Crowley is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "O'Cruadhlaoich". The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname "Cruadhlaoich", from "cruadh", hard, and "laoch", a warrior; hence, "descendant(s) of the hard warrior". The great sept originated in Moylurg, County Roscommon, but migrated to Dunmanway, County Cork, and in due course became a leading West Cork sept with a recognized chief residing at Kilshallow. Several of the clan were employed as professional soldiers and the (O) Crowleys usually fought on behalf of the MacCarthys.Their Coat of Arms is silver with a blue boar between three red crosses. The boar is renowned for its perseverance and ferocity in fighting and the cross is indicative of suffering for a faith. On February 19th 1957, John Joseph Crowley of Middle Calf Island, Schull, and Catherine Elizabeth O' Mahony of Bawnnaseanacloch, Ballydehob, were married in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Schull. Four children were born to them. Mary Catherine (Feruary 20th 1961), Anne Josephine (March 30th 1962), Caroline Theresa (August 10th 1963) and Charles Joseph (October 4th 1965). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O' Crowley of Co. Cork, which was dated 1659 - Petty's "Census" of all Ireland, during the reign of Richard Cromwell, The Great Protector, 1658 - 1660. 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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