Show ContentsMiley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Miley was originally written in a Gaelic form as O Maolmhuaidh, which is derived from the word "muadh," which has the dual meaning of "noble" and "big and soft." [1]

Early Origins of the Miley family

The surname Miley was first found in County Offaly (Irish: Uíbh Fháilí) originally the Kingdom of Uí Failghe, located in central Ireland in the Province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Albin O'Molloy or Alpin O'Moelmhuaidh (d. 1223), was Bishop of Ferns, a native Irishman, "who became a Cistercian monk at Baltinglass, and eventually rose to be abbot of that house. In Lent 1186, when John, archbishop of Dublin, held a synod at Holy Trinity Church, Albin preached a long sermon on clerical continency, in which he laid all the blame for existing evils on the Welsh and English clergy who had come over to Ireland. On 5 Nov. he was appointed by Pope Innocent III, with the Archbishop of Tuam and Bishop of Kilmacduagh, to excommunicate the Bishop of Waterford, who had robbed the Bishop of Lismore." [2]

Early History of the Miley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Miley research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1110, 1660, 1641, 1652, 1640, 1690, 1663, 1669, 1667, 1767, 1764, 1767, 1742, 1702 and 1758 are included under the topic Early Miley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Miley Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Miley were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Molloy, Mulloy, Miley, O'Molloy, O'Mulloy, Mullee and many more.

Early Notables of the Miley family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was John O'Molloy of English parish, Sugawn chief, Lord of Fercal (Feara Ceall), Offaly Francis Molloy or O'Maolmhuaidh (fl. 1660), was an Irish theologian and grammarian, a native of the county of Meath, Ireland. "The family of which he was a member had extensive landed possessions in the district known as O'Molloys' Country, and some of them engaged actively in the Irish movements from 1641 to 1652." [2] Charles Molloy (1640-1690), was an Irish lawyer of the Middle Temple, born in County Offaly. He was "a native of King's County and was probably a member of...
Another 154 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Miley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Miley Ranking

In the United States, the name Miley is the 4,926th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

United States Miley migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Miley family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Miley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Miley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1761 [4]
  • John Miley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1761 [4]
Miley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Walter Miley, who arrived in Arkansas in 1867 [4]
  • John Miley, aged 21, who landed in America from Ireland, in 1893
  • William Miley, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1896
Miley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sarah Miley, aged 64, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Edmond Miley, aged 26, who immigrated to America from Athleague, Ireland, in 1911
  • Michael Miley, aged 25, who settled in America from Ballynacrow, Ireland, in 1913
  • Francis Jos. Miley, aged 22, who landed in America from London, England, in 1915
  • James Miley, aged 37, who settled in America, in 1917
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Miley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Miley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Lawrence Miley, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Contemporary Notables of the name Miley (post 1700) +

  • Major-General William Maynadler Miley (1897-1980), American Chief of Staff, Army Field Forces (1954-1955) [5]
  • Major General William Miles "Bud" Miley (1897-1997), United States Army major general and a professor of military science
  • Michael Wilfred Miley (1953-1977), American professional baseball player
  • David Allen Miley (b. 1962), American former baseball player and manager
  • James Wesley "Bubber" Miley (1903-1932), early jazz trumpeter and cornet player
  • John Miley (1813-1895), American Christian theologian in the Methodist tradition
  • Henry G. Miley, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 15th District, 1934 [6]
  • George W. Miley, American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Hardy County; Elected 1936 [6]
  • George M. Miley, American Republican politician, Member of Illinois Republican State Central Committee, 1925 [6]
  • George M. Miley, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Missouri 14th District, 1898 [6]
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Miley Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Malo mori quam foedari
Motto Translation: I would rather die than be disgraced.

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, May 9) William Miley. Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook