The McCauleys of Co. Londonderry, Ireland and Randolph Co., Illinois


The McCauley Family - front: Archibald (1851-1920), Earl (1892-1964, m. Leona Frieman), Archie's wife Mary Hemphill McCauley (1856-1936). rear: Sadie (1887-1971, m. Edward Stevenson), Martha Winifred (1890-1961, m. Clarence Ross), and Nina (1885-1967, m. Ralph Stolz). Nina has apparently contracted a rare form of fast-spreading Leprosy, which is already being transfered to her mother simply by placing her hand on her shoulder.


Four Generations: Cleon Stevenson, his mother Sadie McCauley Stevenson, her mother Mary Hemphill McCauley (1856-1936), her father Hugh Hemphill (1822-1919) c. 1911.
Sadie McCauley Stevenson (1887-1971), the webmaster's great-grandmother. She married Edward Andrew Stevenson in 1907.
Left: Alexander Bicket and Elizabeth Ann McCauley (1854 - 1914) m. 1885 in Washington Co, IL. Elizabeth Ann was the sister of Archie McCauley in the top photograph. Photo courtesy of Loren Stevenson, from "1901 Randolph Co. Illinois Atlas"


McCauley Family Name and History

From "The Book of Irish Families, Great and Small", by Michael O'Laughlin, 1997, Irish Genealogical Foundation:

Cauley, MacAulay, MacAwley, Macauley, Mac Auley, Mac Awley, recorded in Keatings History as chief of Calraidhean-Chala. Here he tells us: 'The fair Mac Auley rules over the entire of the ports of Calry'.

This includes the parish of Ballyloughloe, barony of Clanlonan in Westmeath, and ports along the Shannon River. According to Mac Geoghegan, they held part of the barony of Kilcoursey in Kings County.

The Irish sept of the name above were known as 'Lords of McGawleys Country' and are again found in the Four Masters works as 'Chiefs of Calry'. Anciently descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages they took their name from Auley, a descendant of Niall. Specific pedigrees on this great family may be found in the genealogical office in Dublin.

Another completely separate family was a branch of the MacGuires of Co. Fermanagh, where we find the barony of Clanawley named in their honor. Most anciently this family was 'Mac Amhlaoibh'.

Another possibility is descent from the Scottish settlers here, particularly in the north of Ireland near Belfast.

In the 17th century Mc Aully was a principal name of Antrim, and Mac Awly was a principal name of Fermanagh, while McAwly was found in Sligo at that time.

A century ago the name was given as most prominent in Antrim and Donegal, where the name still remained one of Ulster.

Arms for families of the name are found in the Irish Book of Arms. One motto for Macaulay found there was 'Dulce Periculum'."

More McCauley history, from "Irish Families" By Edward MacLysaght, Crown Publishers, 1957 repr. 1972

This name is spealt 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 Mac Amhalghaidh, 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 Ballyhoughnoe 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 nineteenth century. Their pedigree is recorded in the Office of Arms, Dublin Castle, in great detail: the Chief of the Name a century ago was Caount Magawley Cerati, son of the Prime Minister of the Empress Maria Louisa. Up till that time they preserved a close connection 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. Fermanaogh, 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. 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 counties adjacent to Belfast, are descendants of the Scottish settlers in Ulster.

The outstanding figure of the name in Irish history is Catherine MacAuley (1787-1841), foundress of the Order of Mercy.

[Note: The McCauley ancestors who married into the Stevenson line were from Co. Londonderry. I assume they were from this latter group which originated in Scotland. For a brief history of the Ulster Plantation of Scots migrating to Ireland, you may want to visit The History of Ireland.

They are also included in the
online gedcom database file.

For books on Irish Genealogy, history, and travel, visit our Books section on Great Britain. Please be patient while the graphics load.


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Genealogy Report: Descendants of Joseph McCauley, b. abt. 1796 probably in County Londonderry, Ireland


~ Family Photographs ~

Photograph - Edward Andrew Stevenson (1879-1940) m. Sadie McCauley (my g-grandparents)


~ Family Letters ~

~ Special thanks to Frank Shay for contributing the following letters. ~

Letter - 2 Jan 1882, From Ellen Shanklin Dickey to her mother. This letter mentions: Patton, Wilson, Coulter, McCauley, McDougal, McWilliam, and Morrow families. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Letter - 10 Jul 1882, From Ellen Shanklin Dickey to her mother. This letter mentions: McBride, Ulrichs, McCauley, Gibson, Dickey and Morrow families. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Letter - 27 Sep, 1885, From From Ellen Shanklin Dickey to her mother. This letter mentions: Morrow, Mearns, Beavers, Conningham, McCauley, Dickey, Skelly, Kennedy families. Page 1, Page 2

Letter - 7 Jan 1888, From Ellen Shanklin Dickey in Marissa, Illinois to her mother. This letter mentions: Mulholland, McCauley, and Silleys families. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Letter - 24 Oct, 1896, From Ellen Shanklin Dickey to her niece, Miss Mary Shankland, who married Wm. Frank Kohler Shay. This letter mentions: Millard and McCauley families, and has a rather opinionated commentary on politics during this election year, mentioning anarchists, Democrats, and Republicans. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Letter - 25 Nov, 1887, From Janey Dickey to her grandmother. This letter mentions: Gillespie, McCauley, Garret, Parel, Kingston and Aiken families, and dyptheria spreading through the area. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4


The Stevenson Family Page

The Gideon Family Page

The Drury Family Page

The Caron Family Page

The Pollock Family Page

The Gidley Family Page

The Mignier Dit LagacÚ Family Page

Searchable Gedcom file


To correspond with other MCCAULEY researchers, please sign the MCCAULEY guestbook below. Be sure to name your early McCauley ancestors so others sharing common ancestors can find you. Separate Stevenson, Drury, Caron, Pollock, Gideon, Gidley, and Mignier dit LagacÚ guestbooks are on those family pages.