Irish surname search
MacKELVEY, MacElwee KILBOY CALVEY
These names, with variants like MacElvey, are the modern anglicized forms of Mac Giolla Bhuidhe. The Four Masters under date 1181 mention two leading men of Connacht called Mac Giolla Buidhe (translated by O'Donovan as MacGillaboy). Earlier anglicizations such as MacGifleboy were fairly close to the original: one of these, MacIleboy, appeared as a principal Irish name in the barony of Upper Iveagh, Co. Down, in the "census" of 1659. In the same source Gilbert Macllwee, a titulado in Letterkenny town is met. Co. Donegal T is the principal location of MacKelvey, MacE~wee etc., today. In The Tribes & Customs of Hy Fiachrach Mac Giolla Bhuidhe is placed in the barony of Carra (Co. Mayo) under the O'Gormleys: It is said that there the name was anglicized Kilboy. This form of the name is still extant in north Connacht, where it is presumably a distinct sept.
Other synonyms of MacKelvey reported by local registrars in 1890 were MacCalvey, MacCelvey, MacElvee, MacElvie, MacGilvie, MacKilvie and Kilvey. A few years earlier MacElvea and MacElvoy were recorded.. MacKelvey is a name with which the prefix Mac has been retained, though the Kelvey form is occasionally found.