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Home: Surnames: Hilley Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Hilley's did they come from Ireland?
Posted by: Nancy B. Guest Date: July 01, 2001 at 17:19:29
In Reply to: Re: Hilley's did they come from Ireland? by Patrick Hilley of 178

"Irish Names and Surnames," collected and edited by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, states (pp. 571-572) that Healey, Hilley, Hilly, and Hillee is a variation of a Gaelic name written - more or less - as O'Fiheallaig. Apparently in Gaelic, the letter F is aspirated, i.e., pronounced with an H sound in front - "HF." Our ancestors anglicized this name by dropping the F and keeping the H - others dropped the H and kept the F, and became Fields and Feely.
Those keeping the H were found in County Kerry, near Tralee, in the 1500s. The Feelys were in southwest County Cork. According to Rev. Woulfe, the original name meant "chess-player."

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