Feely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Feely family

The surname Feely was first found in counties Donegal and Derry, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Feely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feely research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1516, 1548, 1555, 1559, 1567, and 1626 are included under the topic Early Feely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Feely Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Feely family name include Feeley, Fealy, Feally, Feely, Fehilly, Fehley, Feley, O'Feeley, O'Feely and many more.

Early Notables of the Feely family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Feely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Feely migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Feely to North America:

Feely Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Feely was recorded in Philadelphia in 1802
  • Charles Feely, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Daniel, James, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Richard, and Thomas Feely all, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1802 and 1874

Canada Feely migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Feely Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Feely, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • Biddy Feely, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • Ellen Feely, aged 17, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • Ann Feely, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • Biddy Feely, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick between 1833-1838
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Feely migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Feely Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Feely, aged 26, a carpenter, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
  • Mr. Maurice Feely, (b. 1855), aged 23, Irish Carpenter from Tipperary departing on 10th August 1878 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th November 1878
  • Mr. John Feely, (b. 1857), aged 21, Irish Carpenter from Tipperary departing on 10th August 1878 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th November 1878
  • James Feely, aged 65, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884
  • William Feely, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Feely (post 1700) +

  • Herta Burbach Feely, American award-winning writer, editor, and child safety activist
  • Thomas James "Jay" Feely (b. 1976), American football placekicker
  • Tom Feely, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1948 [2]
  • John Joseph Feely (1875-1905), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Illinois 2nd District, 1901-03 [2]
  • Jeanette Feely, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from District of Columbia, 1980 [2]
  • James W. Feely, American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 12th District, 1939-46, 1949-51 [2]
  • Guy A. Feely, American politician, Speaker of the Iowa State House of Representatives, 1909-10 [2]
  • Edward Francis Feely (1880-1964), American Republican politician, Exporter; U.S. Minister to Bolivia, 1930-33 [2]
  • Daniel Feely, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1912 [2]
  • Kevin Feely (b. 1992), Irish footballer
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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