KELLY is of Irish origin, and is the second most common name in Ireland, and the 69th most popular name in the United States. There are various origins.
It is an Anglicized form of the patronymic Gaelic name O’Ceallaigh, meaning "descendant of Ceallach," from the Gaelic prefix “O” meaning "descendant of" and the ancient Irish personal name, Ceallach .
Originally a byname meaning ‘"right-headed," it was later understood as "frequenting churches" from the Irish ceall. Several early Irish saints bore the name.
It may also be of English origin, from a place in Devonshire recorded as “Kelli” in the 1194 Pipe Rolls. It may also be of Scottish origin, from the lands of Kelly near Arbroath, Angus.
Along with the different Irish, English or Scottish origins, there are also variant spellings that include KELLEY, KELLIE, O’KELLY, O’KELLEY and KELLI.
At MyHeritage, there are 224,711 people with the KELLY surname, and 6,988,632 records.
Of MyHeritage members named KELLY, 41% are from the US, 24% from Great Britain, 20% from Ireland, 7% from Canada and 3% from Australia. The most common given names are John, Thomas, Mary and Catherine.
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