The surname Kelly can be of Irish,Scottish,and English origin.At the beginning of the twentieth century the name Kelly was second only to Murphpy in popularity within Ireland,making it one of the most Irish of names.The name Kelly was originally O Ceallaigh,’descendant of Ceallach’,a popular personal name probably meaning ‘strife’or ‘war’,it is also said to mean brightness.There were many early Irish saints who bore this name,contributing to the names popularity.An Irish chief in 1351,invited all the poets,musicians and artists of Ireland to a Christmas feast and this thus gave rise to the phrase ‘O Kelly’s welcome’,meaning great hospitality.In Scotland it is a habitational name from various places such as Kelly near Arboath,named with the Gaelic element ‘coille’ wood,grove.In England it is also a habitational name from Kelly in Devon,named with Cornish ‘celli’,the equalivant of the Gaelic ‘coillie’.There has been a family of this name at Kelly in Devon since Martin de Kelly was recorded there in the eleventh century.Ned Kelly,an Australian folk hero who was hung in 1880,bore thi… Coat of arms: Azure,two lions rampant combatant ar…
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