Halley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While many Irish names are quite familiar to us, their original Gaelic forms are often forgotten and mysterious. The original Gaelic form of the name Halley is O hEalaighthe, which is derived from the word "ealadhach," which means "ingenious." Another Gaelic form of the surname is O hEilidhe, which is derived from the word "eilidhe," which means "claimant."

Early Origins of the Halley family

The surname Halley was first found in County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Halley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Halley research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1309, 1800, 1724, 1794, 1656, 1741, 1579, 1701, 1690 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Halley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Halley Spelling Variations

In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research into the Halley family history revealed numerous spelling variations of the name, including Haly, Haley, Haily, Hely, Healy, Healey, O'Healey, O'Haly and many more.

Early Notables of the Halley family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Edmond (Edmund) Halley, FRS (1656-1741), an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist who is best known for computing the orbit of the eponymous Halley's Comet. He was born in Haggerston, in east London, but his family came from Derbyshire. Patrick O'Healy, was a Franciscan Bishop of Mayo...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Halley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Halley migration to the United States +

In the 18th and 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants landed on North American shores. Although many of them were merely looking for a free plot of land and living of their very own, many later immigrants were desperately fleeing an overcrowded land that did not have sufficient food for its inhabitants. The exodus from Ireland was greatest during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine had stricken the island. Although this large influx of Irish was unpopular with the great majority of people already established within the major centers, these Irish were critical to the speedy development of the United States and those colonies that would eventually become known as Canada. These immigrants provided the cheap labor required to build modern roads, bridges, canals, and railways. Research of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of immigrants to North America baring the name of Halley:

Halley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Merciful Halley, who landed in Virginia in 1633 [1]
Halley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nathaniel Halley, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [1]
Halley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Halley, aged 33, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Abraham Halley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • Ebenezer Halley, who arrived in New York in 1855 [1]
  • Ellen Halley, aged 15, who landed in New York, NY in 1855 [1]
  • John Hamilton Halley, who landed in Colorado in 1877 [1]

Canada Halley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Halley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Hawkins Halley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Abijah Halley U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [2]

New Zealand Halley 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:

Halley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Halley, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 30th July 1861 [3]
  • Mrs. Halley, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 30th July 1861 [3]
  • Child Halley, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 30th July 1861 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Halley (post 1700) +

  • Heather Halley, American actress and voice actress
  • Rudolph Halley (1913-1956), American attorney and politician
  • Peter Halley (b. 1953), American abstract artist from New York City
  • Victor Halley (b. 1904), nationalist trade unionist in Northern Ireland
  • Robert Halley (1796-1876), English Congregationalist minister and abolitionist, eldest of four children of Robert Hally (sic), was born at Blackheath, Kent, on 13 Aug. 1796 [4]
  • Paul-Louis Halley (1934-2003), French businessman who part-founded the retail company Promodès
  • George Halley (1887-1941), Scottish professional association football player
  • Antoine Halley (1593-1675), French professor and poet
  • Paul Halley (b. 1952), English organist, singer, pianist, and composer
  • David Halley (b. 1986), English rugby league player
  • ... (Another 1 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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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