Quilley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In Ireland, the name Quilley is generally derived from the Gaelic "Mac an Choiligh," which means "son of the cock or rooster;" the name was often Anglicized as Cox.

Early Origins of the Quilley family

The surname Quilley was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Quilley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quilley research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1650, 1675, 1733, 1770, and 1837 are included under the topic Early Quilley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Quilley Spelling Variations

The search for the origins of the name Quilley family name revealed numerous spelling variations. These variants can be somewhat accounted for when it is realized that before widespread literacy people only recognized their name by pronunciation; it was up to scribes to decide how it was to be formally recorded. Variations found include MacQuilly, McQuilly, MacQuilley, McQuilly, MacQuillie, McQuillie, Quilley, Quilly, Quillie, Cox, Coxe and many more.

Early Notables of the Quilley family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Quilley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Quilley migration to the United States +

The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Quilley:

Quilley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Quilley, who landed in Arkansas in 1852 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Quilley (post 1700) +

  • Dennis Clifford Quilley, Actor


The Quilley 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: Fide et fortitudine
Motto Translation: By fidelity and fortitude.


  1. ^ 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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