The O’Coigley or Keiley Family

O’Coigley or Keiley family crest

(Crest No. 29. Plate 6.)

THE O’Coigley or Keiley or Keeley family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Ir. The founder of the family was Fiacha Araidhe, King of Ulster in the third century. The ancient name was Coigley, which signifies “A Companion.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present Counties of Donegal and Monaghan.

O’Coigley or Keiley family crest

(Crest No. 326. Plate 65.)

The O’Keelys are also given as Chiefs of Tua Luimnidh, or “the district about Limerick,” and of Aolmoy, in the County of Tipperary. The O’Caollaidhe, or Keelys, were Chiefs of Crioch O’Muighe, situated along the Barrow, now probably the parish of Tullowmory, in the barony of Ballyadams, Queens County, and Chiefs of Hy Bearchon (Ibercon), an ancient barony now joined to that of Ida, in the County Kilkenny, the name of which is partially preserved in that of the parish of Rosbercon, in the barony of Ida.

The Keileys or Kealys were also Lords of Conmhaicne-mara, now Connamara, a well-known district in the northwest of the County of Galway.

There are many prominent persons of this name in the United States. Anthony M. Keiley is at present the United States representative in the International Court in Egypt, and his brother, Major John D. Keiley, is treasurer of the City of Brooklyn, N. Y. The Major served with distinction in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and was for a time on the staff of General Longstreet. Major Keiley has been honored by his Holiness, Pope Pius IX., with the Cross of St. Gregory the Great, bestowed for merit. This order was founded by Gregory XVI. in 1831 as a reward of military courage and of civil merit. There are now three classes in the order; the Great Cross, the Commendatori, and the Chevaliers. The number of Great Crosses is limited to thirty, that of the Commendatori to seventy, and that of the Chevaliers to three hundred, though we are not sure that the limitation applies to appointments of foreigners.

Major John D. Keily

Of General Longstreet’s Staff.

Major Keiley’s sons are young men of ability and promise. Mr. John D. is an engineer of acknowledged merit. Mr. Joseph T. is a prominent lawyer, and Mr. Benjamin A. is engaged in mercantile business in New York City.

Among the clergy also this name is one of prominence in Ireland and America. Of the latter Rev. J. M. Kiely, of Brooklyn, is widely known as an effective pulpit orator and scholar.