This notable Irish surname is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "O'Maoldhamhnaigh", descendant of Maoldhamhnigh, a male given name composed of the elements "mad", literally meaning "bald", but used here in the sense of "tonsured one"; hence, "devotee", and "domhnaigh", the genitive of "domhnach", (Patrician) church. The latter element "domhnach" translates as "Sunday" or "the Lord's Day" in modern Gaelic. Maloney, along with its more usual spelling Molon(e)y, is chiefly found in County Clare, and the adjoining Munster counties of Tipperary and Limerick, "O'Maoldhamhnaigh" being an ancient Dalcassian sept, that is belonging to Kiltanon near Tulla in East Clare. The "O'Maoldhamhnaigh" chief ruled over Cuiltenan in the Barony of Tulla, and his sept (along with the O'Gradys, the O'Quins and the McEneirys) is of the line of Cormac Cas, Monarch of Ireland. The name is seldom if ever found today with the original prefix "O". Fifty-five people bearing the name Maloney appear on a "List of Irish Famine Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York", during the years 1846 - 1851. On May 21st 1856, the birth of one Bridget Maloney was registered at Nenagh, County Tipperary. A Coat of Arms held by this family is an azure shield, on the dexter a quiver erect with three arrows, on the sinister a bow erect all gold, the Crest being a dexter arm embowed in armour, the hand in a gauntlet holding a dagger all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Father Dongoh O'Moloney, which was dated 1601, in "Ecclesiastical Records of Killaloe", County Clare, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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