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GILROY Family History

This interesting surname, established in Scotland and Northern Ireland from an early date, is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Giolla Ruaidh", composed of the element "Mac", son of, "giolla", servant of, youth, and "ruaidh", red (haired); hence, "son of the red (haired) youth". The sept originated in County Fermanagh where the placename Ballymackilroy is found: their territory was on the east side of Lough Erne. There is another Ballymackilroy in County Tyrone and a Ballymacilroy in County Antrim. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", grandson, male descendant, or "M(a)c", denoting "son of"...

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