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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Dooley family come from? What is the Irish Dooley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dooley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dooley family history?

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Dooley is O Dubhlaoich, derived from the words dubh, which means black, and laoch, referring to a hero or champion.


The spelling of one's surname was not as important as it is today. Names were recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname changed with each listing. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations. For Dooley some of these variations included: Dooley, Dooly, O'Dooley, O'Dooly and others.

First found in Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dooley research. Another 220 words(16 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Dooley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Dooley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Irish families fled the English-colonized Ireland in record numbers during the 19th century for North America. Many of those destitute families died from disease during, and even shortly after, the long journey. Although those that immigrated before the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s often were granted a tract of land, those that arrived later were generally accommodated in urban centers or in work camps. Those in the urban centers would labor in the manufacturing sector, whereas those in work camps would to build critical infrastructures such as bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Regardless of when these Irish immigrants came to North America, they were critical for the rapid development of the young nations of the United States and Canada. Early immigration and passenger lists have recorded many early immigrants bearing the name of Dooley:

Dooley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Lawrence Dooley settled in New England in 1774

Dooley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Wm Dooley, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1813
  • Michael Dooley, who arrived in America in 1832
  • Thomas Dooley, aged 1, arrived in New York, NY in 1848
  • T Dooley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Joseph Dooley, who landed in Mississippi in 1852


  • Thomas H Dooley, American corporate executive
  • Wallace T Dooley, prominent American physician
  • Thomas Anthony Dooley III (1927-1961), American doctor and humanitarian
  • Paul Dooley (b. 1928), American actor
  • James William Dooley (1930-2008), retired American football player and coach
  • James Dooley (b. 1976), American film score composer
  • Vincent Joseph Dooley (b. 1932), retired American head college football coach at the University of Georgia
  • James Thomas Dooley (1877-1950), Irish-born, Australian two-time Premier of New South Wales
  • Mr. Patrick J. Dooley (d. 1912), aged 43, Irish Third Class passenger from Patrickswell, Limerick who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Marie L Dooley, educational administrator



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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  3. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  7. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  8. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Dooley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dooley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 22 March 2014 at 18:14.

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