Vallely Mythology:

What's In a Name
 By Tom Vallely

I have spent most of my life being told that the name Vallely was Irish but with few details.  In 1996 I went on the internet and discovered that there are thousands of Vallely persons scattered throughout the world, all thinking they had the most unusual name in the universe.

There is no longer any doubt that the name is from Ireland.  I am, however, left with the lingering questions:
  • Is the name of Irish origin?
  • Exactly which Vallely came to the U.S. on what ship and when?
 The quest for answers continues.

Over the years I have received some intriguing emails regarding the Scottish-Irish connection and the Vallely name, hinting at some startling revelations.  Unfortunately the follow ups never occurred.  If you have information please share it.

Dan Vallely's Legend

Dan Vallely, a police officer in New York State, provided me with a letter about his family origins. It was written in 1990.  The writer tells his daughter that he can go back only as far as his grandfather, Patrick William Vallely who came from County Armagh with his brother James. James was born in 1855 and joined the New York City P.D. in 1876. Patrick was also probably on NYPD until he established P.W. Vallely Inc. an office furniture business in the Wall Street District (operated until about 1950 or 60).

The Legend

The first Vallely in Ireland was a survivor of a ship of the Spanish Armada wrecked by the hurricane on the coast. Father claimed he was an Admiral. Mother claimed that according to the record he was found on the beach tenaciously clutching a deck mop. (My Uncle Joe, with his long face and dark eyes could have stepped from a Valesquez painting). There were two Vallely clans: the Red and the Black. We never knew the connotation of the colors.

Tom's note:  My DNA testing refutes that legend and the related links below casts doubt on the theory.

Tom Vallely's Legend

My family legend is that two brothers left Ireland during the potato famine. On arriving in New York City one brother stayed and the other went to Pennsylvania and Alabama (my Great-Grandfather Hugh). That is about it for my family legend-no mention of when or what ship or names. I have never identified a ship with two brothers on board.  I was looking for ships out of Ireland.  It now appears that my ancestor left Scotland for the United States and without a brother.
Patrick Vallely's Legend

Patrick Vallely emailed me from Tuam, County Galway to tell me his family legend. Three sons of a Vallely family left Armagh.  One went to America, one went to Europe and one to the south of Ireland (Patrick's family).

Related Links