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Surname MacLerney - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

MacLerney: What does the surname MacLerney mean?

The last name MacLerney is an anglicized form of the Irish surname MacGiolla Earnaigh, which is derived from the Gaelic personal name Earnaigh, meaning "iron." This is a direct reference to the strong and resilient nature of the name-holder, and it also reveals a familial link to ironworkers in early Celtic culture.

The family name traces back to the earliest records of Ireland, when an ancestor of the MacLerney clan lived in what is now County Wexford beginning in the late 12th century. By the 16th century, this family was found mainly in the provinces of Connacht and Munster in the south of Ireland.

The MacLerney surname is associated with several clan branches, including O'Flynn, O'Dwyer, and O'Gallagher. Clan members have a long and proud history in Ireland, and were part of the fight for Irish independence against British occupation during the early 20th century.

Today, MacLerney is a widespread surname around the world, including in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and beyond. It remains a very proud, distinct, and honourable surname – a testament to its origins and the strength of its namesake.

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MacLerney: Where does the name MacLerney come from?

The last name MacLerney is most commonly associated with Ireland, where it was thought to have originated in the 1500s. According to researchers, the name was sometimes anglicized to “McLerney” or “Lerney”. However, many variations have been found.

Today, the name MacLerney is not as common in most countries as it was in the past. Although there are some areas where a decent population claim it as their family name, no single, prominent location can be identified as the primary region.

In Ireland, the surname is quite common in rural areas, particularly in the south-west, but is scarce in urban areas. Other countries in Europe also have a smaller population who belong to the clan, but the highest concentration is in France.

In North America, particularly in the United States, there has been a surge of MacLerney families over the past century. Immigrants from Ireland and France relocated to places such as New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania in abundant numbers. Plus, families whose surnames had previously been changed have recently reclaimed the original MacLerney surname, leading to its increased popularity in the US and Canada.

At present, MacLerney remains to be a somewhat rare surname. Therefore, those who have the proud honor of being part of this ancient Clan often take great pride in their unique family heritage.

Variations of the surname MacLerney

The surname MacLerney is most commonly spelled as McLerney, but there are multiple other variants, spellings and surnames which are derived from the same origin. Some of these spellings include MacCleirigh, MacLarner, MacLegurney, MacLerny and MacLorgain as well as the more common McLorny and McLernie.

In addition to the above-mentioned spellings, people with the surname MacLerney often have alternately spelled surnames, such as Cleary, Lerney, Learane, Leary, Lernie, Lery, Lorny and Lurny. The origin of MacLerney is believed to be from the Irish First Name Lachtnán, and the prefix Mac usually denotes the son of or origin from this particular first name.

People with the surname MacLerney can often be found with ancestry in both Ireland and Scotland, and can also trace their roots back to a place called Gwydyr. Located in the province of Connacht in Ireland, Gwydyr is said to be the most extensive family estate of the MacLerney family. The many surnames and spellings which have evolved from the original MacLerney likely arose through migration and migration patterns as well as variations on spellings over time.

The MacLerney heritage is strongly associated with their Irish homeland and the many descendants of this surname can often be found popularly in the District of Galway, Sligo and Mayo throughout Ireland. This may explain why the original prefix Mac became so prevalent in the many alternate spellings and surnames of the same origin. No matter what the chosen spelling, people with the surname MacLerney all share a common ancestry and are part of a long heritage.

Famous people with the name MacLerney

  • Mackenzie MacLerney — Producer, known for her work on the documentary film The Lost Open (2007).
  • Shannon MacLerney — Actor who appeared in the horror movie Dead Awake (2016).
  • Richard MacLerney — Former General Manager of Sears Roebuck and Co. and chair of the American Apparel Manufacturer's Association.
  • Fergus MacLerney — Bishop of Achonry in the Church of Ireland.
  • Shane MacLerney — An Irish skater and actor who won the "Best Video" and "Rocky Horror Picture Show" awards at the X-Games 2010.
  • August MacLerney — Movie producer and director who worked on "Titanic (1997)".
  • Bob MacLerney — Founder of GreenCrest Capital, Inc., an investment capital firm.
  • Don MacLerney — Professional architect and civil engineer.
  • John MacLerney — Television actor who starred in a variety of shows throughout the 1980s and 90s, including "Cheers" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation".
  • Kay MacLerney — American actress best known for her roles in TV series such as "Lizzie McGuire" and "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch".

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