The O'Reily surname originally appeared in Gaelic as O Raghailligh, which means descendant of Raghallach.
Early Origins of the O'Reily family
The surname O'Reily was first found in County Cavan
. They were known as the Princes of East Breffny
, descended from Raghallaigh, Prince of Breffny
in 981. They maintained their territory during the Anglo/ Norman invasion
, Earl of Pembroke, in 1172, but Sir John O'Reilly, Prince of Breffny
surrendered the principality to Queen Elizabeth I thereby ensuring that his territories remained intact.
Early History of the O'Reily family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Reily research.Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1669, 1630, 1695, 1689, 1640, 1703, 1689, 1646 and 1691 are included under the topic Early O'Reily History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Reily Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname O'Reily are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include O'Reilly, O'Reilley, O'Reily, O'Rielly, O'Riely, O'Riley, O'Rilley, Reel and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Reily family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Count John O'Reilly; Edmund O'Reilly (1598-1669), Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh; Hugh Reily (Reilly or O’Reilly) (c.1630-1695) Irish Member of Parliament for Cavan Borough in the Patriot... Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Reily Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Reily family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
O'Reily Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Bridget O'Reily, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1876
- Cornelius O'Reily, aged 40, a staymaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
- Mary O'Reily, aged 31, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
- Margaret O'Reily, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878