Recorded as O'Luby, Luby, Lube and Looby, this is an ancient Irish surname. Originally recorded in the Gaelic as O' Lubaigh, it has the unusual meaning of 'The male descendant of the cunning one.' This is or was almost certainly a reference to the original chief of the clan, as 'nicknames' are the source of the vast majority of not just Irish, but all Gaelic surnames. The clan are believed to originate from County Tipperary, and particularly the baronies of Iffa and Offa. However there is also a place called Ballylooby or the place of the Looby's, and presumbly this is where the name originated in ancient times. In 1665 there were twenty families called Looby or Luby recorded in the Hearth Tax registers for Tipperary, whilst in 1690 it is claimed that Lieutenant William Luby of County Kildare joined the army of King James 11nd. However King James being defeated at the battle of the Boyne, William Luby was captured and subsequently outllawed for high treason. However he later managed to have this sentence reversed, and at the same time he changed his name to Lube. There are a few recordings of Lube in Counties Kildare and Meath, and these people are presumably descendants. Thomas Clarke Luby, (1822 - 1901) was a prominent Fenian, as well as being a journalist, and a Protestant, not the usual qualifications for being what was then regarded as a rebel.
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