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Surname O Daly - Meaning and Origin

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O Daly: What does the surname O Daly mean?

The last name O Daly is an Irish surname originating from a Gaelic Clan name. The spelling for the name varies between O Daly, O'Daly, Daly, and Dayley.

The name originates from the 11th century Gaelic strand of the Dal Riadian kings of Thomond, located in County Clare, Ireland. This is why the prefix “O” is associated with the name. The prefix is used for sons of the original Gaelic and translates into English as “descendant of”.

The Dal Riadian clan was a professional group of scribes and writers to the kings of Irish clans. From this Cenel Dalaigh (“kinship of the Dal”) group the name O Daly was born.

The Dal Riadian kings provided social welfare and protection for their people. This makes the name O Daly synonymous with strength and reliability through the centuries.

The O Daly surname is a proud Irish heritage that reflects the bravery and strength of the members of the Dal Riadian people. To this day, the surname remains associated with loyalty, integrity, and stability. Those who bear the surname of O Daly can feel proud knowing they come from a long line of courageous and hardworking ancestors who had a significant impact on the history of Ireland.

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O Daly: Where does the name O Daly come from?

The last name O Daly is most typically found among people with ancestry from the west and north west of Ireland. It is a very popular surname in counties such as Sligo, Mayo, and Galway. Other popular Irish regions include Donegal and Kerry, where O Daly is found in smaller numbers.

The surname O Daly is derived from the ancient Gaelic Sept of Ua Dálaigh, which translates as "descendants of Dalach." This refers to the original ancestor of the O Daly clan who lived in the 11th century.

The O Daly clan were prominent in the Irish-speaking areas of the early Middle Ages. They built many castles and strongholds in western Ireland, firmly establishing their power and influence.

Today, the surname O Daly is still popular in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht areas and has also spread to other areas of Ireland where the language is less commonly spoken. It is also found in countries with strong Irish diaspora populations, particularly in the United States, with a high concentration in New York.

Variations of the surname O Daly

The name O'Daly is an anglicized version of the Gaelic surnames Ó Dálaigh and Mac Dálaigh.

The Ó Dálaigh surname derives from the GaelicáDálach, which was derived from the old Gaelic word dál, meaning a part, or a share. The name was thus associated to a family or clan who had a certain part or share in some area of a territory. It is an important sept (clan) of the Uí Fiachraigh family in Connacht.

Variants of the name O'Daly include O'Dail, O'Daille, O'Dalley, O'Dayle, O'Dayley, O'Dally, O'Dee, O'Bayly, O'Bayley, MacDaly, MacDail, MacDaille, MacDaily and MacDally. Alternative spellings include Daley, Dalley, Dewly, Dealy, Dail, Daligh, Daille, Dally, Dayle, Dayley, Doley, Dooley and Doaley.

In most cases, when Irish names are anglicized, the prefix 'O' or 'Mac' is dropped. This is true for the O'Daly surname as well. Thus, Dropy, Dwyer, Deery, Derrig, Deeryo, Diver, Dywer, Dewree, Drywers, Devrey, Delesar, Dailer, Dweree, Dw Gree, Dours, Doare, Dhari, Delahunt, Dawal and Diyo are some other alternate spellings for the O'Daly surname.

The name O'Daly is particularly common in the counties of Galway and Mayo. In addition, the surname is also found in small numbers in Leitrim, Longford, Cavan, Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Wexford. The placenames of Gallen in Roscommon and Knockdaly in Mayo are believed to derive from this name.

Famous people with the name O Daly

  • Joe O'Daly: Irish hurler and coach known for his successful career at Kilkenny GAA.
  • James O'Daly: Irish botanist and writer who wrote extensive works on Irish flora and fauna in the 19th century.
  • Pat O'Daly: Irish-born Hollywood actor best known for his roles in the 1970s TV series, "Happy Days", and in the 1980s film, "The Outsiders".
  • Damian O'Daly: Irish barrister, author, and lecturer who is a prominent voice on Irish and European legal matters.
  • Emmett O'Daly: Irish novelist who wrote the acclaimed Irish postcolonial novel, "Iceland".
  • John O'Daly: Irish journalist and historian known for his multilingual Middle Eastern history, specializing in the history of the Druze people.
  • Keala O'Daly: American actress and playwright best known for her role in the "Magic Mike" franchise and as the writer of the acclaimed Off-Broadway play, "Winnie's War".
  • Raymond O'Daly: American playwright, author, and actor whose works encompass a range of genres from pious piety to bold irreverence.
  • William O'Daly: American poet whose work has been translated into over thirty languages and has received numerous awards from prestigious journals and prizes.
  • Ted O'Daly: Canadian actor, writer, and director who is best known for his roles in films such as "X-Men" and "The Incredible Hulk".

Other surnames

Ó Dálaigh

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