This interesting name, with variant forms (Mac)Leavy and Levy, is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic Irish name Mac Con Sleibhe. The Gaelic prefix "mac" means "son of ", with "con", a hound and "sleibhe", mountain, hence "son of the mountain hound". This name was borne by an old county Longford sept who were akin to the O' Farrells. Longford was in fact, originally known as "Longphort Ui Fhearghail" (i.e. O' Farrell's fortress). Earlier Anglicized forms of Mac Con Sleibhe appear as MacEnlieve, MacEnleve etc.. in the 1666 Hearth Money Rolls of Counties Longford and Westmeath, where the name is still most widespread. A branch of the family, many of who were surgeons, migrated to south west Cork in the 16th Century where they obtained large grants of land in the MacCarthy country. It is believed that this is the origin of the Levis family, well - known in West Cork, since the 17th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Genelach Meg Con Sleibhe, which was dated circa 1659, Records of the barony of Longford, during the reign of Richard Cromwell, "The Lord 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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