An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
There are a multitude of ancient meanings and variations associated with the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the modern world. The original Gaelic form of the name Keeley is O Cadhla, which is derived from the word "cadhla," which means "graceful."
The surname Keeley was first found in County Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge), anciently the Deise region, on the South coast of Ireland in the Province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They are of the ancient kingdom of Ossory (Osraighe), conjecturally descended from the Kings and gentry of Ossory, the progenitor of which was Conla, the second son of Breasal Breac, King of Leinster, and descended to Ceallach who was ancestor of Teige McGillpatrick.
Within archives, many different spelling variations exist for the surname Keeley. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in the name of the single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Keily, Keiley, Keilly, Kiley, Kily, Kiely, Kieley, Keeley, Keely, Queally, Quealy, Quelly, O'Keily, O'Keilly, O'Kiely and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keeley research. Another 469 words (34 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1630, 1645, 1689, and 1863 are included under the topic Early Keeley History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Keeley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
In the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Irish people immigrated to North American shores. The early settlers were enticed by the promise of their own land, but they were moderately well off in Ireland when they decided to emigrate. Therefore, they were merely carrying out a long and carefully thought out decision. The 1840s saw the emergence of a very different trend: thousands of extremely desperate people crammed into passenger boats hoping to find any type of opportunity. The Irish of this decade had seen their homeland severely stricken by crop failures which resulted in widespread disease and starvation. At whatever time the Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental in the rapid development of the emerging nations of the United States and what would become known as Canada. An exhaustive search of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many persons bearing the name Keeley, or one of its variants:
Keeley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Keeley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Keeley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Keeley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Keeley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keeley 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 11 December 2015 at 16:30.