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Scally (also spelled Scully, Skelly, O'Scully, Scullin, Scullane[1]) and "Scalaí" in Irish[2] is a surname of Irish origin.


The surname Scally is an anglicized version of the Gaelic "O Scolaidhe", which means "descendant of the scholar".[3] It was first found in County Westmeath. The variations of the name were formed when church officials spelled the names as they were pronounced, which caused many different spellings of the surname.


The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O' Scolaidhe,[4] which was dated around 1100 by the Ancient Records of Westmeath during the reign of High Kings of Ireland.

The Scully clan were forced to move to Munster by Anglo-Norman pressure. One branch of the family settled in North Tipperary while another branch settled in South Tipperary. Scullys Cross can be found near Cashel,[5] which was put there by the South Tipperary branch of the family.

The form Skelly is found mainly in Counties Roscommon and Westmeath.

Emigration from Ireland[edit]

From 1845 onwards, Ireland was gripped by the potato famine. Well over a million Irish people fled Ireland or were deported, and between one and two million starved to death. Records indicate that the members of the Scally family were among the first to emigrate to America. Between 1800 and 1870, many members of the Scally family arrived in Philadelphia.[6]


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