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Irish Surname - Delaney

Although it has gained popularity as a Christian name recently, the name Delaney is used in the Irish community as a surname and is known to have originated from the Gaelic. It is also used in France where the spelling Delanie is preferred, it comes from the French 'aunaie' meaning 'alder grove'

In the Irish community, the name has always been used by members of any social class in the society. That is from the commoners to the rich. However, in the early French community, the name Delanie was used amongst the peasants only. The only exception was a lawyer who had the chance to have a high social standing.

Origin of the surname Delaney

The name Delaney originated from the Gaelic word Dubhsláine, which when broken down, Dubh means black and slaine comes from the River Slaine which is also spelled River Slaney. In Irish, the name Delaney means a 'darkly defiant child.'

Griffith's Primary Valuation

At the time of Griffith's 'primary Valuation', that is between 1847 and 1864, Delany was the most common spelling. Delany households were present in the following counties: Laois, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Distribution of the Delaney surname

Over time, the name Delaney became popular in other countries, including the UK, Canada, and USA. The number has, especially, risen in the USA. As of 1840, according to the records, there were 40 Delaney families in the US making it the largest population of Delaneys in any country. This was about 31% of all the Delaney population.

As of 2019, there has been a record of 34,000 individuals called Delaney who have migrated to the US. The highest population of this 31% was labourers. This is a reflection of the social status of the Delaney lineage since the beginning. They had no royal position or any family amongst the high ranking families except for a few like Daniel Delaney the Elder (1685-1753), who was a lawyer and held high office during colonialism at the time.

Delaney Spelling Variations

Records show different spellings of the name Delaney. The main reason for this is because the scribes were the only people who knew how to write and read. So spellings varied from one scribe to another according to how they heard the name being pronounced. The varying spellings are: Delany, Delaney, Delane, Delaune, Dalaney amongst other spellings.

Famous People with Delaney as their surname

 •  Ronnie Delaney (1935- ), famous in Ireland for winning olympic gold in the 1500m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

 •  Arthur McEvoy Delaney (1927-1987) An English painter specialising in industrial and street scenes in the North of England.

 •  Arthur Delaney (1841-1905). He was a US politician who became the first mayor of Juneau in Alaska.

 •  Simon Delaney (1970-), an Irish actor.

Delaney Family Crest

The Delaney coat of arms is a shield which depicts military strength and fortitude. It includes three fish which represent the legend of Fionn who became the first to taste the 'salmon of knowledge'.

Please Note

There is often limited information available on a specific coat of arms and motto for an Irish surname. Sometimes there are many variations, sometimes none, we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection. Please visit our Coat of Arms and Motto page for more information.

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