Tooley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Tooley appeared as O Tuathail, which is derived from "tuathal," which means "people mighty."

Early Origins of the Tooley family

The surname Tooley was first found in County Kildare (Irish:Cill Dara), ancient homeland of the Kildare based Uí Dúnlainge (Kings of Leinster), located in the Province of Leinster, seated at O'Toole's Castle, where they were descended from Tuathal, King of Leinster who died in 950 A.D.

Early History of the Tooley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tooley research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1590, 1128, 1180, 1225, 1327, 1670 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Tooley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tooley Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Tooley are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Toole, Tool, O'Toole, O'Tool, Tooley, Toile and many more.

Early Notables of the Tooley family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was St. Laurence O'Toole; Lorcán Ua Tuathail, also known as St Laurence O'Toole, (1128-1180), Archbishop of Dublin, canonized in 1225 by Pope Honorius III; and Adam Dubh Ó Tuathail, died 1327...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tooley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tooley Ranking

In the United States, the name Tooley is the 5,847th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]


United States Tooley migration to the United States +

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Tooley or a variant listed above:

Tooley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Tooley, who settled in New York in 1830
  • Bridget Tooley, aged 6, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [2]

Australia Tooley migration to Australia +

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

Tooley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Tooley, (b. 1797), aged 18, English baker who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Fanny" on 25th August 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1837 [3]
  • Mr. John Tooley, English convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 4th October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

New Zealand Tooley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Tooley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Theresa Tooley, (b. 1849), aged 18, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Lancashire Witch" sailing to Auckland and Lyttelton, New Zealand on 29th July 1867 [5]
  • Benjamin Tooley, aged 39, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888
  • Catherine Tooley, aged 42, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888
  • William B. Tooley, aged 15, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888
  • Selina Tooley, aged 14, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888

Contemporary Notables of the name Tooley (post 1700) +

  • Sandra "S.D." Tooley, American mystery and urban fantasy novelist who write under her name and the pseudonym of Lee Driver
  • Mark Tooley (b. 1965), American President of the Washington-D.C. based Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in 2009
  • Albert R. "Bert" Tooley (1886-1976), former American professional baseball player who played shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1911-1912)
  • Orley Nobel Tooley (1904-1991), American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Jefferson County, 1932, 1934, 1937; Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 32nd District, 1936, 1938 [6]
  • L. H. Tooley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1932 [6]
  • James Tooley, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Jefferson County 2nd District, 1909; Candidate for New York State Senate 37th District, 1926 [6]
  • Howard J. Tooley, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Columbus, Indiana, 1923-27 [6]
  • Dennis Tooley (b. 1945), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 2004, 2008 [6]
  • Dale Tooley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 1980 [6]
  • Chuck F. Tooley, American politician, Mayor of Billings, Montana, 1996-2005 [6]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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 28th September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-gray
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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