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Surname Kiely - Meaning and Origin

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Kiely: What does the surname Kiely mean?

The last name Kiely is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic name "O'Cadhla," which means "graceful" or "beautiful." The name was originally a given name but gradually evolved into a surname. The Kiely family history usually traces back to counties Waterford and Limerick in Ireland, where the name is most concentrated. It is also commonly seen in its anglicized forms such as Kealy, Keely, Kiley, and others. Like many Irish surnames, Kiely is often preceded by "O'" implying "descendant of" or "son of". The transition to "Kiely" as it's known today is a result of phonetic anglicization during the 17th century. Despite its alterations, the legacy and meaning of the name persist, representing an emblem of grace and beauty.

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Kiely: Where does the name Kiely come from?

The surname Kiely is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic name "O Céile" which translates to "companion". The name originated from a sept in counties Waterford and Limerick, where the title of Chief was held by a member of the Kiely clan. Today, the Kiely surname remains most common in Ireland, particularly in the regions where it first appeared, such as counties Waterford and Limerick. However, due to historical emigration patterns, the Kiely surname has also been disseminated around the world, especially in nations with substantial Irish communities like the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK. In these countries, the last name Kiely may be found, albeit with less frequency than in Ireland. It’s worth mentioning that the surname may be presented in a number of variants including Keilly, Keily, Kiely, and Kiley, due to the various phonetic translations when the name was Anglicised.

Variations of the surname Kiely

The surname Kiely is of Irish origin and is often associated with a number of variants or spelling derivations. The most common variations of the name include Kealy, Keely, Keiley, Kielty, Keilty, Kiley, and Keily.

The surname is derived from the Gaelic name "O Cadhla" which means "descendant of Cadhla." Cadhla is a personal name that translates as "graceful" or "comely." The name had its origins from two places in Ireland; one family hailed from County Waterford while the other was based in County Clare.

In earlier times, the phonetic spelling of the name caused confusion leading to the production of multiple spelling variations even within the same document.

Keeley, Kiely, and Kyley are other known variants of the name. Sometimes, it is also spelled as Caily, Caley, Kayley, or Kaley due to pronunciation discrepancies.

Other Irish surnames that fall into the same lineage based on their origin or root words include O'Kealy, Quilligan, Macardle, Mcardle, and O'Quilligan. These names have similarity because of their Irish Gaelic roots and the usage of 'O' or 'Mac/Mc' denoting "descendant of". The surnames are related in etymological terms rather than familial ones.

Famous people with the name Kiely

  • Chris Kiely: Singer/Songwriter/Producer
  • Claire Kiely: Irish Broadcaster
  • Maeve Kiely: Television Personality
  • Robert Kiely: Actor
  • Tadhg Kiely: Gaelic Games Player
  • Tom Kiely: Olympian
  • Treasa Kiely: Design Professional
  • Scarlet Kiely: Model
  • Niall Kiely: Financial Advisor
  • Damien Kiely: Sous Chef
  • Fergal Kiely: Irish Sportsman
  • Lisa Kiely: Actress
  • Tony Kiely: Business/Entrepreneur
  • Katie Kiely: Videographer
  • Colm Kiely: Sportswriter
  • Padraig Kiely: Politician
  • Rhoda Kiely: Author
  • Rachel Kiely: Human Resources Manager
  • Eoin Kiely: Data Scientist
  • Aileen Kiely: Audio Engineer

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