The McClorys are historically associated with the old Irish clan Oirghialla,
or Oriel, descended from the semi-legendary Irish king Conn of the Hundred
Battles who reputedly died in 157 AD. The
kingdom of Oriel at one point encompassed much of Ulster but was in later
times confined to the area of modern Monaghan, Armagh and adjacent parts of
Down and Fermanagh. According to
old pedigrees the ancestors of the McClorys were chiefs of Fermanagh and were
kinsman of the O’Davins with lands in the barony of Tirkennedy.
Another sept dwelt at Moira in Down, and notable McClory families were
also on record in later centuries at Ballynaskeagh, Lisnacrappin and
Drumballyroney. Other old
anglicised forms of the name include McLory, McLawry and McLavery while in
some parts of east Ulster, and also in Offafy, local dialect has rendered the
name McGlory and Maglory. The
surname is most commonly met in modern times in the forms Lowry and Lavery.
The original Irish surname was Mac Labhradha (also written Mac Labhraidh,
denoting literally ‘son of Labhradha’, a personal name derived from the
Irish meaning ‘spokesman, advocate’; O Labhradha is also on record in
early times, indicating ‘grandson of Labhradha’.
The McClorys and other Oriel septs claim descent from three princes known as
the three Collas. The eponymous
ancestor of the McClorys is said to have been the chieftain Eochaidh Labhradha
mac’Fhogartaigh, eighth century lord of Fermanagh.
Historical records of the McClorys became numerous from the sixteenth
century: Elizabethan pardons (or royal indemnities) list, amongst others,
Thady and Philip O’Lowrowe in 1570, together with several McClory followers
of O’Neill in the 1590s, and a Morgh M’Glory in 1600.
Later eighteenth century wills note a Patrick M’Clowery of
Ballinaskeagh in 1779, with a Hugh McClory recorded in the same parish in
OF ARMS: On a black field, the
colour of Modesty, Wisdom and Constancy, are green laurel leaves sprouting
from a silver chalice, denoting Peace, Honour and Prosperity.