This is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic name Mac Toridhealbhaigh. The Gaelic prefix 'mac' indicates 'son (of)', plus the personal name 'To(i)r' meaning 'Towering Warrior' and 'dealbhach' translating as 'statuesque' or 'in the shape of'. The names Turley and Torley (usually without the prefix 'Mac') are mainly found in the Northern Irish counties of Antrim, Down, Armagh and Derry. On June 4th 1791, one A(r)my Turley married a John Brown in Belfast, County Antrim. A Patrick (Mc) Torley is recorded in Londonderry (October 23rd 1813). It is interesting to note that the surname Turley suddenly appears in County Roscommon Church Registers circa 1865. The birth of one, Mary Turley on February 4th 1867 (Creagh District Hospital) being an example. The name appears in 19th Century Armagh records. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Turley daughter of Martin Turley, which was dated May 16th 1641, baptised in Lisburn, County Antrim, during the reign of King Charles I of England, The Martyr, 1625 - 1649. 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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