This interesting surname of Irish origin is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic personal name Raghailleach, Old Irish Roghallach, being of unknown origin. The surname dates back to the late 16th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Reily, Rielly Realy, Really, Reely, etc.. One John Reilly married Elizabeth Barry on June 3rd 1689, at St. Katherine by the Tower, London. Elizabeth Reilly was christened at St. John, Smith Square, London, on September 29th 1734. One Hugh Reilly was a political writer. He was a master in chancery and clerk of the council in Ireland in James 11's reign. He accompanied James 11 into exile, and published "Ireland's Case briefly stated" in 1695. Catherine Reilly, aged twenty years, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Jane" bound for New York on May 5th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Ryley married Elizabeth Philippes, which was dated 1572, at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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