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What does the name Kelly mean?

Kelly is a surname with a number of origins, but most commonly it is Irish (where it is still one of the most prevalent names). Kelly derives as a patronymic name, as an anglicisation of the Gaelic 'O Ceallaigh' (descendant of Ceallach). More rarely the Kelly surname can be geographical in origin, and be derived as a description of someone who comes from one of the multiple places in Britain named 'Kelly' or 'Kellie' in places as diverse as Devon, Forfarshire and Fife.

The earliest occurrence of the Kelly surname in our family history documents is from 1407, and we currently have 3,422,251 records where Kelly appears.

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