The McCloskey clan, although descended
from the Milesian kings of Ireland, did not come into existence, in
Ireland, until 1196 AD with the political murder of Murtough O'Loughlin,
lord of Kinel-Owen, by Donagh, son of Bloscaidh (pronounced 'Blosky')
O'Cahan, a subordinate chieftan. As was the custom after a noteworthy
event, Donagh was permitted to begin his own family branch and adopted
his father's first name as his family name and became Donagh O'Bloscaidh
which, in time, evolved to McCloskey and other various spellings. It's
beginning is well documented in the 'Annals of The Masters' and other
historical records. It was a sub-sept of the O'Cahans and ruled an area
of what is now County Derry, centered on Dungiven. When the English
'Plantations' forced them off their arable land in the plains, they took
refuge in the hilly, less fertile hillsides of Benedy Glen which runs to
the south-east from Dungiven. From there they migrated to nearby
counties or overseas.
The spelling of the name has varied over
the years due to the past illiteracy of the population and it's
officials. My experience in Ireland also showed me that, although my
relatives spelt their name 'McCloskey' they pronounced it 'McCluskey'.
Thus, spellings such as McLuskie, McCloskie, McClosey are all legitimate
Apparently, this form of the name
McCluskey is the spelling used in the County of Antrim in Northern
Ireland. It is also widely used in this form in the west of Scotland,
especially Galloway. When it is spelled McCloskey, it is widely thought
to belong to the area around Londonderry.
Bloskey O'Cahan slayed the heir to the
throne of Ireland in 1196. His first name is the moniker that was
assumed by this sept of the clan Kane.
The eponym of McCluskey is Glasgow, which
is also a popular name in Eastern Northern Ireland.
McCluskey, in Scotland, is associated to
the MacDonald Lord of the Isles clan. By geography alone it is possible
to deduce where this association comes from.
The MacDonalds (spelled McDonnell) held
large swathes of land in County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
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