Got the Kelly surname in your family tree?
You're in good company ...
Ó Ceallaigh (O'Kelly, Kelly, Kelley, Kellie) is one of the most prevalent surnames in Ireland. Other spelling variants may include: Kelie, Kellye, Mac Kelly, O Keley, O kelly, O'Kelley, Ó Ceallaidhe.
READ MORE IrelandXO Insight: Irish Surnames 101
- GALWAY/ROSCOMMON: The most important family were chiefs of Uí Maine a branch of the Oirghialla of Ulster, who ruled over an extensive territory in East Galway & North-west Roscommon up until to the reign of Elizabeth. This family produced many distinguished chiefs, among them Tadhg Mór Ó Ceallaigh who fell at Clontarf in 1014.
- MEATH/DUBLIN: Ó Ceallaigh of Breagh, a branch of the southern Uí Néill, were lords of Breagh (an extensive district embracing a large portion of Meath and north County Dublin) up until after the Anglo-Norman invasion, when they were dispossessed and dispersed throughout Ireland. Conghalach Ó Ceallaigh (d.1292) was the last lord of Breagh.
- DERRY: Ó Ceallaigh of Cinel Eachach in the barony of Loughinsholin, Co. Derry, where they are still numerous
- LAOIS: Ó Ceallaigh of Leighe, now Lea (barony of Portnahinch); Ó Ceallaigh of Magh Druchtain; Ó Ceallaigh of Gallen;
- WICKLOW: Ó Ceallaigh of Ui Teigh, in the north of the present Co. Wicklow near Bray;
- SLIGO: Ó Ceallaigh of Árd Ó gCeallaigh, in the parish of Templeboy, Co. Sligo
- CORK: Ó Ceallaigh of Corca Laoighdhe, in the south-west of Co. Cork
In 1641 (just before Cromwell sent everyone packing) there were numerous O’Kelly / Kelly landowners in Ireland. See the Down Survey of Ireland at TCD where you can run a 17th-century landowner search (before and after Cromwell).
To search FREE Records for your Kelly ancestors, see our handy list of references below.
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|Surname Dictionary: Kelly, O'Kelly||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|John Grenham's Surname Wizard: Kelly||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|KELLY Flaxgrowers in 1796||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|KELLY in Pre-Famine TITHE Records||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|KELLY in Post-Famine GRIFFITH'S Valuation||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|KELLY in Irish Civil Records (from 1864)||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|KELLY in the 1901 Census of Ireland||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|KELLY in the 1911 Census of Ireland||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|KELLY ancestors on Ireland Reaching Out||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|