As Quilty or O'Quilty this anglicized form of O'Caoilte is a Munster name, mainly found in County Limerick, but also in Tipperary and Waterford, both at the present time and in the seventeenth century. As O'Kilte, it appears in County Limerick Justiciary Roll of 1313. Other early anglicized forms are O'Caltie and O'Kiltie. In Offaly Quilty and Kielty are found together; but for the most part Kielty is associated with counties Roscommon and Galway. In some cases Kietly has been changed to Woods in the mistaken belief that it derived from coillte (plural of coill, a wood). A similar error has resulted in Kielty becoming Small in County Tyrone, in this case the supposed Irish word being caol (slender). The name MacQuilty is occasionally found in County Antrim. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. The cornish choughs depicted in the arms are a form of crows, birds remarkable for their gregarious and predatory habits, and used frequently in coat armour.
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