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There are a multitude of ancient meanings and variations associated with the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the modern world. The original Gaelic form of the name Keeley is O Cadhla, which is derived from the word "cadhla," which means "graceful."

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The surname Keeley was first found in County Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge), anciently the Deise region, on the South coast of Ireland in the Province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They are of the ancient kingdom of Ossory (Osraighe), conjecturally descended from the Kings and gentry of Ossory, the progenitor of which was Conla, the second son of Breasal Breac, King of Leinster, and descended to Ceallach who was ancestor of Teige McGillpatrick.

During the Middle Ages, attempting to record a Gaelic name in English was a daunting task. Most names were spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Keeley family name.Variations found include Keily, Keiley, Keilly, Kiley, Kily, Kiely, Kieley, Keeley, Keely, Queally, Quealy, Quelly, O'Keily, O'Keilly, O'Kiely and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keeley research. Another 469 words (34 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1630, 1645, 1689, and 1863 are included under the topic Early Keeley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Keeley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North Ameri ca. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name Keeley or one of its variants:

Keeley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Keeley who landed in America in 1765

Keeley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • David Keeley, who arrived in America in 1801
  • Owen Keeley, who arrived in New York in 1837
  • Dennis and Ellen Keeley settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849
  • A Keeley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Michael Keeley settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852
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Keeley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Keeley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1849

Keeley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Keeley, aged 44, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Elizabeth Keeley, aged 46, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Kesiah Keeley, aged 24, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Giles Keeley, aged 22, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Elizabeth Keeley, aged 169, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
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  • Irene Patricia Murphy Keeley (b. 1944), United States jurist
  • James Hugh Keeley Jr. (1898-1975), American diplomat
  • Burton Elwood "Burt" Keeley (1879-1952), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Steven Bo Keeley (b. 1949), American adventurer, naturalist, holistic healer, veterinarian, professional athlete
  • Wayne J Keeley (b. 1956), American practicing attorney, author, teacher, producer and director
  • Leslie Keeley (1836-1900), American physician
  • Fred Keeley (b. 1950), American politician
  • Andrew James 'Andy' Keeley (b. 1956), former English professional footballer
  • Robert Keeley (b. 1960), British composer and pianist
  • Charles Albert Keeley (1821-1889), British inventor, amateur scientist, entertainer and pioneering colour expert
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Keeley Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Thomas Keeley (1893-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    2. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    3. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    4. 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.
    5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
    6. 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).
    7. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
    8. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
    9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
    10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...


    This page was last modified on 11 December 2015 at 16:30.

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