The surname Foley first appeared in Ireland. Etymology may be defined as the history of a word, revealed through the analysis of its parts, and by tracing its roots to past times and even to foreign languages. Such a study is of particular interest when applied to a name. A careful research of the etymological origins of the surname Foley has revealed that it is derived from the Gaelic word “Foghlaidh”, which means “Pirate”. It would be daring, to say the least, to pretend to have found the very first individual who used this surname; entire centuries have passed since that time, no doubt erasing virtually every trace of him to whom we might justly refer as the “original Foley”. The ravages of time are the worst enemies of written documents; while the stone that was used to construct castles, towers and other structures often assured that these precious monuments were to survive to the present day, old scrolls were more often than not lost or even destroyed without leaving a trace. Nonetheless, careful research has revealed the following: There was a Protestant ecclesiastic in the 17th century named Samuel Foley. He lived from 1655 to 1695. Centuries ago, many families d… Coat of arms: Argent a fess…
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