This name is spelt in many different ways, the most usual being MacAuley, MacCauley, Cawley, Macaulay, MacGawley and Magawley. There are two main Irish septs of MacAuley etc. Entirely different in origin and location. One is MacAmhalghaidh, I.e., son of Auley, an old Irish personal name now obsolete. This sept was at one time of considerable importance, being lords of a wide territory in the west of Co. Westmeath and north of Offaly: in the Elizabethan Fiants this is called "McGawley's Country", the centre of which was Ballyloughnoe in Co. Westmeath. The Four Masters describe them as Chiefs of Calry. They are descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, their surname being taken from his descendant Auley, who flourished in the thirteenth century. Their pedigree is recorded in the Office of Arms, Dublin Castle, in great detail; the Chief of the Name a century ago was Count Magawley Cerati, son of the Prime Minister of the Empress Maria Louisa. Up till that time they preserved a close connexion with their homeland in Co. Westmeath. The other sept was called in Irish Mac Amhlaoibh. They are a branch of the MacGuires and belong to Co. Fermanagh, where they have given their name to the barony of Clanawley. It should be noted that Mac Amhlaoibh is also the name of a quite distinct Munster sept, the anglicized form there being MacAuliffe (q.v.). The same Gaelic form is used by the Scottish clan of Macaulay. Many of the Irish born Macauleys and MacAuleys, particularly those living in the countries adjacent to Belfast, are descendants of Scottish settlers in Ulster. The outstanding figure of the name in Irish history is Catherine MacAuley (1787-1841), foundress of the Order of Mercy.
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