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MacEvoy, (MacElwee, MacGilloway, Mac Veagh)
The MacEvoys were one of the "Seven Septs of Leix", the leading members of which were transplanted to Co. Kerry in 1609. the lesser clansmen remained in their own territory and Leix is one of the areas in which the name is found fairly commonly to-day. This sept was called Mac Fhiodhbhuidhe which is pronounced Mac-ee-vwee, whence the approximately phonetic anglicization MacEvoy. (Buidhe - yellow - was always written "boy" in early attempts to put Irish names into English form). Formerly chiefs of the present barony of Moygish in Co. Westmeath, this sept in early times settled in Leix and became lords of the territory now comprising the parishes of Mountrath and Raheen in that county. The MacEvoys, called Muintir Fhiodhbhuide, appear there in a map of Leix dated 1563. Another quite distinct Irish sept, in Gaelic MacGiolla Bhuide, normally anglicized MacElwee and MacGilloway (names now well known in Counties Donegal and Derry), is shortened in the spoken language to Mac a'bhuidhe, hence the form MacAvoy or MacEvoy in English. Conn Mac Giolla Bhuidhe, Abbot of Mungret in 1100, was one of these. The name MacEvoy is rare in Connacht now but fairly common in Armagh and Louth. There it is a synonym of MacVeagh, I.e. Mac an bheatha, an Oriel sept. considering their importance in the past it is remarkable that so few MacEvoys appear as distinguished individuals in any sphere of Irish history. Longford born Francis MacEvoy (1751-1804), was a distinguished President of the Royal College of Surgeons distinguished President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.