The Gilroy or Kilroy Family

Gilroy or Kilroy family crest

(Crest No. 239. Plate 53.)

THE Gilroy family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Eogan, ancestor of the Northern Hy Nials, and son of Nial of the Nine Hostages. The original name was Guillaruadth, signifying “The Red Boy.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present Counties of Monaghan and Fermanagh. The head of the family had his residence at Bally MacGilroy, or Ballymackilroy, a townland in the parish of Aghalurcher, to the east of Lough Erne, in the County of Fermanagh.

The name is still numerous in this part of Fermanagh. Such of them as have settled in the town of Enniskillen write the name McElroy, while others who removed to Leinster and Connaught write it Gilroy and Kilroy, with the prefix Mac. The correct form is MacGilroy.

A branch of this name were chiefs also in the barony of Clonderlaw, in the County of Clare.

There were many learned and otherwise distinguished men of this sept. The name is still numerous in Ireland and in the United States. The Hon. Thomas F. Gilroy, ex-Mayor of New York City and a man of distinguished ability, is a descendant of this family.