1. Parenting
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://genealogy.about.com/od/surname_meaning/p/kelly.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Discuss in my forum

KELLY - Name Meaning & Origin

By

KELLY Surname Meaning & Origin:

The Kelly surname, along with common variants Kelley and Kellie, has a number of possible origins. Most commonly it loosely means "descendant of war," from the ancient Irish name "O'Ceallaigh." The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname "Ceallach" meaning "strife" or "contention". The name may also mean "bright headed."

Kelly is the 2nd most common surname in Ireland and the 69th most popular surname in the United States.

Surname Origin:

Alternate Surname Spellings:

KELLEY, KELLIE, O'KELLY, O'KELLEY, KELLI

Genealogy Resources for the Surname KELLY:

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Kelly Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Kelly surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Kelly query.

FamilySearch - KELLY Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Kelly surname and its variations.

KELLY Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Kelly surname.

Cousin Connect - KELLY Genealogy Queries
Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Kelly, and sign up for free notification when new Kelly queries are added.

DistantCousin.com - KELLY Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Kelly.

-- Looking for the meaning of a given name? Check out First Name Meanings

-- Can't find your last name listed? Suggest a surname to be added to the Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins.

Find a Surname:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

-----------------------

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


>> Back to Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.