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Qualley Coat of Arms / Qualley Family Crest

This surname of QUALLEY has many variant spellings which include O'QUEALLY, QUEALLY, KEALY, KIELY, KEELEY and KIELEY. The form QUEALLY is used in County Waterford, and in 1659 QUELLY and O'QUELLY were the principal names in County Clare - and the celebrated Dr Malechy O'QUEALLY, Archbishop of Tuam, was of that sept. The name is also an important sept in Kilkenny. The inland Leinster county of Kilkenny is bounded on the north by county Leix, on the east by the counties of Carlow and Wexford, on the south by county Waterford and on the west by county Tipperary. The city of Kilkenny with its splendid Gothic cathedral on the hill, built of Kilkenny limestone, and its great castle on the Butlers, overlooking the River Nore, is the chief town of the county and of the towns of Leinster, second only to Dublin. In the 14th century King Edward III convened a parliament at Kilkenny and in the 17th century the city briefly enjoyed political importance when the Catholic Confederation met there in 1642. In the first half of the 16th century the 8th Earl of Ormonde and his countess brought Flemish master-weavers to Kilkenny to introduce the manufacture of tapestry, carpets and fine diaper. A notable member of the name was Patrick O'KIELY, from Ring (who died in 1948) the worker in Gaelic revival. He always wrote his name as O'CADHLA. This name in counties Kilkenny and Leix has tended to become absorbed in the name KELLY. There are many notables of this name which include Ned KELLY (1855-80) the Australian outlaw, the son of a transported Irish criminal. He became a horse-thief, and from 1878, a bushranger in Victoria and New South Wales. He was hanged in Melbourne and became a popular mythical figure. Grace Patricia KELLY (1929-82) was the American film actress, born in Philadelphia, the daughter of a wealthy self-made Irishman. Her short, but highly successful film career, as a coolly elegant beauty included such classics as 'High Noon' (1952) and 'High Society' (1956). In 1956 she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco and retired from the screen. She was killed in a car accident.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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