- This interesting name of Medieval Irish origin is one of the variant forms of (O) Daly, itself an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic name O Dalaigh. The Gaelic prefix 'O' indicates 'male descendant of' plus the personal nickname 'dalach' from 'dail', an assembly or meeting place as in Dail Eireann. The chief O' Daly sept belonged to County Westmeath. Several namebearers of the clan distinguished themselves in the field of literature including the first recorded namebearer (see below). From County Westmeath and the bordering parts of County Meath the (O) Dalys spread to County Clare. Donagh Mor O'Daly (deceased 1244), who was born at Finvarra in this county was called 'the Irish Oved'. On November 1st 1583, Richard Daley was christened in St. Mary At Hill, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Curonnacht O'Dalaigh, which was dated 12th Century, he flourished in the 12th Century and presided over a bardic school in Co. Meath, during the reign of Interregnum: 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.