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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Crilly family come from? What is the Irish Crilly family crest and coat of arms? When did the Crilly family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Crilly family history?

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Crilly originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Raghallaigh. However, the connection of this name, which is also Anglicized as Crawley or MacCrawley, to the name Crilly is in actuality a matter of debate among scholars.

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The spelling of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent. This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names as they sounded resulted in spelling variations such as Crilly, O'Crilly, Creely, Crely, Crillie, Creelie, Crelie, Crilley, Creeley, Creley and many more.

First found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat since ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crilly research. Another 216 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crilly History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Crilly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The English-ruled Ireland of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Crilly:

Crilly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Crilly, who sailed to America in 1812
  • Thomas Crilly, who landed in America in 1812

Crilly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Bernard Crilly, age 30, Bridget Crilly, age 25, Michael Crilly, age 19, John Crilly, age 3, Ann, age six months, who all settled in Quebec in 1834
  • Ann Crilly, who arrived in Quebec in 1834
  • Bernard Crilly, aged 30, landed in Quebec in 1834
  • Bridget Crilly, aged 25, arrived in Quebec in 1834
  • John Crilly, aged 3, landed in Quebec in 1834


Crilly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Edward Crilly, aged 27, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"

Crilly Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Crilly, aged 28, a tailor, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875
  • Mary Crilly, aged 26, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875
  • William Crilly, aged 6, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875
  • Mary Crilly, aged 3, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875

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  • Daniel Crilly (1857-1923), Irish politician, Member of Parliament for North Mayo (1885-1900)
  • Martin Crilly (b. 1969), Irish writer
  • Mark Crilly (b. 1980), Scottish professional footballer and current manager
  • Frederick Leo Crilly, English entrepreneur who founded Crilly Airways Ltd, an passenger airline service in England in the mid-1930s
  • Tommy Crilly (b. 1895), English footballer
  • Rob Crilly (b. 1973), British/Irish freelance journalist and author
  • Anna Crilly (b. 1975), English actress and comedian


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  1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Crilly Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Crilly 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 25 November 2013 at 07:11.

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