Skelley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many Irish names are English translations of Gaelic names. The name Skelley was a translation of the Gaelic name O Scolaidhe, which means student.

Early Origins of the Skelley family

The surname Skelley was first found in county Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the Skelley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skelley research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Skelley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Skelley Spelling Variations

Ireland in the Middle Ages was inhabited by very few literate people. Therefore, the proper spelling of names was decided by a very select few. The surviving records for the time demonstrate that these scribes were often not consistent in their efforts for there are many spelling variations of certain common names. Some of the variations for the name Skelley include Scully, Scally, O'Scully and others.

Early Notables of the Skelley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Skelley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Skelley Ranking

In the United States, the name Skelley is the 15,340th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]


Canada Skelley migration to Canada +

Irish emigration to North America began modestly in the late 18th century. At this time, Irish families made the journey to British North America and the United States by choice and after careful consideration: they were primarily in search of a suitably large stretch of land to call their own. This pattern would change most dramatically during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For example, the years 1825-1845 saw approximately 450,000 heading to British North America and 400,000 to the United States, but in 1847, at the height of the famine, it is estimated that more than 104,000 Irish immigrants went to British North America and more than 119,000 to the United States. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Skelley:

Skelley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Skelley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Skelley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Skelley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ann Skelley, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Mr. John Skelley who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 1st October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Skelley (post 1700) +

  • Caroline Skelley, birth name of Caroline Spector, an American science fiction and fantasy writer
  • Arrin Skelley (b. 1966), American voice actor, best known for being the voice actor of Charlie Brown in You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown, It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, and She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown
  • John E. Skelley, American politician, Farmer-Labor Candidate for New York State Assembly from Steuben County 2nd District, 1922 [4]
  • Eleanor Skelley, American Democratic Party politician, Bookkeeper; Candidate for New York State Assembly from Columbia County, 1952 [4]


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1835
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duchess-of-northumberland
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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