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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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."


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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Miley research. Another 297 words (21 lines of text) covering the year 1110 is included under the topic Early Miley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Miley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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 do 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 Sates 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
  • John Miley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1761

Miley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Walter Miley, who arrived in Arkansas in 1867
  • 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 emigrated 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
  • ...

Miley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Lawrence Miley, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

  • Major-General William Maynadler Miley (1897-1980), American Chief of Staff, Army Field Forces (1954-1955)
  • 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
  • George W. Miley, American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Hardy County; Elected 1936
  • George M. Miley, American Republican politician, Member of Illinois Republican State Central Committee, 1925
  • George M. Miley, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Missouri 14th District, 1898
  • ...

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.


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    Other References

    1. 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.
    2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    4. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
    5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
    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. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    9. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    11. ...

    The Miley Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Miley 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 14 January 2016 at 16:15.

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