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Surname O'Coigligh - Meaning and Origin

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O'Coigligh: What does the surname O'Coigligh mean?

The surname O'Coigligh (Cogley in English) originates from the Irish Ó Coigligh, which is derived from the Celtic meaning "descendant of Coigleach", which is a name composed of two elements; "coig", meaning "five" and "leach", meaning "warriors". The main sept of the O'Coigligh clan was located in the barony of Coolavin, in County Sligo, with many branches extending from west and northwest Clare and to the mainland of County Mayo.

The O'Coiglighs were part of the ancient Tuath of Uí Floinn (Uí Flainn), native Irish Gaelic clans (Old Irish: Clanna) who inhabited parts of Roscommon, Mayo and Galway prior to the 10th century. This noble family has been recorded in Irish history since the 11th century, and are associated with many historic battles and political struggles over the centuries.

According to ancient annals, the O'Coiglighs were descended from a famous chieftain called Cuilen mac Flainn. His grandson, Congalach Ó Coigligh, was the first to use the surname, and he was followed by a long line of chieftains, all bearing the name, who preserved their authority and status despite invasions and centuries of conflict. In more recent times, the families have intermarried with many of the local clans, so today it is not uncommon to find the name O'Coigligh along with many different surnames.

Due to its ancient heritage and long standing association with the native Irish, the last name O'Coigligh still carries a sense of pride and honour among those who bear it today. The surname is now found predominantly in the provinces of Connacht and Munster, especially in counties such as Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Clare and Limerick.

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O'Coigligh: Where does the name O'Coigligh come from?

The last name O'Coigligh is most commonly found in Ireland today. It is an old Irish Gaelic last name originating from the pre-10th century time period, most likely with a patronymic meaning of 'son of Coigligh'. Despite being an uncommon last name today, it can still be found predominantly in Ireland's western province, Connacht.

This last name is among the history of Gaelic names, composed of two elements. The prefix "O" means grandson, or male descendant of, and the second route is most likely from the personal name Cogarach. The O Coiglighs are most likely descendants of a bishop who lived in the territory of Tir-gharadach (meaning 'the country of Garadach [or Coigarlach]') near the eastern shores of Lough Corrib in Co. Galway.

The O'Coigligh family spread out to various locations throughout Ireland, however they have all been considered to be native to the western province of Connacht and the counties of Galway, Mayo and Sligo. Records indicate that members of this clan settled in Knockma Hill located in Tuam, County Galway, currently home to a modern-day ruin associated with the O'Coigligh's. This ruin is overlooked from modern-day Aughagower Castle, still standing today.

In modern times, the O’Coiglys/Coiglys can still be found living in Ireland. There are some living in the Dysart area near Tuam in County Galway, some living in Donegal and also some have emigrated to the United States and Canada.

Variations of the surname O'Coigligh

The surname O'Coigligh is an anglicized version of an Irish Gaelic name, Ó Céileachair, which is derived from the Gaelic “ceileachair” meaning “companion” or “friend.” It is known by a variety of other spellings, including, but not limited to, O'Coigligh, O'Keigley, O'Keiley, Keigley, Keigly, O'Keighly, Quigly, Coigley, Kigley, Coyal, Coel, Kealy, Kealey, Keleagh, Keleghy, Kelegh, Ceileachair.

The surname is most often found in Ulster, in Counties Donegal, Derry, and Tyrone. In Ulster some anglicized spelling of the surname are also found, such as Quigly and Coigley.

The O'Coigligh families are found in a range of locations across Ireland. In Donegal, the McCool sept is part of the O'Coigligh family. In County Mayo, the surname is found in the form of O'Kiely or Kelegh; and in County Cork, O'Keely and O'Kealy are commonly found. Another variant of the surname is O'Kealy, found in Leinster and parts of Ulster.

Although the O'Coiglighs originated in Ulster, they are now found in many parts of the world, including parts of America, Canada, Britain and Australia. Emigration from Ireland has led to many variants of the surname, and some families who emigrated have even adopted new surnames, including Quigley, Keigely and Kigley.

In conclusion, the surname O'Coigligh has multiple variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin. While the original form of the surname is found in Ulster, it has spread across the world, leading to a variety of different spellings being used by different families in different countries.

Famous people with the name O'Coigligh

  • Daithí O'Coigligh: He is an Irish-born singer, songwriter, composer and producer who is best known for his regular appearances on popular television programmes such as The Voice UK.
  • Grainne O'Coigligh: She is an Irish-born actress, model and former competitive swimmer. She is best known for her roles in the TV series Bad Girls and Rock Rivals.
  • Donagh O'Coigligh: He is an Irish professional football player who made a name for himself playing for some of Europe's top clubs.
  • Niamh O'Coigligh: She is an Irish-born singer, songwriter and author who has released several chart-topping albums and authored the best-selling book, Gypsy Soul.
  • Shea O'Coigligh: He is an Irish-born film and television actor best known for his roles in the popular series Game of Thrones, The Office, and Downton Abbey.
  • Pádraig O'Coigligh: He is an Irish-born professional musician and singer-songwriter who has released a number of critically acclaimed albums.
  • Sadhbh O'Coigligh: She is an Irish-born business executive who has held leadership positions at some of Ireland's most successful companies.
  • Sorcha O'Coigligh: She is an Irish-born author, lecturer and broadcaster who has written several award-winning books on Irish history and culture.

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