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The Kelly clan's crest - Fun facts and history behind your Irish family name. Photo by: www.4crests.com

Tracing your Irish ancestry – the Kelly Clan

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The Kelly clan's crest - Fun facts and history behind your Irish family name. Photo by: www.4crests.com

Irish derivation: Ó Ceallaigh.

Name meaning: Descendant of Ceallach," "bright haired," or "troublesome."

Counties associated with the name: Armagh, Carlow, Clare, Derry, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Tyrone, Waterford, Westmeath, and Wicklow.

Coat of arms motto: God is a strong tower to me.

Read more: What's your Irish clan?

Interesting facts:

- Second most common name in Ireland, behind Murphy.

- There are more Kellys in the US and in Britain respectively than in Ireland.

- Australian sailors whose surnames are Kelly are nicknamed "Ned" after the famed outlaw.

- It is not only in the top 100 surnames in the US, but also in the top 100 first names.

Some famous Kellys:

- Gene Kelly (1912-1996, American actor)

- Grace Kelly (1929-1982, American actor)

- Minka Kelly (b1980, American actor)

- Ned Kelly (1855-1880, Australian outlaw)

Read more: What's your Irish clan?

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