Ailey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Many variations of the name Ailey have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Amhalghaidh or Mac Amhlaoibh. The former name denotes a son of Auley, while the later denotes a son of Auliffe or a son of Humphrey. They claim descent through the Heremon line of Irish kings. 
Early Origins of the Ailey family
The surname Ailey was first found in county Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where at one time the area which is now Ballyloughnoe was once called "McGawley's Country." There is another sept named Mac Amhlaoibh in Gaelic which were a branch of the MacGuires and mainly found in County Fermanagh. This branch gave their name to Clanawley. 
Important Dates for the Ailey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ailey research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1787 and 1841 are included under the topic Early Ailey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ailey Spelling Variations
The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Ailey revealed spelling variations, including MacAulay, MacAwley, MacAuley, MacAullay, MacAulley, MacAwlay, MacCaulay, MacCawley, MacGawley, Magawley, Cauley, Caulay, McCamley and many more.
Early Notables of the Ailey family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ailey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ailey migration to the United States
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Ailey family came to North America quite early:
Ailey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Luther Ailey, aged 19, who arrived in America from Liverpool, England, in 1901
- Samuel Ailey, aged 30, who arrived in America, in 1920
Contemporary Notables of the name Ailey (post 1700)
- Alvin Ailey Jr. (1931-1989), American dancer and choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- R. C. Ailey, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1980 
- ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html