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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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.

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

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.


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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.

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

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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 United States in the 18th Century


  • Lawrence Dooley settled in New England in 1774

Dooley Settlers in 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


Dooley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Dooley, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin

Dooley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Mary Dooley, aged 23, a dairy maid, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Caucasian"
  • Phillip Dooley, aged 27, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Trafalgar"
  • Michael Dooley, aged 27, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Nugget"
  • Bridget Dooley, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Nugget"
  • Honora Dooley, aged 25, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Coromandel"


Dooley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Dooley, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Mary Dooley, aged 22, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Margaret Dooley, aged 6, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Jane Dooley, aged 4, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • James Dooley, aged 2, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864


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  • James A. Dooley (1914-1978), American jurist
  • Edwin Benedict Dooley (1905-1982), American politician, Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from New York
  • Calvin M. "Cal" Dooley (b. 1954), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California (1993-2005)
  • Bill Dooley (b. 1934), former American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator
  • John Dooley, American 10th head football coach for the Eureka College Red Devils (1967-1968)
  • John Dooley (b. 1944), American attorney and jurist who has served as a justice of the Vermont Supreme Court since 1987
  • Paul Dooley (b. 1928), American actor, writer, and comedian
  • Thomas H Dooley, American COO of Viacom
  • James Dooley (b. 1976), American Emmy Award winning film score composer
  • Vincent Joseph Dooley (b. 1932), retired American head college football coach at the University of Georgia

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  1. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. 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).
  4. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  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 28 March 2016 at 15:48.

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