Show ContentsSkelly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Skelly family

The surname Skelly 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 Skelly family

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

Skelly 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 Skelly include Scully, Scally, O'Scully and others.

Early Notables of the Skelly family (pre 1700)

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

Skelly Ranking

In the United States, the name Skelly is the 8,694th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Skelly migration to the United States +

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 Skelly:

Skelly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Skelly, who arrived in South Carolina in 1813 [2]
  • Samuel Skelly, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [2]
  • Pat Skelly, aged 17, who landed in New York, NY in 1855 [2]
  • Peter Skelly, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886 [2]
  • John Skelly, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886 [2]

Canada Skelly migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Skelly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Terence Skelly, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland

Australia Skelly migration to Australia +

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

Skelly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Skelly, (Skelley, Shelly), (b. 1786), aged 34, Irish porter who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 14 years for possession of forged notes, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Henry Skelly, aged 25, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Carnatic"

Contemporary Notables of the name Skelly (post 1700) +

  • Dr. Joseph Morrison Skelly, American Associate Professor of History at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx, NY
  • Chas Skelly (b. 1985), American mixed martial artist
  • Shawn Skelly (b. 1987), American professional ice hockey player
  • Michael Peter Skelly (b. 1961), American businessman in Houston and former Democratic candidate for Texas’s 7th congressional district
  • Thomas "Tom" Skelly (b. 1879), American football coach, the fourth head football coach at Marquette University
  • Hal Skelly (1891-1934), American Broadway and film actor
  • James Skelly (1911-1988), American judge for the United States Court of Appeals
  • William Grove Skelly (1878-1957), American entrepreneur, founder of Skelly Oil Company in 1919 which was later absorbed by Getty Oil Company in 1974, eponym of the Skelly Field at H. A. Chapman Stadium, at the University of Tulsa
  • Joseph A. Skelly, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1972 [4]
  • John S. Skelly, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1932 [4]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th July 2021). Retrieved from
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from on Facebook