Neilly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Neilly is O Conghalaigh, O Conghaile, or O Coingheallaigh.

Early Origins of the Neilly family

The surname Neilly was first found in Connacht and Munster, as well as County Monaghan and Leinster. There were three Gaelic septs whose name was Anglicized as Connolly: the O Conghalaigh sept (also known as O Conghaile) who lived in Connacht and the adjacent County Monaghan; the O Coingheallaigh sept, which also used the alias Mac Coingheallaigh, were subordinate to the powerful O'Donovans and dwelled in West Cork in Munster; and another sept, related to the O'Maddens, resided in Connacht and were of the Ui Maine. [1]

Early History of the Neilly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Neilly research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1591, 1660, 1729, 1738, 1803, 1750 and 1825 are included under the topic Early Neilly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Neilly Spelling Variations

Many variations of the name Neilly were found in archives from the Middle Ages. The spelling and language in which the people's names were recorded was often up to the individual scribe. Variations of the name Neilly found include Connolly, Conolly, Connally, O'Connolly, Connolley, Conally, Connelly, Conoley, Connaleigh, Connelay, Conley, Conlay, Conlaye and many more.

Early Notables of the Neilly family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Neilly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Neilly migration to the United States +

The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of Neilly or one of its variants:

Neilly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Neilly, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [2]

Canada Neilly migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Neilly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Neilly, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ 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)


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