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.
- 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)