Author Archives: Peter Killey

Killey Surname of Purely Native Origin

Thanks to “As Manx As The Hills” on FB for this information.

Peter Killey

I Need Your Help – Please add your name or a comment to the Killey Genealogy log here…

I would really like to hear from all the Killey’s out there!
If you wish, please add a comment or two to this page so all us Killey’s can keep up to date as to where we are in the world and to find out a little bit about our ancestry.
Here is a link to the old Genealogy Log which had to be disabled due to spammers (Feb 2017).
Thank you.

WordPress &

Just played around tweeking the site and hopefully I can now post to my new blog.

A little bit about Me

My name is Peter Killey

  • I was born and raised on the Isle of Man quite a few years ago now! (ouch)
  • I was born on a Sunday at 03.30hrs in the morning
  • My star sign is Gemini
  • My birthstone is Perl or Moonstone
  • The season I was born into was Spring
  • I was born in the Chinese year of the Tiger
  • A child that is born on the Sabbath day, is bonny and blithe and good in every way (That’s Me!)
  • I attended St Mary’s School, Ballakermeen School and St Ninnians School
  • I am a Joiner by trade
  • However I am now a Retired Firefighter (29 happy years in Service)

Peters New Blog Page

I am very pleased to say that I have re-launched after a long time where nothing really happened.

I have also found a new WordPress (webpage) theme that allows me to easily add pages and posts and images very easily that also allows for anyone visiting my site to easily get in touch with me or leave a comment on any of the subjects on this site.

I hope you like the new site and I look forward to speaking to you soon and adding plenty more information from now on.



A little bit about the Surname Killey

Welcome to my website, please have a look around the site where you will find a small amount of information regarding the surname “Killey” In due course I will add as much “Killey” information, photography and genealogy to this site as possible.

If you think you can assist in anyway whatsoever with my Killey Genealogy please feel free to contact me either via the Contact page on this site or by signing the Genealogy Log on the right hand side of this website.

Peter Killey, Isle of Man

Surname – Killey Pronounced kil-yah

KILLEY originally Mac Gilla Ceallagh, anglicised in Ireland into Mac Killey Kelly and Killy Kelly.  The MAC & the KELLY have been dropped, leaving KILLEY, which is identical in meaning with Gale, Gell and Gill. (Gaelic, guilley: Irish Giolla, ‘a servant’) Indeed, in the Isle of Man, formerly, the same person was called Gale, Gell, Gill and Killey indifferently.

Further research has found that the original meaning of Killey would be “son of the servant of Ceallagh” where Ceallagh (pronounced KEL-akh) is an Irish name of uncertain origin, traditionally said to mean “bright-headed”.  Alternatively it could be derived from Old Irish Ceallach (variant of Ceallagh) “war, strife” or ceall “church”.

Killie is known in 1610, Killey in 1651 and Killiah in 1693. This last variation gives a good indication of the now Manx pronunciation of (kil-yah).

In many Isle of Man place names Killey has the meaning “of the church” as in Ballakilley, “the farm of the church”.

Quilliam also adds an interesting snippet from his book – The saying “Having a Killey’s thirst” records a man with a prodigious liquid capacity!

Click here to download Dr. Brian Stowell’s short audio clip, which briefly explains the surname Killey and how it came about. (103KB).

Laa Columb Killey

Another interesting item appertaining to the Surname Killey is “Laa Columb Killey” which is an annual event that takes place in Arbory Parish in the South of the Isle of Man, see below information from Arbory Parish Commissioners website;

LAA COLUMB KILLEY” means ST. COLUMBA’S DAY (or literally) the Day of the Church of St. Columba. In ancient times the Festival was observed on the anniversary of the day on which St. Columba died on the steps of the Altar in the Cathedral of lona, viz. Whit Sunday, 597. It was customary that the service in the Church (Arbory Church being dedicated to St. Columba) should be followed by public games and rejoicings, and when the people were thus gathered together they availed themselves of the opportunity of doing a “bit of business” in the Churchyard. This it is stated, was the origin of our Manx fairs. In the course of time it was forbidden to hold gatherings in the Churchyards and they were afterwards held on the village “Green” (common land). After 1752, when the New Calendar Act came into operation, the old style was observed in keeping the Fairs in the Island, and Columba’s Fair – styled “Ballabeg Fair” in later days – was accordingly held on the 22nd June. In later years, the Festival has been revived, and is now always held on the Thursday nearest the above date.

Chalse-y-Killey  (Circa 1870) An extract from Francis Coakleys Manx Worthies

Charles Gell generally known as Chalse-y-Killey, wandered over the island ” going on the houses.” But, though he begged, he performed many useful offices for his numerous friends and acquaintances, and for this and his power of quaint and humorous anecdote he was welcomed everywhere. He was supposed to be, and no doubt was, in some respects, rather silly but he nevertheless possessed considerable shrewdness. Truly devout, and to this he appears to have owed his nickname, which signifies “Charles of the Church,” he was a fanatic where Roman Catholics were concerned. On one occasion, when asked where he had been, he remarked that he had been at the Union Mills with ” Pazon Drury putting the Romans out.”  Another subject which greatly excited him was the people being deprived of their grazing on the “commons.” At a meeting at Sulby, with regard to: it, he said: ” We muss put down this Popery, we muss hev a big grave made, and we’ll hev the Pope in first, and then we’ll hev Thomas Arthur.  A little later, when Governor Loch, with a possé of police and special constables, perambulated the southern commons to clear them of sheep belonging to the evicted commoners – the battle of Cronk-ny-irree-lhaa as this perambulation was called – Chalse made his appearance early in the day, and walked along  with measured tread and solemn look, carrying aloft a flag extemporised out of a pocket handkerchief. He said very little except that the ‘great ‘Captain’ would in his own good time regulate all things and deal out equal justice to all. (Chalse, it should also be remembered, was a temperance orator In this, as in other respects he has been immortalised by the Rev. T. E. Brown, in the charming poem – To Chalse in Heaven).

All information contained on this website – is copyright of Peter Killey unless otherwise stated.

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