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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The Irish name Kelley has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Kelley 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."
The surname Kelley 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.
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Kelley were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Kelly, Kellie, O'Kelly, O'Killia and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelley research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1518, 1238, 1253, 1555, 1597, 1621, 1695, 1701, 1690 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Kelley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kelley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Kelley family relocated to North American shores quite early:
Kelley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Kelley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Kelley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Kelley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Kelley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Kelley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Turris Fortis Mihi Deus
Motto Translation: God is a strong tower to me.
The Kelley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kelley 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 5 June 2016 at 15:45.