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Kelly Family History

Kelly Name Meaning
Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Ceallaigh ‘descendant of Ceallach’, an ancient Irish personal name, originally a byname meaning ‘bright-headed’, later understood as ‘frequenting churches’ (Irish ceall). There are several early Irish saints who bore this name. Kelly is now the most common of all Irish family names in Ireland.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

8,161,716 Historical Documents with Kelly on Ancestry.com
2,636,761 Birth, Marriage, and Deaths
351,062 Military Records
391,253 Immigration Records
1,903,828 Census and Voter Lists
2,878,812 Member Trees

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Name Distribution of Kelly Families

  • Number of Kelly families
     3,560 - 7,118
     1,187 - 3,559
     1 - 1,186
     
    from the 1920 US Federal Census Data
  • Number of Kelly families
     4,155 - 8,307
     1,386 - 4,154
     1 - 1,385
     
    from the 1891 England and Wales Census Data
  • Number of Kelly families
     1,966 - 3,930
     656 - 1,965
     1 - 655
     
    from the 1891 Scotland Census Data

Kelly census records

You can see how Kelly families moved over time by selecting different Census years.

Census records can tell you little-known facts about your ancestors such as birthplace, occupation and value of personal estate.

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Kelly Family Origin

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The information for this chart came from the U.S. Immigration Collection at Ancestry.com. You can find out where the majority of the Kelly families were living before they immigrated to the U.S and learn where to focus your search for foreign records.

Immigration records can tell you an ancestor's name, ship name, port of departure, port of arrival, and destination.

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Kelly Immigration Information

from the New York Passenger Lists

Click on a circle in the chart to view Kelly immigration records

You can find out when most of the Kelly families immigrated to the United States. You can focus your search to immigration records dating from that era.

Immigration records can tell you an ancestor's name, ship name, port of departure, port of arrival and destination.

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Average Life Expectancy for Kelly

Click on a circle in the chart to view Kelly birth and death records

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family.

The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

View all Kelly ancestors in the SSDI

Kelly Family Occupations

from 1880 Federal Census Data

Kelly census records

Census records can offer a lot of little known facts about your Kelly ancestors, such as occupation.

Occupation can tell you about your ancestors' social status and economic status.

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Kelly Civil War Service Records

Click to view veteran service records

You can find out if your ancestors came primarily from the North of the South.

Military records can tell you an ancestor's birthplace, occupation, and even physical description.

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