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

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

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Feehily family in Ireland was "Mac Fithcheallaigh," from the word "fithcheallach," referring to a chess player.

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People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Feehily that are preserved in archival documents are Feeley, Fealy, Feally, Feely, Fehilly, Fehley, Feley, O'Feeley, O'Feely and many more.

First found in counties Donegal and Derry, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feehily research. Another 444 words(32 lines of text) covering the years 1516, 1548, 1555, 1559, 1567, and 1626 are included under the topic Early Feehily History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 21 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Feehily Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Feehily name: Margaret Fihilly, and her four children who arrived in Charleston Massachusetts in 1803; Michael Feely, whose Oath of Allegiance was recorded in Philadelphia in 1802.

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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  3. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
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The Feehily Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Feehily 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 27 October 2010 at 13:34.

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