What is the origin of the last name Connolly?

The surname CONNOLLY originates from Ireland and is derived from the Gaelic name "Ó Conghaile," signifying a descendant of Conghal, meaning "fierce as a hound." This ancient Irish surname has deep roots in the historic province of Connacht and is prevalent throughout the island. The name CONNOLLY has great genealogical significance, tracing its lineage through centuries of Irish history, and its etymology offers valuable insight into the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Irish people.

Countries of origin for the last name Connolly

The last name Connolly originated in Ireland and is of Gaelic origin. It is derived from the Old Irish name “O’Conghaile”, which means “descendant of Conghal”. The prefix “O” indicates “descendant of” and was commonly used in Irish surnames to denote lineage. The name Conghal is derived from the Gaelic word “congal”, which translates to “high” or “noble”.

The Connolly surname is primarily found in Ireland and has been associated with County Clare and County Longford. It is one of the most common Irish surnames and is widely recognized both in Ireland and the diaspora.

Historically, Irish surnames were often patronymic, meaning they were derived from the father’s or ancestor’s given name. In the case of the Connolly surname, it indicates descent from an ancestor named Conghal.

The Connolly name has various spelling variations, including Connelly, Conley, and O’Connolly. These variations can be attributed to different transliterations and Anglicizations of the original Gaelic name. The spelling of surnames was not standardized until relatively recently, resulting in a variety of spellings for the same surname.

The Connolly surname has deep roots in Irish history and culture. It is associated with ancient Gaelic clans, and its bearers have played significant roles in Irish society throughout the centuries. The name carries a sense of Irish identity and heritage.

Many individuals with the Connolly surname have immigrated to the United States, particularly during the era of Irish immigration in the 19th century. As a result, the name has become relatively common in the United States, especially in areas with significant Irish-American populations.

The Connolly surname has also gained recognition and prominence in various fields and professions. Notable individuals with the surname include musicians, authors, politicians, and athletes. Their achievements and contributions have contributed to the reputation and legacy of the name.

Overall, the last name Connolly reflects a rich and storied history, deeply rooted in Irish culture and heritage. It signifies noble lineage and carries with it a sense of identity and pride for individuals and communities associated with this surname.

While the known facts about the Connolly surname provide a comprehensive understanding of its origins and significance, there may be additional aspects and nuances to explore. Further research and genealogical investigation could uncover additional insights into the name’s history and the specific branches of the Connolly family tree. The story of the Connolly name continues to unfold, offering the opportunity for future exploration and discovery.

Interesting facts about the last name Connolly

  • The surname Connolly is derived from the Irish Gaelic name “Ó Conghaile,” which means “descendant of Conghal,” a given name that means “valorous” or “high or exalted” in Old Irish.
  • Connolly is predominantly an Irish surname and is most commonly found in Ireland, particularly in counties Galway, Donegal, and Roscommon.
  • The name Connolly can also be of Scottish origin. In Scotland, it is believed to have originated from the Gaelic name “Mac Conghail,” meaning “son of Conghal.”
  • The Connolly surname is among the top 100 most common surnames in Ireland.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Connolly include James Connolly, an Irish socialist leader and one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916, and Cyril Connolly, an English literary critic and writer known for his book “The Unquiet Grave.”
  • In some cases, Connolly can be spelled with variations such as Conneely, O’Connolly, or Connally.
  • The Connollys were historically associated with the ruling dynasties of Connacht, one of the four provinces of Ireland.
  • The Connollys are known to have played significant roles in Irish history, including participation in revolts against English rule and involvement in various political and social movements.
  • The name Connolly is relatively common in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom due to emigration from Ireland and Scotland over the centuries.
  • Connolly is a name that has been embraced by different ethnicities and nationalities, as individuals from various backgrounds have adopted and carried the surname.

Name Rank


There are around 29710 people with the last name Connolly in the US

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