Recorded as Maloy, Malloy, Molloy and Mulloy, but more correctly with the O' prefix, this is a famous Irish clan surname. It usually originates from the pre 10th century Old Gaelic name O'Maolmhuidh, meaning the descendant of the Great Chief. The first chief it is said, was descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the 4th century High King of Ireland, and the sept which took its name from him ruled over Fercal, a district covering several baronies of County Offaly. Many of this notable family had friendly relations with the English crown, and the name is recorded as O'Mulmoy in early English records.The first recorded namebearer (below) was one of the officiating prelates at the coronation of Richard 1st, and the chief of the sept was appointed hereditary bearer of the English standard in Ireland, an office largely exercised within the Pale. The name O'Maolmuidh was initially anglicized as Molloy, but is now widely found as Malloy and Mulloy. An early recording is that of Elinor Malloy who was christened at Downpatrick, County Down on October 1st 1790, whilst Alexander Maloy was christened at Christ Church, Spitalfields, in the city of London, on December 30th 1832. The christening of Claude Francois, son of Guillaume and Claude Malloy, at Ludres, Meurthe et Moselle, France, on April 13th 1656, suggests that, in some instances, Malloy may be of French origin, and a variant of "Mallo", itself coming from the medieval Breton name which also means chief or leader. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Albin O'Molloy, Bishop of Ferns, County Wexford, which was dated 1189, in the "Early Medieval Records of England", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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