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IRISH Surnames - Origins etc.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 16:52

for Gypsy Joe

History of the Foley Surname in Ireland

Frank and Elizabeth Anderson
and Descendants

David and Janet Anderson
and Descendants

Ancestors of Michael Foley Anderson

Ancestors of Michael H. Foley

John Foley (1806–1873)
and Descendants

Family Home Page

by Francis Dowling

The surname Foley is among the more common of Irish surnames. While it can be found in almost every county, its highest concentrations are in its native County Waterford and the neighbouring counties along the southern coastline, Cork and Kerry. The name has its origins in Gaelic Ireland where it derives from the Irish 'foghladha' meaning plunderer or robber.

In addition to 'Foley', the Anglicisation of this Gaelic name gave rise to other versions such as Fowloo and in a few cases Fowler. In Ulster, some Foleys may originally have been McSharry, the confusion arising due to the mistaken belief that Foley derives from 'searrach' meaning 'fool'.

Griffith's Valuation, a comprehensive listing of those who rented land/property throughout Ireland in the 1850s, records a total of 2407 entries for occupiers named 'Foley'. Of these 581 were found in County Cork and 444 entries in the neighbouring county Kerry. Waterford had a total of 330 and Wexford recorded 173 entries. The western counties had less than one hundred each while there are very few entries for the northern counties. This high concentration of the name in the counties of the southern coast accurately indicates the origins of the family in County Waterford. The movement into the neighbouring counties of Cork and Kerry was probably prompted by the Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century. Nowadays the name continues to be concentrated in these counties.

Courtesy of Joe Hall


AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 16:53

The Foley DNA Project |
The Foley DNA Project is open to all Foley families, of all spelling variations, and from all locations. (If your surname is not included please contact the ... - 27k - Similar pages


AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 16:54

Address and Phone Number Search for Foley, United States
You can find Address and Phone Number information for a person by conducting a People Search.

Foley, United States
Phone Number
Name Popularity of Foley, United States
There are 39,524 unique 'Foley' last names in the United States. Add this to my webpage!

Name Ranking
Foley is the # 561 ranked last name in the United States

# 560 Randall

# 561 Foley

# 562 Anthony

Top States for last Name Foley

1. Massachusetts 4688 listings
2. California 3004 listings
3. New York 2912 listings
4. Florida 2497 listings
5. Texas 1864 listings

Most Popular first Names for Foley

1. John 1331 listings
2. Michael 1165 listings
3. James 1076 listings
4. Robert 778 listings
5. Thomas 753 listings

Most searched for 'Foley' in the United States last month: David Foley, CA - 20


AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 17:06

Foley family history & genealogy search advice
This surname is common. In fact, over 49500 people share the surname in the United States alone. As a result, searching for the Foley family is difficult ... - 23k - Similar pages


Shirley Report 15 Jan 2009 18:36

Would be very grateful for a look up on CAREY and MURRAY when you have time. Thanks for your kind offer.


Keith Report 15 Jan 2009 21:24

Teresa with irish blood and Anne of GG thanks for your replys and info may be of Welsh origin ..but have got back to my gggrandad who was born in Kilkenny in 1835 (have a copy of his baptisam from church records )and his military record from Kew he joined the Connaught rangers aged 19 years .and worked as a gardner in Castlecomer before joining up ..if his forefathers were welsh would love any info of any Welsh people namedPrice who moved to Ireland pre 1835 best regards keith


Gypsy Report 15 Jan 2009 21:31

Thanks Teresa, I will take a look.
It seems to be a bit of a mystery with the Melia name, Some people say it is derived from O'Malley and others say it is a name in it's own right! Probably will never find out the truth,Especially in Ireland!


tinaj Report 15 Jan 2009 21:59

Hi Pat
I asked for the names Melia / O'Melia too, on the previous page. Mine have also been found on a census under the name O'Mealey.
My Melia family came from somewhere unknown in Ireland to Liverpool and were first spotted on a census in 1871 - they may be on the 1861 but I haven't found them yet. Where are your Melia family from?
Tina x


Zena Report 15 Jan 2009 22:11

Hi Teresa,

Thank you for the kind offer could you look up the name Feeney for me please.

Regards Zena

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 15 Jan 2009 22:29


You can find Feeney on here....

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 15 Jan 2009 22:33


& Tina~j

You will find some MELIA under the IGI records on the LDS website.



Zena Report 15 Jan 2009 22:35

Thank you so much Teresa for the link.

Regards Zena


tinaj Report 15 Jan 2009 22:58


Thank you for the sugeestion and the pm.



AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 23:09

Surname: Melia
This interesting surname is of early Irish origins. It is a developed form of the Gaelic O'Maille, meaning the male descendant of the nobleman, from "mal", prince or champion. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", grandson, male descendant, or "M(a)c", denoting "son of". The surname belonged exclusively in the past to County Mayo, and this is almost equally true of the present day: over eighty five per cent of the births recorded are in Connacht and most of these are in County Mayo. Their particular territory is in the baronies of Burrishoole and Murrisk in that county. The O'Malleys were famous for their naval exploits and their prowess at sea is enshrined in their Motto, "terra marique potens", powerful by land and sea. Locally, in County Meath, it is often Anglicized Melia, the variant in Irish being O'Maele. The well known Sir Owen O'Malley, diplomat and author, who claims to be Chief of the Name, insists on his name being pronounced O'Mailey. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings ranging from Mally, Meally and O'Mallie, to Melly and Melia. On September 10th 1864, Christopher, son of Joseph and Bess Melia, was christened at Clonmellon, County Westmeath. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Owen O'Malley, which was dated circa 1500, in "Records of Connacht", during the reign of Garret Mor FitzGerald, Earl of Kildare, 1477 - 1513. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.


Thistledown Report 15 Jan 2009 23:17

Hi just wondering if you know where the name Kilty, Kielty and Kielthy comes from was told that it means from the Irish meaning (Caoilte) woods then someone else said that it could not be as the irish for woods is spelt Coillte.
Thank you,


tinaj Report 15 Jan 2009 23:29


Thank you very much for the information. These name histories are fascinating!

My Melia in 1871 was living nextdoor to another one from Westport, Co Mayo - we are hoping that this is a sister / other relative rather than a red herring. Every bit of info helps!



AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 23:37

it's so easy to look up Tina - just put - surname Melia in your search box and up it comes


AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 23:39

Kielty Clan Association
This Website Is Established For The Use Of All Families Of The Kielty Clan Association Including The Family Surnames of O Caoilte, O Caoilteg, O Cailte, ... - 32k - Similar pages
Iowa Kielty's
The Kielty Clan is an important part of the Dalcassian Clan, .... [Virginia Kielty's] [New York Kielty''s] [Kielty- Norris] [Iowa Kielty's] [Surname Index] ... - 40k - Similar pages

[ More results from ]
Kielty Family: Surname Genealogy, Family History, Family Tre...
26 Dec 2008 ... The definitive directory to Kielty Family: Surname Genealogy, ... British Isles DNA Project includes Kielty surname (Source: Family Tree DNA ... - 29k - Similar pages
"KIE..." Surnames - All Categories in OGSPI
KIELTY Surnames in Cemeteries KIELTY 1891 Census KIELTY 1880-1889 Marriage KIELTY 1920-1929 Obituary KIELTY 2005 Obituary ... - 26k - Similar pages
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Kielty Family History and Genealogy Facts. Search Immigration, Birth, Marriage, Death, Military and Census ... Look up another surname. The Kielty Surname ... - 77k - Similar pages
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Tags: o'kielty coat of arms, o'kielty family crest, o'kielty family, o'kielty, surnames, ancestry, ethnic pride, last names, family crests, coat of arms, ... - 67k - Similar pages
RootsWeb: IRL-LONGFORD-L [LONGFORD] surname search for Kielt...
I am searching for information on the family surname of Kielty from County of. Longford, Ireland. My Mary Kielty was b. 1833 in Longford County. She ... - 4k - Similar pages
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The Kielty clan website was established for Kielty's around the world who wish to explore the meaning of the Kielty Surname and to search their individual ... - 22k - Similar pages


AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 23:45

Irish Surnames; Their Past and Present Forms
The name Caoilte is still perpetuated in the family name Keelty, Kielty, or Queelty; and the name Ronan is, in like manner, represented by the surname ... - 20k - Similar pages


AnnCardiff Report 15 Jan 2009 23:49

a variant of Kielty if you read it and a mention of wood

Surname: Quipp
This unusual surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and is a dialectal variant of Kipp or Kype, itself a locational name from a minor place called Kype in the parish of Avondale, Lanarkshire, believed to be so named from the Gaelic "kip, ceap", tree-stock, stump. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name, which in the modern idiom is found as: Kip, Kipp, Quip, Quipp and Quap. The interchange of the initial "K" and "Q" is further evidenced in such Gaelic Irish surnames as Kielty, also written as "Quilty", and Kinnane, occasionally written as "Quinane". One Janet Kype was noted in Records of Goislingtoun in the parish of Stanehous, Lanarkshire, in 1622, and on January 4th 1768, William Quip and Sarah Ratford were married at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, London. On May 23rd 1861, the birth of Martha, daughter of Charles Quipp and Ann Simpson, was recorded in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Kype, which was dated 1301, in the "Register of the Abbey of Kelso", Roxburghshire, during the reign of During the Interregnum in Scotland, 1296 - 1306. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.