Recorded as Lowey and Lowy, this is a surname of Manx Gaelic origins. It is, or certainly was, famous in the USA, through the Studebaker car designer of the 1950's, the late Gerald Lowey, who came up with some outstanding designs. The surname is a patronymic and derives from a fusing of two ancient names, the original Mac giolla Dhubhthaigh, which translates as the follower of St Dubhtagh, and the slightly later O' Lughadha. This saint was the bishop of Glasgow in Scotland, where he is believed to have died in the year 1065. The surname is one of those quite rare examples of names which have both Gaelic prefixs of Mac and O'. However curiously in its modern form it hardly seems to have used either prefix, although prior to the year 1511 there are a few recordings in the Isle of Man as MacGillowye, from which Lowey appears to be a short or fused form. To add to the confusion some Lowey name holders who emigrated to America around the time of the Great Famine in 1846 - 1848, had their spelling changed accidentally to Lowry, which is a completely different name. It is unclear as to when the name was first recorded although in the records of the Isle of Man the name as Lowye appears in 1580, Lowy in 1603, and as Lowey in 1609.
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