Arrow Downward Arrow Downward Close Close Done Done Cart Cart clock clock
Personal guidance

We are always happy to help you! Contact us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

If you would like us to call you back, please provide your phone number and how you can be reached. We will be happy to call you for a personal consultation. WhatsApp

Surname O'Reilly - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'O'

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

The last name O’Reilly comes from the ancient Irish surname Ó Raighilligh, which is derived from the Irish Gaelic word raighill or “reeve”, meaning “custodian”. This is likely in reference to both the office of “reeve” and its holder, an official appointed by the local noble to oversee an estate or district.

The O'Reilly family is an ancient one; tracing their roots as far back as the early 12th century. In this period, the O’Reilly family held an important place in The Province of Ulster in Ulster, Ireland. At this time, they were responsible for upholding the law in terms of the ruling Norman dynasty of Ireland.

The surname O'Reilly is one of the most common surnames in Ireland and has been for many centuries. It is believed that there is an estimated 60,000 people who bear this surname in Ireland alone. The trend of the name has continued and spread beyond its Irish roots, with O’Reilly being a commonly seen surname today in parts of the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada.

In addition to being an Irish surname, “O’Reilly” has become adopted as a patronymic surname by other populations, such as families of Scottish descent which spell the name “O'Rielly,” or a variant of this spelling.

Regardless of its various spellings, the last name O’Reilly is believed to have come from a noble and historic family of Ireland and honorably served the governing powers of their time. As such, it is a surname that is well-respected today for its long and valiant history.

Order DNA origin analysis

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

The last name O'Reilly is most commonly found in Ireland, with many descendants of its initial bearer, Padraig O'Raghailligh, still bearing the surname in the Emerald Isle. It is also a very common name in Northern Ireland, and is especially associated with the Connacht province in the west and Maynooth in County Kildare. Additionally, the surname is found in many parts of the English-speaking world. In particular, it is strongly represented in North America, especially in the United States.

In the US, the name O'Reilly is to be found in abundance, especially in states with large Irish-American populations such as Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Here, the name has become synonymous with Irish-American heritage and culture. According to the US Census Bureau, the most common place for the surname to be found is New York City, followed by the cities of Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago.

O'Reilly is also to be found worldwide, with significant numbers of individuals bearing the name living in various parts of the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In each of these countries, the name is strongly associated with Irish-heritage and is very common. In the 2020 US census, the name O'Reilly was the 2,408th most common surname in the United States – a testament to the strong presence of the O'Reilly family name in the country today.

Variations of the surname O'Reilly

The surname O'Reilly is most commonly associated with the Gaelic Irish Ó Raghailligh clan. Historically, this spelling has been Anglicised many times, in some cases becoming anglicised to simply Reilly. The following is a list of variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for the surname O'Reilly:


- Ó Raghailligh | O Reiilly | O Realy | O Raighilligh | O Raigly | O Raily | O Raphely | O Raphelly | O Reaghly | Ravally | Racilly | Raley | Ralley | Realy | Realye | Realley | Realllie | Reihill | Reilly | Reily | Reilys | Relley | Relly | Rhalli | Riall | Riley | Rilley | Riliey | Rilley | Rilleye | Rolegill | Rooselely | Rosalie | Rowelle | Ruhally | Ruihill | Rulley.

In addition to the variations above, members of the O'Reilly/Ó Raghailligh clan also have surnames which are nonspecific to the clan. These surnames include but are not limited to: Smith, Taylor, Brown, and Murphy. In some cases, the name has been altered to incorporate changes in language and pronunciation over time.

In conclusion, the surnames O'Reilly and its many variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin are derived from the Gaelic Irish Ó Raghailligh Clan. These surnames and spellings can also be non-specific to the clan and may be altered to incorporate changes in language and pronunciation over time.

Famous people with the name O'Reilly

  • Bill O’Reilly: Bill O’Reilly is an American political commentator, former television host, and author. He co-hosted The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel from 1996 to 2017.
  • John O’Reilly: John O’Reilly is an American singer and composer. After winning the Grammy Award for Best Sacred Performance in 1970, O’Reilly worked with a variety of choral ensembles, choirs, and orchestras across the United States.
  • Rick O’Reilly: Rick O’Reilly is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is the son of Country Music Hall of Fame member Billy O'Reilly and has released several albums in his career.
  • Dragna O’Reilly: Dragna O’Reilly is an American hip-hop artist and self-proclaimed ‘lyrical goddess.’ She began her career as part of the rap duo Oxygen and is currently signed to Canadian record label Numb Recordings.
  • Emmet O’Reilly: Emmet O’Reilly is an American musician and songwriter. He plays in the progressive metal band Everymen and has released three albums in his career.
  • Shaun O’Reilly: Shaun O’Reilly is an American professional soccer player and coach. He is currently the head coach of USL Championship club Philadelphia Union II.
  • Arthur O’Reilly: Arthur O’Reilly was an American politician and served as the Mayor of St. Louis between 1906 and 1909.
  • John O’Reilly: John O’Reilly is an American professional golfer who participated in the PGA Tour from 1984 to 1998. He won two tournaments during his career.
  • C.J. O’Reilly: C.J. O’Reilly is an American musician best known as the lead singer and guitarist for the rock band The Droogs. He has released two solo albums in his career.
  • Liam O’Reilly: Liam O’Reilly is an Irish actor who is best known for his roles in films such as The Guard (2011) and Calvary (2014).

Other surnames

O BoeyO BoweÓ CanainnO CarrollO ConaillÓ ConchobhairÓ CuinÓ CuinnÓ DaimhínÓ DálaighO DalyÓ DómhnaillÓ DonnchadhaÓ DubhdaraÓ DuibhínÓ DuibhirO DuireO DuvireÓ FeoreO FlanaganÓ FuereÓ FureyÓ FuryO GaraO GuineyO GuinidheO GuinyeO HanlonÓ HANNÁINO Hart

Write comments or make additions to the name "O'Reilly"

Your origin analysis