In form Crowley is English, a
habitation name from an Old English term meaning 'wood of the
crows', and no doubt some of those in Ireland bearing the name
derive from English stock. However the vast majority are of
Gaelic Irish extraction with Crowley an anglicization of O'
Cruadhlaoich from cruadh and laoch meaning
hardly and warrior. The Cruadhlaoch
from whom the family take their name was in fact one of the
MacDermots of Moylurg in Connacht who lived probably in the
thirteenth century. Some members of the family migrated from
Connacht to Co. Cork and their descendants prospered and
multiplied while the original western branch of the family
declined. The vast majority of Irish Crowleys today are
connected to the Cork branch and that country is still home
for most of them.