The name MacAuliffe is almost peculiar to Co. Cork and is scarcely found outside Munster. The MacAuliffes are a branch of the MacCarthys and their chief resided at Castle MacAuliffe near Newmarket, Co.Cork. Their territory in that part of the country is described in a grant of land to a stranger in 1612 as "Clan Auliffe". It should be noted however that the term Clan Auliffe normally refers to a branch of the O'Farrells of Co. Longford and has no connexion with the sept of MacAuliffe. The last recognized Chief of the name, Michael MacAuliffe, was according to Dalton a colonel in the Spanish army and died in Spain in 1720; O'Donovan however ascribes that position to a minor official at Kenmare in 1840. In Irish the name is Mac Amhlaoigh, I.e., son of auliffe (anglice Humphrey). The same Gaelic name is also anglicized MacAuley, which is an entirely different sept (q.v.). The famous French physician Joseph Oliffe (1809-1869) was actually born in cork, his ancestral name being MacAuliffe.
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