Ireland was "Mac Fithcheallaigh," from the word "fithcheallach," referring to a chess player.
Early Origins of the O'Fehilly family
Donegal and Derry, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.
Early History of the O'Fehilly family
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O'Fehilly Spelling Variations
spelling variations of the surname O'Fehilly 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. Feeley, Fealy, Feally, Feely, Fehilly, Fehley, Feley, O'Feeley, O'Feely and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Fehilly family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the O'Fehilly family to the New World and Oceana
A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name O'Fehilly or a variant listed above: Margaret Fihilly, and her four children who arrived in Charleston Massachusetts in 1803; Michael Feely, whose Oath of Allegiance was recorded in Philadelphia in 1802.
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