of this family:

1 Major Alexander MacAulay (from Ferdincaple) of Glenville
(married Alice Stewart, had several children, including Alexander II, oldest son)

2 Alexander MacAulay (II) of Glenville
(married Mildred Reid; son = Alexander III, daughter = Rose)

3 Alexander (III) MacAulay of Glenville ( ?-1766)
(married Margaret Boyd; sons = Alexander IV and Hugh, two daughters)

4a. Alexander MacAulay (IV) of Glenville (1734-1817)
(married Julia Acheson. Was Sheriff of Antrim County in 1766.)

4b. Hugh MacAulay Boyd (1746-1794) (changed surname to inherit maternal estate)

Source: Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 1860. “Gleanings in Family History from the Antrim Coast” by Rev. George Hill. (pp.196-210)


A MacAwley Towerhouse on the Antrim Coast

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland possesses a map of the parish of Layd, probably made in the 1650s for a Cromwellian survey, which shows a castellated house in the townland of Agolagh belonging to “Donagh Groome McGawly, Irish papist proprietor, otherwise loyal to the English interest and no delinquent”. (See P.R.O.N.I. 597/2)

From the drawing, the castellated house appears to be a towerhouse castle of the style that was numerous in Ireland in the 1500s, although it might be one of the stockier plantation castles that were built in the first half of the 1600s. This clearly was the stronghold of an important MacAwly .

There are no MacAuleys listed for the townland of Agolagh in the hearth tax rolls of the 1660s, and I have not found any further information on Donagh groome McGawly or his towerhouse.


Gawley’s Gate (Geata MacAmhlaiobh)

Gawley’s Gate (Geata MacAmhlaiobh in Irish Gaelic) is a small town on the southeastern shore of Lough Neagh in County Antrim. Although Gawley’s Gate is at the opposite end of County Antrim from where McAuleys are thickest, it seems likely that the Gawleys who founded this town were McAuleys of Scottish ancestry. It appears that the surname Gawley is used locally rather than McAuley or McGauley.


McCauleys of Donegal

The name McCauley is fairly common in Donegal. Even though Donegal is adjacent to Fermanagh, it seems unlikely that most Donegal McCauleys are of the same clan as the Fermanagh McCauleys. Possibly these Donegal McCauleys are the descendants of Galloglas warriors who were hired by Irish clans as mercenaries. One of the earliest references to McCauleys in Donegal is from a 1608 account of Sir Cahir O'Doherty's ill-timed rebellion:

"Report of the Surprise of the City of Derrie: The fort of Culmore being taken by treachery on Monday night, the 18th of April 1608, by Sir Cahir O'Dohertie, Knt., Phelime Reaugh M'Daved, Donell og M'Calley, and others of that plot, with the O'Gallochers of Tyrconnell, the said rebels being four score and ten in number...marched on and came to the city of Derrie the next day..." (State Papers, Ireland, vol. 224, 92 II)

It is clear from this passage that Donnell oge M'Calley was an important person in the rebellion, probably a leading soldier. (Phelim Reagh McDavid was the foster brother of Sir Cahir O'Doherty.) There were no known Fermanagh McAuleys named Donnell at that time. Nor did Ever McColla (McMahon) have any sons named Donnell. Perhaps the Donegal McCauleys are related to this Donnell oge M'Calley. (An English document of the 1580s notes "Clan Alin is a sept under O'Dohertagh". Could MacAlin have become McCauley?)



APPENDIX 4. Names similar to McAuley and McCauley

McAuliffe, O’Cally, McCully, and McCollough are different surnames which are occasionally anglicized as McCauley.

The name McAuliffe is very common in Munster. From the 1300s to the 1600s the McAuliffe CIan ruled a territory in northwestern County Cork called Clanawley, which is completely different from the Clanawley barony in Fermanagh ruled by the McAuleys of Fermanagh. In Irish Gaelic the name McAuliffe was spelled MacAmhlaiobh, exactly the same as the Fermanagh McAuleys. However, in Cork the final F consonant of the name was almost always pronounced, while in Fermanagh it was almost always dropped. For further information see The MacAuliffe Site

 The name O'Cawley is now extremely rare, but it is possible this it is the stem name of many Cawleys. John O'Hart discusses the genealogy of a clan named O'Cadhla in Gaelic, who once were Chiefs of Connemara in west Galway. O'Hart says this name is anglicized as O'Cawley, MacCawley, and Cawley; but it appears that it is more often anglicized as Kealy. Nowadays, Cawley is very common in Counties Mayo and Sligo. There is at least one known case where a Cawley became a McCawley in the belief that Mac was the original prefix. Although DNA analysis is still in the early stages, DNA results for Cawleys have so far indicated that they are distinct from the McCauleys of Fermanagh. The name Cawley can also be of English origin. (See Irish Pedigrees, by John O'Hart, pp 305-306.)

The name McCollough is very common in Ulster. It is believed these McColloughs are descendants of Scottish settlers, as there were two separate clans of the name in Scotland. The originial name in Gaelic is believed to be Mac Cullach, "son of the boar". In America this name was common among the Scotch-Irish settlers, and in some cases the name may have evolved into McCauley.




MacAulay (Especially useful for McAuleys of Antrim.)

McCauley: (Mostly covering North America & Australia.)

McAuley Family Message Board


Clan MacAulay Society. (Mostly Scottish.)

Maguire Clan website: (Fermanagh McAuleys)

Clan MacAulay DNA Study

The Ulster Clans

 Prepared by Patrick MacAuley. Updated November 4, 2011
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