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

Where did the Irish Dolley family come from? What is the Irish Dolley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dolley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dolley 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 Dolley is O Dubhlaoich, derived from the words dubh, which means black, and laoch, referring to a hero or champion.

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One name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer because one must realize that attempting to record a Gaelic name in English is a daunting task at the best of times. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Dolley family name include 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.


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

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

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The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of Dolley or one of its variants: Lawrence Dooley settled in New England in 1774; followed by Bernard, Daniel, Henry, James, John, Martin, Michael, Steven, Thomas, William, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870..

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  2. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  11. ...

The Dolley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dolley 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 27 October 2010 at 13:31.

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