Riley Family Crest, Coat of Arms & Riley Name Origin

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Riley Family Crest

Riley Coat of Arms, Family Crest - Click here to view

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Origin of the Name Riley

The origin of the name Riley was found in the archives. Variants of Riley include Reilly and O'Rahilly. This Irish sept had their territories in County Cavan, being the most powerful family in Breffny. They were kinsmen of the O'Conor Kings of Connacht, through Maolmordha, whose great grandson was Ragheallach from whom the O'Reillys took their name. Their Chief was head of Breffny-O'Reilly, and in the middle ages his influence extended into Meath and Westmeath. To this day they are still numerous in Breffny, heading as they do the County list both in Cavan and in Longford. In 1878 O'Reilly landlords possessed over 30,000 acres. Five O'Reillys have held the position of Archbishop of Armagh.
The Riley coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Riley descendants.
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