Keiley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 Keiley is O Cadhla, which is derived from the word "cadhla," which means "graceful." [1]

Early Origins of the Keiley family

The surname Keiley 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. [2]

"Kiely belongs mainly to Cos. Waterford and Limerick." [3]

Early History of the Keiley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keiley research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1630, 1645, 1689 and 1863 are included under the topic Early Keiley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keiley Spelling Variations

The spelling of one's surname was not as important as it is today. Names were recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname changed with each listing. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations. For Keiley some of these variations included: Keily, Keiley, Keilly, Kiley, Kily, Kiely, Kieley, Keeley, Keely, Queally, Quealy, Quelly, O'Keily, O'Keilly, O'Kiely and many more.

Early Notables of the Keiley family (pre 1700)

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


United States Keiley migration to the United States +

Irish families fled the English-colonized Ireland in record numbers during the 19th century for North America. Many of those destitute families died from disease during, and even shortly after, the long journey. Although those that immigrated before the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s often were granted a tract of land, those that arrived later were generally accommodated in urban centers or in work camps. Those in the urban centers would labor in the manufacturing sector, whereas those in work camps would to build critical infrastructures such as bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Regardless of when these Irish immigrants came to North America, they were critical for the rapid development of the young nations of the United States and Canada. Early immigration and passenger lists have recorded many early immigrants bearing the name of Keiley:

Keiley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Keiley, who settled in Philadelphia in 1857
  • Andrew Keiley, who settled in Philadelphia in 1868

Canada Keiley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Keiley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Keiley, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale, Ireland

Australia Keiley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Keiley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Keiley, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"

Contemporary Notables of the name Keiley (post 1700) +

  • Anthony M. Keiley, American politician, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, 1871-76 [4]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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