Show ContentsComley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many variations of the name Comley 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Comley family

The surname Comley 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. [2]

Early History of the Comley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Comley research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1787 and 1841 are included under the topic Early Comley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Comley Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname Comley can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include MacAulay, MacAwley, MacAuley, MacAullay, MacAulley, MacAwlay, MacCaulay, MacCawley, MacGawley, Magawley, Cauley, Caulay, McCamley and many more.

Early Notables of the Comley family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Comley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Comley migration to the United States +

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Comley name:

Comley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Comley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [3]
Comley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Comley, aged 40, who landed in Missouri in 1846 [3]
  • George F Comley, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1860 [3]

Canada Comley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Comley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Comley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Comley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Comley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Comley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838 [4]
  • William Comley, aged 41, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney" [5]
  • Enoch Comley, aged 14, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney" [5]
  • James Comley, aged 17, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney" [5]
  • William Comley, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney" [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Comley (post 1700) +

  • Rick Comley (b. 1947), American former collegiate ice hockey player and former head coach at Michigan State University (1974-2011)
  • Bonnie Comley, American Tony award winning actor and producer, Vice President of Stellar Productions International, Inc, best known for producing War Horse (2011)
  • Victor E. Comley, American Republican politician, Candidate for Kentucky State House of Representatives 48th District, 1955 [6]
  • John M. Comley, American politician, Justice of Connecticut State Supreme Court, 1964 [6]
  • James Richard Comley (b. 1991), English footballer

  1. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) EDEN 1838. Retrieved from
  5. South Australian Register Wednesday 21st February 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Rodney 1855. Retrieved
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook