Recorded in several forms including O'Looney, Looney, Loney, Luney, O'Lunney, Lunny, Lowney, Lonie, Lownie, this is a Gaelic surname which may be Manx or Irish in origin. It is a developed form of the ancient surname O' Luanaigh meaning a male descendant of Luanach. The latter was a personal name derived from "luan" meaning "warrior". Gaelic surnames are traditionally patronymics, and descend from the first chief of the clan, a thousand or more years ago. These early names were often very robust. Kennedy for instance means 'ugly head' although O'Luanaigh suggests that the first chief was a mighty warrior, and is certainly one of the more romantic examples. The surname is very early as shown below, and other examples of recordings include William Lownie who married Elizabeth Foster on July 20th 1615, at St. Peter's church, Paul's Wharf, in the city of London, and Philip Lowney, who was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on October 3rd 1638. William, son of Agness and Alexander Lownie, was christened on July 2nd 1727, in Edinburgh, and John Lounie was christened also in Edinburgh on August 24th 1729. In Ireland sadly early recordings are rare because of paucity of registers, but Arche Lowney married Mary Ginnaw at Killarney on May 23rd 1787. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gillacrist O Luinigh. This was dated 1090, in the Manx Names list, during the reign of King William 11nd of Engalnd, 1087 - 1100. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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