EARLY Family History
Recorded in the spellings of O'Loughrey, Loughrey, Deloughrey, Early and Erley, this is an Irish surname of some very confused origins. Originally recorded almost entirely in the province of Ulster, it is believed to derive from several sources. The most popular etymology relates to a derived form of the pre 10th century O'Maolmocheirgh, translating as "the descendant of the early rising one", shortened in the 16th century to O' Mulmogery and Mulmoher. It is claimed that the substitution to Early and Erley took place in the 18th century, through fact that in Gaelic "moch" means early and "eirghe", rising! This does not explain how O'Loughrey come to be grouped under the same clan, and the only explanation that we can offer is that the original Early's and Erley's were in fact Norman French, coming to Ireland in 1170 with Strongbow, earl of Pembroke.