The Crowley, Curley or Croly Family

Crowley, Curley or Croly family crest

(Crest No. 201. Plate 12.)

THE Crowley or Croly family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of Heremon, his eighth son. The founder of the family was Brian, son of Eocha Moy Veagon, King of Ireland, A. D. 350. The ancient name was Cruadlaoch, signifying “Courageous,” and was taken from Dermot Cruath Locha, which means “The Hardy Champion.”

The O’Crowley clan were originally located in Connaught, but subsequently took possession of lands in the County of Cork. Their lands in the latter place embraced the woody and mountainous district of Kilshallow, west of the town of Bandon and on the river of that name.

The clan district of the O’Crowleys was located in the barony of Carbery, to whose prince or chieftain, MacCarthy Reagh, they were subject during peace and of whom they were followers in war.

Many of this family went to France after the overthrow of James the Second and distinguished themselves in the French military service. “The name,” writes O’Callaghan, “is to be seen under Louis the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth, from the sous-lieutenant to the lieutenant-colonel, in the Gendarmes Anglois, Gendarmes Ecossois, Regiment D’Aunis, and Regiments of Bulkeley and Walsh, in some instances with the rank of Chevalier of St. Louis.”

The name has been Anglicized into Curley and Croly, and under that form we find it prominent in modern literature. Rev. George Croly, a Protestant clergyman of the name, was a poet of a high order of merit and the author of several notable works.

Archbishop Crolly, of Armagh, and Primate of all Ireland, 1780-1849, was one of the most eminent Catholic prelates of modern Ireland. He did much for the advancement of his people and helped largely to break down the intolerance that was so rampant and general in his day. Among the many worthy representatives of this name in the United States may be mentioned Mr. John Curley, of Brooklyn, N. Y., and Messrs. J. and Terrence F. Curley, of New York City.