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The Irish name Kelly has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Kelly 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."

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The surname Kelly 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.

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Kelly dating from that time include Kelly, Kellie, O'Kelly, O'Killia and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelly 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 Kelly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Kelly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Kelly or a variant listed above, including:

Kelly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Brian Kelly, who purchased land in Virginia in 1635
  • Bryan Kelly, who landed in Maryland in 1635
  • Abraham Kelly, who landed in Virginia in 1640
  • Abel Kelly, who was on record in Salem, Massachusetts in 1641
  • Abel Kelly, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1641
  • ...

Kelly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Edmond Kelly, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Arthur Kelly, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Katherine Kelly, who landed in Virginia in 1741
  • Luke Kelly, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745
  • Martin Kelly, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • ...

Kelly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • David Kelly and his wife Mary settled with their six children in New York in 1804
  • Mark Kelly, aged 30, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Anne Kelly, who landed in America in 1805
  • Darby Kelly, who landed in New York, NY in 1810
  • Bartholomew Kelly, who arrived in America in 1811
  • ...

Kelly Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Barton Cain Kelly, who landed in Alabama in 1913
  • Mary Ann Kelly, who arrived in Alabama in 1929

Kelly Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Kelly William U.E. who settled in Bell Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Kelly John U.E. (b. 1746) who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in Saint Johns in 1827 he was blind for the last 16 years of his life [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Kelly Joseph U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Kelly Martin U.E. (b. 1740) born in Northern Ireland from Albany, New York, USA who settled in Pointe Saint -Pierre, Gaspé, Quebec in 1784, then Eastern District, Edwardsburgh Township he enlisted in 1776 serving in the Kings Loyal Rangers, Jessups Loyal Rangers and Grenville Ontario Militia, he was married with 3 children, he died in 1811 [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Kelly William U.E. (b. 1752) who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1826 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Kelly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Walter Kelly settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1806
  • Margaret Kelly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1810
  • John Kelly, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1826
  • Eleanor Kelly, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Mary Kelly, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • ...

Kelly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Michael Kelly, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Patrick Kelly, a shoemaker, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Richard Kelly, a slater, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • James Kelly, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Dugald Kelly, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • ...

Kelly Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • J Kelly landed in Hokianga, New Zealand in 1831
  • Thomas Kelly landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • Joseph Kelly landed in Wairarapa, New Zealand in 1840
  • Maurice Kelly landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Robert Kelly landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • ...
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  • Ellison Lamar Kelly (1935-2016), American CFL football offensive lineman, inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1992)
  • Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015), American painter, sculptor, and printmaker
  • Richard Francis "Dick" Kelly Jr. (1936-2015), American politician and businessman, Member of the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate
  • Alexander Kelly (1840-1907), Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm
  • James Milton "Jim" Kelly (1946-2013), nicknamed "the Dragon", an American actor and martial artist, best known from his performance as Williams in the 1973 film Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee
  • Thomas Joseph Kelly (1919-2013), American Thoroughbred trainer, inducted in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (1993)
  • Brigadier-General Paul Boyle Kelly (1896-1971), American Assistant Chief of Staff (G-4), 5th Army (1946-1947)
  • Captain, USN Mark Edward Kelly (b. 1964), NASA Astronaut with 38 days in space
  • Captain, USN Scott Joseph Kelly (b. 1964), NASA Astronaut with over 497 hours in space
  • Colonel James McNeal "Vegas" Kelly (b. 1964), NASA Astronaut with over 641 hours in space
  • ...
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Kelly Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mrs. Isabella  Kelly (1873-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. Francis  Kelly (1894-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Master Clifford  Kelly (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Neville Andrew Kelly (1921-1941), Australian Stoker 2nd Class from Campsie, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Mr. James Vincent Kelly (1922-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Burnley, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Robert Kelly (b. 1903), Irish Stoker Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Londonderry, County Londonderry, Ireland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. John Kelly (b. 1920), Scottish Ordnance Artificer 4th Class serving for the Royal Navy from Carlisle, Cumberland, Scotland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Jack V K Kelly (b. 1918), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Bath, Somerset, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Cornelius Kelly (b. 1914), English Ordinary Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Blackburn, Lancashire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. William H Kelly, British S , who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. James Kelly, British Leading Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, died whilst a Prisoner of War in Sumatra in 1943
  • Mr. Ernest Kelly, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)

  • Julianne Frances Kelly (1968-1988), American Student from Dedham, Massachusetts, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died

RMS Lusitania

  • Miss Marie Kelly, Irish 3rd Class passenger residing in Boston, Massachusetts, USA returning to Ireland, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Mr. Sidney Crawford Kelly, English Intermediate 5th Engineer from Seacombe, Cheshire, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Alfred Aloysius Kelly, English Scullion from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. John Kelly, English Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas Kelly, English Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • ...

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. James Kelly (d. 1912), aged 44, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. William Kelly (d. 1912), aged 23, Irish Assistant Electrician from Dublin, Ireland who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. James Kelly (d. 1912), aged 19, Irish Third Class passenger from Unknown who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Mr. James Kelly (d. 1912), aged 44, Irish Third Class passenger from Leixlip, Kildare who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Miss Anna Katherine Kelly, aged 20, Irish Third Class passenger from Cuilmullagh, Co Mayo who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 16
  • ...
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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.

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Citations



  1. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  2. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  11. ...

The Kelly Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kelly 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 18 July 2016 at 21:14.

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