The Irish name O'Killia has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Killia is O Ceallaigh or Mac Ceallaigh. These names denote descendants of Ceallach. This personal name
may be derived from the word "ceallach," which means "strife."
Early Origins of the O'Killia family
The surname O'Killia was first found in southwest Ireland
, south of Dublin
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times. The Kelly surname is conjecturally descended from King Colla da Crioch, who died in 357 A.D.
Early History of the O'Killia family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Killia research.Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1518, 1238, 1253, 1555, 1597, 1621, 1695, 1701, 1690 and 1699 are included under the topic Early O'Killia History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Killia Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations
for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period because the general population had to rely on local
official's understanding of how their name should be spelt, hence spellings in records often changed through a person's lifetime. The following variations for the name O'Killia were encountered in the archives: Kelly, Kellie, O'Kelly, O'Killia and others.
Early Notables of the O'Killia family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Daniel MacKelly; Sir Edward Kelley or Kelly, also known as Edward Talbot (1555-1597), Irish occultist and self-declared spirit medium; Charles O’Kelly (1621-1695) was an Irish soldier and writer from Aughrim, County Galway; and James Gilliam, also known as James Kelly, (died 1701), an... Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Killia Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Killia family to the New World and Oceana
became inhospitable for many native Irish families
in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name O'Killia to North America: Brian Kelly, who purchased land in Virginia in 1635; David O'Killlia came to Old Yarmouth/New Dennis, MA in the early 1600s, where he changed his name to O'Kelley.
The O'Killia 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: Turris Fortis Mihi Deus
Motto Translation: God is a strong tower to me.