The O'Rily surname originally appeared in Gaelic as O Raghailligh, which means descendant of Raghallach.
Early Origins of the O'Rily family
The surname O'Rily 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'Rily family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Rily research.Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1669, 1630, 1695, 1689, 1640, 1703, 1689, 1646, 1691 and 1667 are included under the topic Early O'Rily History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Rily 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'Rily 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'Rily 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 Parliament of 1689; Philip Og O’Reilly (Gaelic was Phillip Óg O’Raghallaigh)(c.1640-1703), Irish... Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Rily Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Rily family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
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 O'Rily family relocated to North American shores quite early: the families who settled in Newfoundland - in St. John's, Tilton Harbour, Placientia, Tickle Bay, Tilt Cove, and many more, between 1805 and 1871; James O'Reiley settled in New York in 1823.
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