Kelly Family History

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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

Similar surnames: Kielty, Keady, Delay, Pelly, Reilly, Keary, Kell, Lello, Kelley

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Kelly Family Origin

Where is the Kelly family from?

Kelly Family Occupations

What did your Kelly ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Kelly. 13% of Kelly men worked as a Laborer and 6% of Kelly women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Kelly were Clerk and Housekeeper

View Census data for Kelly | Data not to scale

Top Male Occupations in 1940

  • Laborer
  • Farmer
  • Salesman
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Stenographer
  • Teacher
  • Clerk
  • Housekeeper

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Kelly Historical Records

What Kelly family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 2 million census records available for the last name Kelly. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Kelly census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Kelly

Passenger List

There are 419,000 immigration records available for the last name Kelly. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Card

There are 370,000 military records available for the last name Kelly. For the veterans among your Kelly ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Kelly family history.

Kelly Life Expectancy

What is the average Kelly lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Kelly life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Kelly in 1940 was 57, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Kelly

Famous Kelly Family Ancestors

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