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Surname MacClary - Meaning and Origin

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MacClary: What does the surname MacClary mean?

The last name MacClary is derived from the name MacGillivray, which in Gaelic translates to son of the servant of Judgement. This name originated in Scotland and came to Ireland during the 17th century with Scottish settlers. It is an anglicised version of the Gaelic name MacGillivray as it was recorded in the old Irish Census of 1659 as Clary.

The MacClary Clan was first established in the province of Ulster, Ireland, in the Barony of Dungannon, County Takes. The surname MacClary is derived from the Irish Gaelic root word, Siol, which means 'seed' or 'descendant'. It is thought that the name was originally derived from MacGillivray, which is an additional form that this last name may take.

The MacClary Clan carries a long heritage of warriors and heroes dating back to the 1600s in Europe, Highland Scotland and Ireland. It has been said that the original MacClary chiefs were descendents of Ket and Athol, King of the Isles and Hebrides who died in 1093.

This Irish Clan has endured for centuries, with its descendants scattered across the world. Whether there is a historical claim or just amusement derived from having an Irish last name, the MacClary name is an unmistakable and strong Irish reminder of one’s heritage.

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MacClary: Where does the name MacClary come from?

The last name MacClary is common throughout North America, especially in the United States and Canada. The name is particularly heavily concentrated in the central and eastern regions of the United States, including states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, and Virginia.

In Canada, the name MacClary can be found throughout the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. It is found especially within urban areas.

It is believed that the MacClary surname is of Scottish origin. Specifically, it is thought to have derived from the Scottish surname MacClarry. This name is derived from the personal name Clare, which was bestowed as a nickname meaning ‘bright’ or ‘lithe’.

Today, the MacClary surname remains popular throughout North America. It is still most heavily concentrated in its original areas, though it has spread worldwide as people have moved to different places, often for business or work-related reasons. The name is often transliterated slightly depending on the local language, often as McLeary, McClerry or McClary.

Variations of the surname MacClary

The MacClary surname, also known as MacGlary, MacGlashan, and MacClory, is of Scottish origin. It has many variants that vary in spelling and pronunciation depending on the region.

In Scotland, the most common variants are MacClary, MacGlary, and MacGlashan, all of which are derived from the Gaelic prefix Mac meaning "son" and the Common Brittonic Claro, Glaro, and Glash meaning "bright". Other variants include MacClorie, MacGlory, and MacGlorie.

In Northern Ireland, the MacClary surname has many Anglicized derivatives. The most popular variants are MacClory, MacCloy, MacCloorie, MacCleery, and MacClority. Other variants of the same origin include McCorry, MacLory, MacLary, MacLawry, and MacLary.

In the United States, the MacClary surname is most commonly spelled MacClary, MacGlary, and MacGlashan. Other derivatives of the surname include MacClary, MacClorie, MacGlory, MacGlorie, MacCloy, MacCloorie, MacCleery, and MacClority.

Overall, the MacClary surname has many variants, including derivatives and Anglicized forms. While the variants of this surname are based on sound and regional cultural influences, they all originate from the Gaelic prefix Mac- meaning "son" and the Common Brittonic Claro, Glaro, and Glash meaning "bright".

Famous people with the name MacClary

  • Richard MacClary: former NFL player who made a Super Bowl appearance with the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Susan McClary: American musicologist, author, and scholar.
  • Ann McClary: professional makeup artist who has worked in the film, television, and music industry.
  • Molly McClary: Country music singer, songwriter, and performer.
  • Will MacClary: British cyclist, winner of multiple Olympic medals.
  • Jennifer MacClary: famous American actress best known for her roles in the films “Paper Towns” and “The Hobbit”.
  • Mike MacClary: retired NBA player, seven-time NBA All-Star.
  • Josh MacClary: professional American lacrosse player, currently playing in Major League Lacrosse.
  • Susan MacClary: Scottish actress and voice over talent.
  • Alan MacClary: British actor and presenter, best known for his roles in the hit series “The Inbetweeners” and “Game of Thrones”.

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