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Surname O'Riley - Meaning and Origin

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

The last name O'Riley is an Irish surname that traces its origin to the Gaelic name Ó Raghailligh, which was a contraction of the phrase 'Mac Tire Thráille', meaning 'son of the ruler of Thráille'. The origin of the Thráille may have been derived from the ancient Gaelic word ‘three’, which is believed to refer to the people of the original Irish settlers of the territory.

The O'Riley surname is found in many parts of Ireland with the highest concentrations being in the provinces of Connacht and Ulster. The surname is also quite numerous in other areas such as England, Scotland, and America. In the United States, the O'Riley surname is most often associated with Irish immigrants from Northern Ireland who settled in places like New York, Boston, and other East Coast cities.

The meaning of the surname O'Riley is best expressed as 'descendant of the ruler of Thráille'. This reflects a long and storied line of Irish ancestry that has spread around the world. As such, the O'Riley surname carries with it a unique heritage of both Irish and global history that have come to define the Irish diaspora. To this day, those of the O'Riley lineage are proud to embrace their heritage and continue to carry on the legacy of the original Irish settlers.

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

The O'Riley surname is most commonly found in Ireland. According to the O'Riley Clan Website, the name is believed to be derived from the ancient Gaelic name "O'Raithile," meaning "descendant of Raithle." The original homeland for the O'Riley clan is said to have been around present-day Cork in southern Ireland, though some branches of the family spread further afield.

The name is still common today in Cork and other areas of Ireland, particularly in rural areas. In the United States, it is most heavily concentrated in the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as many Irish immigrants settled in those states during the 19th century. The name is also quite common in Canada, especially in Ontario.

Of course, the O'Rileys are not limited to just Ireland and North America. Today, the name can be found in various other locations around the globe, such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Many countries in South America and the Caribbean, particularly those with Irish diaspora populations, also have a number of O'Riley families living there.

Variations of the surname O'Riley

The O’Riley surname is an Anglo-Irish name that originated in Ireland. The surname is an Anglicization of the Irish name "Ó Raghailligh," which is also written as "Ó Raighilligh." The name has many variants, including O’Reilly, Riley, O’Riley, Rielly, Reiley, Reilly, Rilley, O’Rielly, O’Reilly, O’Rialeigh and O’Reeilly.

The origin of the name is attributed to two septs (clans) from the province of Leinster and the border county of Cavan. The Leinster sept was located near the village of Tullow and the Cavan sept was located near the village of Lurgan in County Cavan. Together, these two septs were known as the O’Reilly Clan.

Variations of the name, such as Riley, Reiley and Rilley, have been commonly used in England and the United States. The name Reilly, which is more common in the United States, is a result of the large numbers of Irish immigrants who traveled to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The O’Riley surname is not only associated with the two O’Reilly septs, but is also associated with other Irish septs. These septs, including the O’Dorchaidhe sept in Cork and the O’Callaghan sept in Kerry, are derived from a branch of the O’Reilly Clan.

In conclusion, O’Riley is a very old and well established surname in Ireland. Variations of the surname, including Riley, Reiley, Rilley, O’Rielly, O’Reilly, O’Rialeigh and O’Reeilly, are common in both Ireland and America. The surname is also associated with other Irish septs, including the O’Dorchaidhe sept and the O’Callaghan sept.

Famous people with the name O'Riley

  • Jack O'Riley, a 19th-century agricultural chemist who invented the O'Riley Plow.
  • Austria O'Riley, a performance artist and satirist who frequently appeared on the television show Saturday Night Live.
  • David O'Riley, an Irish-born country music singer who topped the Country Music Charts for several weeks.
  • Sean O'Riley, an American actor best known for his role as Deputy Joe Brady in the cult classic TV series The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • Sean O'Riley, a celebrated American jazz guitarist and composer.
  • Karina O'Riley, the first Irish female to become a professional acrobat.
  • Nancy O'Riley, an actress, voice artist, and author who wrote The O'Riley Mystery Series.
  • Michael O'Riley, the famous American Jewish comedian and philanthropist.
  • Brendan O'Riley, a renowned painter who was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
  • Eamon O'Riley, an American singer songwriter, and producer who wrote and performed several popular pop-rock anthems.

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

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