Origins of the Vallely name:

Is it Irish?
You bet.  After years of research, DNA testing and bits and pieces from people all over the world, I've determined that Vallely is about as Irish as you can get.  It is probably a derivative of an old Celtic name.  In modern times it is native to the  Ulster region, specifically counties Armagh and Antrim.

Scotland has its share of Vallelys.  My own family moved to Scotland for several years before leaving for the United States.  After the potato famine in 1846 the Irish in Scotland increased dramatically.  John Vallely and his wife Rose were in Whitburn, West Lotham, Scotland by 1855.  Rose died there in 1867 and is buried in Scotland.

As noted in the How Is It Spelled page it is recorded as Valily,Vallelly, Valleley and Vallelley

  • Mac Giolla Mhuire or Mac Giolla Mhura (Irish)
    Gaelic name anglicized and much altered to Vallely and closely related to Gilmore

  • Mac Giolla Mhura (Scottish and Irish)
    Patronymics from personal names meaning servant of the Virgin Mary.  In Armagh, reduced anglicized form  meaning servant of St. Mura of Fahan.   Mac Giolla Mhir means son of the spirited lad

  • Mac Giolla Bhearshúiligh
    My personal favorite.  Pronounced mac gilla var-who-i-lee. Very Gaelic and you can hear where Vallely come from.  Source:  several Vallelys in Ireland and on the Irish Times  ancestors website

  • Mac Ilvallelly
    From the author MacLysaght's Surnames of Ireland (1985).  Found in County Armagh in the 17th Century. Related to Varley.

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