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Irish Surname - Clooney, Cloney
and Ó Cluanaigh

Clooney, along with Cloney, is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Cluanaigh or descendant of Cluanach . Cluanach/Clunaigh is a personal name thought to have derived from the Irish word 'cluana'. One meaning of cluana can be interpreted as being deceitful, a flatterer, or a rogue. A more flattering derivation is the meaning 'quick witted'. Clan chieftains would certainly have had to have been quick witted. The Clooney name is widespread throughout Ireland, North and South. There was an Ó Cluanaigh sept in County Wexford, where some of those beaaring the name eventually became Cloaney and Clowney .

The County Clare Clooneys are said to have had the original surname MacClune,'son of Cluana'. This has the same derivation, son of/ descendant of Cluanach as 'Ó Cluanaigh.

Somewhat confusingly, there are two civil parishes called Clooney (Cluaine in Irish) in County Clare. The first Clooney/Cluiane, Corcomroe, comprises the hamlets of North and South Clooney, and is to the east of Lahinch, in the north-west of the county. This Clooney parish is part of the historical barony of Corcomroe.

The second, Clooney/Cluaine is part of the historical baronry of Bunratty Upper, and lies in the middle of the county, near Quin. The local GAA club is known as Clooney-Quin. A 'Teag MacCluin' is recorded as having been living in Quin in 1542. There are also places named Ballymaclune and Tiermaclune in County Clare.

The townland of Clooney, in the civil parish of Kilcronaghan, County Derry/Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, is said to have derived its name from "Ballynecloney" (from Irish: Baile na Cluana, which means "townland of the meadow").

Clooney In Griffiths Valuation

Griffith's Valuation records a John Clooney, living in in the townland of Ballydonaghy, Camlin parish, County Antrim. Arthur McClooney and John Looney are also recorded on the same page. William Clooney is recorded as having been living in the townland of Galgorm Parks, Ahoghill Parish, also County Antrim.

Alternate Clooney Spellings

MacClune, Cluney, Clune, O'Cloney, Clowney, MacCluiney

The Scottish Cloneys

The surname Cloney is also recorded as being from Perthshire in Scotland, where there is a place name, Clunie. Clunie Castle dates from the 9th Century. Clunie is also a Scottish surname.

Famous People with the Clooney Surname

Oscar-winning American movie actor and director George Clooney b. 1961. George, the star of numerous films, is the son of TV journalist and game-show host Nick (Nicholas Joseph) Clooney (b. 1934)

Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002), singer and actress was the sister of Nick Clooney and George's aunt. Rosemary's first autobiography (1977) was titled "This for Remembrance: the Autobiography of Rosemary Clooney, an Irish-American Singer"

These three famous Irish-American Clooneys trace their family roots either to Windgap, County Kilkenny or possibly Abbeyleix, County Laois. One possible ancestor was also a Nicholas Clooney, who left Windgap some time in the late 1850s. He is said to have settled in Kentucky, where George's family is from. Both County Laois and County Kilkenny claim George Clooney, and he has met possible Clooney relatives in County Laois.

Francis Xavier Clooney (b. 1950) American priest, scholar, and expert on Hinduism.

Cloney/Clooney Family Coat of Arms

One coat of arms recorded for the Cloney/Clooney families is a gold crown above a gold anchor, on a red background.

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