Ganley Family History
The ancient origin of the name Ganley
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Ganley
include McShanly, Shantley, Shanly, Shanley and Ganly. This name in Irish is Mac Seanlaoich, meaning 'old hero'. The prefix 'mac' is now only found occasionally since falling into disuse during the seventeenth century. The sept is of County Leitrim, the Chief being known as 'MacShanly of Dromod'. One bearer of the name is described in 1404 as a wealthy farmer of this place, his father Murray being 'servant of trust' to the King of Connaught. They were often at war with their more powerful neighbours the MacRannalls, and in 1473 the latter destroyed their dwellings by fire and put several of their leading men to death. A notable person of the name was Cormac Shanely, who was one of the priests enumerated in a Penal Law presentment for County Leitrim in 1714. As Ganley the name is first recorded in the 1659 Census and was numerous in County Westmeath.The Ganley
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Ganley