This famous Irish clan surname originally MacClancy, has a world wide reputation for being in the thick of the fighting. This is not perhaps surprising as the name would seem to translate as 'the son of the red warrior' from the gaelic 'Mac Fhlannchaidh'. Certainly there has hardly been a time in Irish history, when a Clancy has not been involved. There are two main septs, the most important being centred on County Clare, and the village of Cahermacclancy, and to some extent the surrounding counties of Galway and Tipperary, whilst a smaller group can be found in Co Leitrim. The original 'Mac' prefix was lost in the 17th century, but of late some nameholders have readopted it. The head of the Leitrim MacClancy sept is known as 'the Chief of Dartry'. Up to the second seige of Limerick in 1691, the clan was very powerful in the West of Ireland. Thereafter many influential members took service abroad mainly as 'Wild Geese' and members of the French Irish brigades. The name has also been recorded in England from the 17th century, examples include Daniel Clansee, a witness at the church of St Katherines by the Tower, London, on April 22nd 1694, and (another) Daniel Clancy, believed to be the son of the first Daniel, who married Martha Beesley at St Benets, Pauls Wharf, London, on February 11th 1723. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Boetius MacFhlannchaidh, which was dated 1543, the rolls of the Clan O'Brien, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as 'Bluff King Hal' 1510 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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