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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 Keely is O Cadhla, which is derived from the word "cadhla," which means "graceful."

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The surname Keely 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.

One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname Keely were found in the many archives researched. These included Keily, Keiley, Keilly, Kiley, Kily, Kiely, Kieley, Keeley, Keely, Queally, Quealy, Quelly, O'Keily, O'Keilly, O'Kiely and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keely research. Another 469 words (34 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1630, 1645, 1689, and 1863 are included under the topic Early Keely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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Many Irish families boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination at that time. Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants to North America bearing the Keely family name:

Keely Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Elias Keely, who landed in Virginia in 1634
  • Elias Keely settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Henry Keely settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Mundiff Keely settled in Virginia in 1656
  • Har Keely, who arrived in Virginia in 1666
  • ...

Keely Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Keely, aged 33, arrived in New York in 1812
  • John P. Keely settled in New York State in 1821
  • Thomas Keely, aged 21, landed in Ohio in 1847
  • Margaret Keely, aged 20, landed in New York in 1854
  • Michael Keely, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1854
  • ...

Keely Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Keely arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1849
  • Lewis Keely arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caspar" in 1849
  • Mary Keely, aged 30, a dressmaker, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"
  • Mary Ann Keely, aged 24, a housemaid, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee"

Keely Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Lizzie Keely arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883
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  • Conrad Keely (b. 1972), British-born, American musician
  • Robert William Keely (1909-2001), American coach in Major League Baseball
  • John Ernst Worrell Keely (1837-1898), American inventor from Philadelphia
  • Patrick Charles Keely (1816-1896), Irish-American architect
  • Peter Keely, Irish footballer
  • Séamus P. Keely (1889-1974), Irish Fianna Fáil politician
  • Alan Vincent Keely (b. 1982), Irish footballer
  • Dermot Keely (b. 1954), the former manager of Irish football team Shelbourne
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Keely Historic Events



RMS Lusitania

  • Miss Annie Keely, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
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Citations



    Other References

    1. 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.
    2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    3. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
    4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    5. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
    6. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    7. 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.
    8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    9. 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).
    10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    11. ...

    The Keely Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keely 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 21 November 2015 at 11:36.

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