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

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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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skelly research. Another 149 words (11 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.

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

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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
  • Samuel Skelly, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1852
  • Pat Skelly, aged 17, landed in New York, NY in 1855
  • Peter Skelly, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886
  • John Skelly, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886

Skelly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Terence Skelly, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland

Skelly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Henry Skelly, aged 25, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Carnatic"
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  • 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 Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1972
  • John S. Skelly, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1932
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    3. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
    4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    6. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    9. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    11. ...

    The Skelly Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Skelly Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 27 October 2015 at 10:55.

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