Dolley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Dolley is O Dubhlaoich, derived from the words dubh, which means "dark featured, great, prodigious, burned" [1], and laoch, referring to a hero or champion.

Early Origins of the Dolley family

The surname Dolley was first found in Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. According to O'Hart, the family claim descent through the MacMorough family which are descendants of the Heremon Kings of Ireland and were Chiefs in the County Wicklow and Queen's County. [1]

Early History of the Dolley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dolley research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1622, 1702, 1787, 1844, 1787 and 1801 are included under the topic Early Dolley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dolley Spelling Variations

One name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer because one must realize that attempting to record a Gaelic name in English is a daunting task at the best of times. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Dolley family name include Dooley, Dooly, O'Dooley, O'Dooly and others.

Early Notables of the Dolley family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Richard Dowley (1622-1702), English nonconformist divine, son of John Dowley, vicar of Alveston, near Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire. Sir James Dowling (1787-1844), was a Australian colonial judge, born in London on 25 Nov. 1787. His father, Vincent Dowling, was a native of Queen's...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dolley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Dolley migration to Canada +

The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of Dolley or one of its variants:

Dolley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William H Dolley, who landed in Canada in 1833

Contemporary Notables of the name Dolley (post 1700) +

  • Stephen B. Dolley, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Gastonia, North Carolina, 1920-21 (acting, 1920-21)
  • Julia P. Dolley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1996
  • J. N. Dolley, American Republican politician, Speaker of the Kansas State House of Representatives, 1909-10


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)


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