This interesting and unusual name is a dialectal variant of "(Mac)Kilroe", which is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name, "Mac Giolla Rua", meaning "son of the red haired youth or servant" (Giolla Rua). Mac, signify "son of". Kilroe is a name peculiar to Roscommon. From these roots also one finds the Anglicized forms McElory, McIlroy (Ulster), Gilroy as well as Kilroy (Connacht). The Irish sept originated in County Fermanagh, on the East side of Lough Erne. The McElroys were to be of some importance in Gaelic Ireland, particularly in the 15th Century, as they are frequently mentioned in the "Annals of the Four Masters". The name was probably Anglicized by Irish immigrants to England and indeed by Irish people eager to enhance their career chances in the establishment in Ireland up to 1922. One Richard Calrowe married Margaret Clerke at Prestbury in Cheshire on February 8th 1567, while one Amos Calrow married Ann Sandiforth at Manchester Cathedral on September 8th 1708. One Dr. Robert MacElroy (born 1872) was a distinguished professor of History at Princeton and Oxfords University. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Calrowe who married Margaret Taylor, which was dated December 3rd 1565, at Prestbury, Cheshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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