The Irish surname Connolly is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Conghaile meaning “ descendant of Conghal, “a personal name meaning “hound valiant” or of Ó Conghalaigh meaning “descendant of Conghalach, “ a derivative of Conghal; the two surnames have long been confused. Another possible origin is the West Cork name Mac Coingheallaigh meaning “son (or ‘descendant’) of Coingheallach, “ a personal name meaning “faithful to pledges.” The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tirlogh O'Connola, Chief and Vice-Marshal to MacMahon, which was dated 1591, in the "Fiants Records of County Monaghan. A notable bearer of the name was James Connolly, the Irish Socialist Republican and signatory of the Irish declaration of Independence, executed following the Easter Rising of 1916. In the last US census in 2010 there were almost 30,000 people with the surname Connolly living in The United States.
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