Recorded in the spelling forms of Quigley, Kegley, and Cogley, this is an Irish surname of ancient origins. It derives from the 12th century Gaelic O'Coigligh, a nickname for an untidy person, or possibly one with long, flowing, hair. Most Irish surnames originate from a nickname, this nickname being given in ancient times to the leader of the emerging clan. The "O" suffix has been lost since the early 19th century, in common with many other surnames, and is rarely seen now. The clan originates from the far west of the county in County Mayo, and although there is some evidence of them being dispersed in the 16th century, its main residential area remains in Donegal and Sligo. Curiously there also seems to have been a split at some time possibly for religious reasons, with one branch being recorded in the barony of Inishowen, Ulster, where at one time they were the fifth most popular surname in the area. The clan have produced a number of worthy name-holders, and prominent amongst them have been Father James O'Coigley of Armagh, who was nearly executed by the French Revolutionaries during the period of 1789 - 1796, when the church was banned in France. He escaped, only to be caught supporting the would be French Invasion of Ireland in 1798. This time he was not so lucky, being executed at Cork as a traitor. Bishop James Quigley of Buffalo, USA, (1840 - 1915) also had some lucky escapes. He was a major supporter of Trade Unionism, which made him very unpopular at a tough time in the development of American Industry.
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