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

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

The Curley surname is an Anglicization, derived from the Irish Gaelic "Mac Toirdhealbhaigh."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Corley, MacCorley, Curley, Curlee, Curling, Kirley, McKerley, McCurley, McCurly and many more.

First found in the Connacht counties of Galway and Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where the places names Ballymacurley and Curley's Island can be found. There is also legend in Ireland, that the name descends from Maolduin, the second son of the 164th Monarch of Ireland, who founded the clanns of Muldoon. Maolduin's great, great grandson was Clercen, whose name means "curly one." Clercen founded the Clan O'Cleircen, which anglicized is Curley or Curling.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Curley research. Another 129 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 130 and 1305 are included under the topic Early Curley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Curley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Alice Curley, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Alice Curley, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • Charles Curley who settled in America in 1654

Curley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Curley, who landed in Maryland in 1822
  • Margaret Curley, aged 30, landed in New York, NY in 1849
  • Israel Curley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • William M Curley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • P Curley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • James Michael Curley (1874-1958), American political leader, mayor of Boston, Governor of Massachusetts
  • Michael Joseph Curley (1879-1947), American who was the 10th Archbishop of Baltimore and first Archbishop of Washington
  • Walter Joseph Patrick Curley (b. 1922), United States Ambassador to France from 1989 to 1993 and the United States Ambassador to Ireland from 1975 to 1977
  • Carlo Curley (b. 1952), American classical concert organist
  • Thomas "Tom" Curley (b. 1948), American journalist appointed President of the Associated Press, the world's largest news organization in 2003
  • James Curley (1796-1889), Irish-American astronomer
  • Ian Curley (b. 1972), British auto racing driver
  • Marianne Curley (b. 1959), Australian author best known for her Guardians of Time Trilogy and Old Magic books


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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  2. 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).
  3. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  4. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  5. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  6. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  8. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  9. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  10. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  11. ...

The Curley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Curley 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 28 June 2014 at 05:29.

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