What is the origin of the last name Daly?

The last name Daly is of Irish origin, derived from the Irish Gaelic surname Ó Dálaigh, meaning "descendant of Dálach." The name Dálach is derived from the word "dál," which means assembly or gathering, suggesting an association with meetings or gatherings of importance. It has been historically associated with the Dál gCais, an influential clan in medieval Ireland, and has evolved over time to the anglicized form Daly. The surname Daly is commonly found among people of Irish descent around the world, particularly in Ireland, the United States, and Canada.

Countries of origin for the last name Daly

Derived from the Gaelic Ó Dálaigh, the surname Daly is an anglicized version that emerged from Ireland. The meaning of this last name is rooted in the Gaelic word “dálach”, which translates to “assembly”. It is believed that the term was used to describe someone who belonged to a particular assembly or gathering.

The Daly surname has a long lineage in Ireland, particularly in County Clare. The Ó Dálaigh clan was historically associated with an area in West Clare, and their influence extended to various aspects of Irish society, including law and poetry. This clan can be traced back to the 13th century, and several prominent figures emerged from its ranks throughout the centuries.

One such figure was Eochaidh Ó Dálaigh, a renowned poet and judge in medieval Ireland. Eochaidh, who lived in the 13th and 14th centuries, was widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of his time. His contributions to Irish literature and his involvement in legal matters earned him a lasting reputation.

The influence of the Daly clan eventually expanded beyond County Clare. Over time, individuals with the Daly surname migrated to different parts of Ireland and even to other countries, particularly the United States. Today, the Daly surname is most commonly found in the United States, Ireland, Australia, and Canada, reflecting the widespread diaspora of individuals with Irish ancestry.

The meaning of the Daly surname, rooted in the Gaelic term “dálach”, continues to be significant for individuals bearing this name. It carries a sense of belonging to a community or assembly, serving as a reminder of an ancestral connection to Ireland and the rich history of the Ó Dálaigh clan.

While the exact origins and specific associations of the surname Daly are firmly established, the possibilities for exploration and discovery surrounding individual family histories remain open. Through genealogical research and a deeper understanding of one’s own family narrative, individuals with the Daly surname can continue to uncover the unique stories and connections that contribute to their personal identity.

Interesting facts about the last name Daly

  • The surname Daly is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic word “Ó Dálaigh,” which means “descendant of Dálaigh.”
  • It is believed to be one of the oldest recorded surnames in Ireland, dating back to at least the 11th century.
  • The Daly surname is primarily associated with the province of Connacht in western Ireland.
  • Throughout history, the Dalys have held prominent positions, such as chieftains and poets, in Gaelic society.
  • The Dalys were considered part of the hereditary learned class in ancient Ireland.
  • Several variant spellings of the surname exist, including Dailey, Daily, O’Daily, and O’Dea.
  • The Daly coat of arms features a red shield with a gold lion rampant and a silver chief with three red lions passant.
  • Notable individuals with the Daly surname include John Daly, an American television and radio personality, and Derek Daly, an Irish-American former racing driver.
  • There are numerous places in Ireland named after the surname Daly, such as Daly’s Bridge in Cork and Daly’s Hill in Mayo.
  • The Daly Gathering, a festival held in Ireland, celebrates the history and heritage of the Daly clan.

Name Rank


There are around 31330 people with the last name Daly in the US

Related Names

    Related Regions