Recorded in the spellings of O'Moloney, Moloney, Maloney, and Maleney, this interesting name is of Irish origin. It is a derivative of the pre 10th century Gaelic O'Maol Dhomhnaigh, translating as "the descendent of the servant of the Church", with the O' denoting the male descendent of, although it is now seldom, if ever, so recorded. O' Moloney was a Dalcassian sept belonging to Kiltanon near Tulla in the county of Clare, where they are extremely numerous, although they are now equally prevalent in the neighbouring counties of Limerick and Tipperary. A number of Moloneys have been involved in the field of historical research, and two O'Moloneys of the Kiltanon sept were Bishops of Killaloe, one John Moloney (1617 - 1702), the nephew of the Elder was a respected intellectual and defender of persecuted Catholics in Ireland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Father Donogh O'Moloney, which was dated 1601, Killaloe, County Clare. Surames 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.1603.
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