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Delaney Family History

Ó Dubhshláine - anglicised Delany and Delaney, meaning 'black, of the river Slaney'.

Ó Dubhláin - meaning perhaps 'black challenge' has also been anglicised as Delany and Delaney, according to Woulfe in 'Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall' or 'Irish Names and Surnames' (1923).

The name Delane is found in Co Mayo; MacLysaght treats this as an abbreviated form of Delaney ('The Surnames of Ireland', 1985 et al), although it may stand for Ó Dalláin.

Delaney was recorded early in the barony of Galmoy in Co Kilkenny, and Ossory in Laois, at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

These would be the origins of Irish Delaneys and probably the majority of Delaneys anywhere, in fact, through Irish immigration.

In Sir William Petty's 'Census' of 1659, the name occurs as a 'Principal Irish Name' in:

Co Kilkenny (all figures are for families)
Gowran Barony, Dulany (12); Fassagh Deinin, Dulany (23); Skillellogher, Dulany (6); Crannagh, Dulany (17).

Co Laois
Ossory Barony, Dullany (86); Upper Ossory, Dullany (66); Cullenagh, Dullany (19).

Co Kerry
there is a listing for O Dulinge, which would be the transplanted Ó Dúnlaing sept, who also came from Co Laois. This name is usually anglicised as Dowling].

By the time of Griffith's 'Primary Valuation' (1847-64) Delany is the most common spelling, and households were found in counties Laois (727) Kilkenny (259) and Tipperary (214).
Delaney registers lower numbers: Laois (18) Offaly (7) etc.

In the Registrar General's Report on births in 1890 Delan(e)y is the most common entrant for Co Laois.

There is also a distinct name of French origin, Delaunay/Delaney/Delany & c. meaning 'of the alder grove', found in many parts of France, e.g. Normandy, Poitou-Charentes, Ile-de-France etc. Some instances of Delaney in Britain probably have a continental Norman origin, although there must be many of Irish immigrant stock.The French name is still extant and widespread in France. The phonetic variants Daunay and Dawnay are mostly found in Britain.

Two famous Delaneys:

Edward Delaney (1930-2009) Mayo born sculptor.

Arthur K. Delaney (1841-1905) Alaskan politician.

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Areas of origin

  • Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland

    Learn more about Kilkenny on Ireland101

  • Laois, Leinster, Ireland

    Learn more about Laois on Ireland101

  • Offaly, Leinster, Ireland

    Learn more about Offaly on Ireland101

  • Tipperary, Munster, Ireland

    Learn more about Tipperary on Ireland101

  • , , France

    Learn more about France on France101