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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The Talley surname comes from the Gaelic Ó Taithligh, meaning "descendant of Taithleach," a Gaelic personal name meaning "peaceable."


Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Talley family name include Tally, Talley, Tallie, Tallee and others.

First found in Fermanagh (Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster, where they held a family seat as eranaghs of Devenish. Irish history was greatly influenced by the Norman invasion of 1172, and thereafter, the surnames of Irish Gaelic clanns and septs and many of the Norman families became almost indistinguishable. This family name was found as Chiefs of Hy-Laoghaire, of Lough Lir, a district in the barony of Lurg Erne near Tyrone.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Talley research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Talley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Talley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Talley to North America:

Talley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Eliza Talley, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • Thomas Talley, who arrived in Maryland in 1661
  • Stephen Talley, who landed in Maryland in 1663
  • William Talley, who landed in Delaware in 1693

Talley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Talley, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798

Talley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Talley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1834
  • Mary Talley, who landed in New York, NY in 1846
  • Henry I. Talley, aged 40, who landed in America, in 1896

Talley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Amy Kathleen Talley, aged 25, who landed in America from England, in 1908
  • Homer Talley, aged 31, who emigrated to America, in 1909
  • James Talley, aged 23, who landed in America from Liverpool, England, in 1909
  • George S. Talley, aged 33, who emigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • Edwin Talley, aged 31, who settled in America, in 1913


  • Jeralean Talley (1899-2015), née Kurtz, an American supercentenarian who lived to be the age of 116 years, 25 days
  • Dyer Findley Talley (b. 1865), American surgeon, President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama
  • Julian Talley (b. 1989), American NFL football wide receiver for the New York Giants
  • Keyth Talley (b. 1990), American gold and silver medalist sprinter
  • Fred Talley (b. 1980), American former NFL football running back
  • David Prescott Talley (b. 1950), American auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta in Georgia
  • Archie Talley (b. 1953), American former basketball player and motivational speaker
  • Marion Nevada Talley (1906-1983), American opera coloratura soprano
  • Emma Talley (b. 1994), American amateur golfer who won the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur
  • Ronald Talley (b. 1986), American football defensive end



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  1. 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).
  2. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  8. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  9. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Talley Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Talley 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 2 November 2015 at 17:23.

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