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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Crilly originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Raghallaigh. However, the connection of this name, which is also Anglicized as Crawley or MacCrawley, to the name Crilly is in actuality a matter of debate among scholars.

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The spelling of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent. This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names as they sounded resulted in spelling variations such as Crilly, O'Crilly, Creely, Crely, Crillie, Creelie, Crelie, Crilley, Creeley, Creley and many more.

First found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat since ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crilly research. Another 216 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crilly History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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The English-ruled Ireland of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Crilly:

Crilly Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Crilly, who sailed to America in 1812
  • Thomas Crilly, who landed in America in 1812

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  • Martin Crilly (b. 1969), Irish writer
  • Daniel Crilly (1857-1923), Irish politician, Member of Parliament for North Mayo (1885-1900)
  • Anna Crilly (b. 1975), English actress and comedian
  • Rob Crilly (b. 1973), British/Irish freelance journalist and author
  • Tommy Crilly (b. 1895), English footballer
  • Frederick Leo Crilly, English entrepreneur who founded Crilly Airways Ltd, an passenger airline service in England in the mid-1930s
  • Mark Crilly (b. 1980), Scottish professional footballer and current manager


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  8. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Crilly Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Crilly 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 25 November 2013 at 07:11.

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