Keley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Irish name Keley has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Keley is O Ceallaigh or Mac Ceallaigh. These names denote descendants of Ceallach. This personal name may be derived from the word "ceallach," which means "strife."

Early Origins of the Keley family

The surname Keley was first found in southwest Ireland, south of Dublin where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Kelly surname is conjecturally descended from King Colla da Crioch, who died in 357 A.D.

Important Dates for the Keley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keley research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1518, 1238, 1253, 1555, 1597, 1621, 1695, 1701, 1690 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Keley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keley Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Keley are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Kelly, Kellie, O'Kelly, O'Killia and others.

Early Notables of the Keley family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Daniel MacKelly; Sir Edward Kelley or Kelly, also known as Edward Talbot (1555-1597), Irish occultist and self-declared spirit medium; Charles O’Kelly (1621-1695) was an Irish soldier and writer from Aughrim, County Galway; and James Gilliam, also known as James Kelly, (died 1701), an English pirate active in the Indian Ocean during the 1690s and was...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keley family

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Keley or a variant listed above: Brian Kelly, who purchased land in Virginia in 1635; David O'Killlia came to Old Yarmouth/New Dennis, MA in the early 1600s, where he changed his name to O'Kelley.

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