Welcome to the O'Kelly Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the O'Kelly surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching O'Kelly ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The O'Kelly Family Tree
Everyone has different reasons for building a family tree; your personal motiviation will influence whether the O'Kelly family tree has more depth or breadth. Have you struck a O'Kelly brick wall? Read "Know Where to Begin Your Genealogical Search" for some helpful advice.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering O'Kelly Ancestors
Patronymics is the practice of naming children using the given name of the father, grandfather, or other male ancestor preceeded by a prefix. In the case of O'Kelly, it is possible that one of your Gaelic/Irish ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Kelly." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
Many things can go wrong when a record collection is indexed. If you're having diffculty finding O'Kelly ancestors in a particular database at one site, try finding it on another and compare the results. If you want to know What are the best records before birth and death registration was required to locate O'Kelly ancestors?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for O'Kelly
Census records are among the most useful records available for family tree building. There are currently matching O'Kelly records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online O'Kelly family history resource today.
Origins of the O'Kelly Surname
There are no clear, concise answers to why or how one of your O'Kelly ancestors took on the surname. It may have been based on their occupation or a distinguising physical trait. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
O'Kelly DNA Projects
While DNA testing cannot conclusively tell you if two O'Kelly ancestors were related, it can easily prove if they weren't. Be sure you understand what types of research issues each different DNA test can address before you spend any money. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your O'Kelly research, read "When do you use DNA?".
O'Kelly Family History
For most people, just about every aspect of their life has been influenced in some way by their ancestors. Look beyond the names and dates to understand how and why your O'Kelly ancestors lived and strived to make a better life for their descendants. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Looking at Our Ancestors" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your O'Kelly family history.
Networking with O'Kelly Researchers
In the course of genealogy research, collaboration is key -- we really cannot do it alone, and one of the great benefits of participating in community message boards is building relationships that not only enlightens our research but strengthens bonds across the miles. The article "The Art of Posting Queries" provides some valuable tips for posting successful O'Kelly queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive O'Kelly ancestors.
O'Kelly Achievements & Celebrities
Web Sites & Blogs with O'Kelly Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of O'Kelly, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Upcoming O'Kelly Family Reunions
Whenever possible, consider holding the family reunion in place where you have a strong O'Kelly family history, which provides opportunities to share stories and visit cemeteries or old home sites; you may even want to consider as a one-day activity, having each family take on the task of gathering information from the local courthouse, school district, public library, etc. -- this, of course, requires advance planning and assignment, but could generate considerable interest and results. The article "A Great Way to Unite a Newly-Found Family" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful O'Kelly reunion.