Kelly Clan

Gaelic variations:
Ceallaigh, Ceallach, Ó Ceallaigh, Ó Caollaidhe, Ó Caollaighe, Ó Cadhla, Mac Caochlaoich: “war or contention”.

Anglicised variations:
Kelly, Kelley, O’Kelly, Kealy, Keely, Keily, Kehelly, Kehilly, Coakley.

Kelly is the second most common surname in Ireland and originates from at least seven different and unrelated ancient clans or septs. These include O’Kelly septs from Meath, Derry, Antrim, Laois, Sligo, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Galway and Roscommon, and the McKelly sept from East Connaught.

One of the major septs is the O’Kellys of Ui Maine, or Hy Many, a territory in East Galway and South Roscommon. O’Kelly derives from the Gaelic O Ceallaigh, meaning “descended from Ceallach.” Ceallach was the son of Finnachta, a chief of the Hy Many people around A.D. 874.

Here’s a list of various clan websites:

Kelly Clan Association – Muintir Uí Cheallaigh

Kelly Clan Association – Kelly Places and People

The Kelly Clan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

Kelly may also mean ‘bright-haired’ or ‘troublesome’ – you choose! :-)



Kelly Clan — 4 Comments

    • i have the last name kelly as well im meghan rois kelly is my full name. im trying to find out where i ariganated from. or if im related to ALL the kellys from the kelly clan. maybe u could help me? i just don't have very many relities like uncles or aunts or gramps and gramas. they all kinda died that or i have very few. i also live in the usa born on idaho. but i'd love to find more out about where i come from and u know me.

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