This is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic name "O' Scolaidhe" or "O' Scolaire". The Gaelic prefix "O" indicated "male descendant of", plus "Scolaide", a Crier i.e. one whose duty it was to announce important forthcoming events, or "Scolaire", a student. Originally a Westmeath Clan, the Scullys were driven by Anglo-Norman pressure to Munster c.1170. One branch of the family settled in Lorrha (North Tipperary), and another established itself in South Tipperary, near Cashel. Clan members were interred by the famous Rock of Cashel and have a memorial there called Scully's Cross. The form Skelly is found mainly in Counties Roscommon and Westmeath. On September 1st 1601, Sara, daughter of John Skelly was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London. One, Bartholomew Skelly, a merchant of Drogheda, appears in the Jacobite attainders of 1692. In the modern idiom, the name is found as O' Scully, O' Scollee, Skelly, Skally, Scally and Scully. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O' Scolaidhe, which was dated circa 1100, Ancient Records of Westmeath, during the reign of High Kings of Ireland "with opposition", 1022 - 1166. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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