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Origins of the Riley surname

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What does the name Riley mean?

The Riley surname is believed to be English and Irish, with distinct points of origin. In England it is a geographic name, referring to someone who may be from a place named 'Riley', an Old English description of a 'rye field'. In Ireland it is believed to be an anglicisation of a patronymic that refers to a descendant of someone with the Irish given name of 'Raghallach' (the valiant one).

Alternative variations of the name Riley

Riley, Railey, Rilley, Railley, Rilie, Reilly

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Where do most Rileys live?

In 1921, most Rileys lived in London.


Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Rileys

How common is your surname?

165th most common surname in the UK

We have 225,000 records for the Riley surname. The oldest one dates back to .

Who were Rileys most likely to marry?

Smiths

&

Johnsons

Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Rileys.

What are the most common Riley first names?

  • John
  • James
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Riley family members

Common jobs for Rileys

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Rileys in 1921
Cotton Weaver

2,044

Dressmaker

660

Charwoman

519

Weaver Cotton

506

Housekeeper

493

Common Male occupations for Rileys in 1921
Coal Miner

1,286

General Labourer

1,151

Cotton Weaver

1,072

Coal Miner Hewer

490

Tailor

485

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We found over 200,000 family trees with the Riley surname

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