This interesting surname is of Irish origin and is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "O Lachtna". The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "grandson, male descendant of" and the personal byname "Lachtna" means "Grey" in the sense of "wise, venerable". Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, or from some llustrious warrior and are usually prefixed by "O" (as above) or "Mac" denoting "son of". In the process of Anglicization "O'Lachtna" has acquired many variant forms including: O'Loughlin, Loughnane, O'Laughnan, Loftus, Lawton and Loughney, the last mentioned form being particularly widespread in the Connaught County of Mayo. The great O'Lachtnain or O'Lachtna sept held territory along the north western seaboard embracing Counties Clare, Galway and Mayo. Their chief was Lord of Corcamroe, County Clare, in early times and was know as "The King of the Burren". The numerous medieval bishops and abbots of the name (see below) were all Connaught men. On December 2nd 1792 Ellen Loughney and John Kerrisk were married in Killarney, County Kerry and on June 18th 1864 a daughter, Elizabeth, was born to Thomas Loughney and Mary Lynch in Lackner, County Mayo. The family Coat of Arms is a red shield with a man in complete armour facing the sinister shooting an arrow from a bow all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Conghalach O'Loughlin, Bishop of Corcomroe, which was dated 1281, in "Ecclesiastical Records of County Clare", during the reign of Edward 1 of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots". 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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