Reilly Family

Background & Chart

Reilly Surname

Reilly is among the ten most frequently found surnames in Ireland and although it is widespread it can be mostly found in the regions of the ancestral homeland. Variations of the name include; O'Reilly and Riley.

Descendants of James Reilly

Little is known of James Reilly. It is understood that he may have come from Westport in County Mayo. Described as a servant, he had a son, also James who married a Sally Eakin on 14 December 1857 at Banagher Presbyterian Church. The young James is described to be your full age (i.e. Over 21), a bachelor and servant of Tyrglassan; his bride, Sally a minor (i.e. under 21) and spinster of Straid. The father of the bride was David Eakin a cottier (i.e. a peasant farmer who rented a simple dwelling and worked a smallholding on a year to year tenure). It would seem that the Eakins were Presbyterians and the Reillys were Church of Ireland.

James and Sally established a home in Straid. Records show that James was a general labourer. Between them they had twelve children of whom nine survived. The nine where Stewart, David, Alan Clark, James, Jane Smith, George, Sarah, Martha and a second David.

  • Stewart Reilly, the eldest, and married to Jean Miller had 5 children. Four of these are known to have emigrated to the Toronto area of Canada.. Curiously the remaining son, James went by the surname of Riley, others may also have done. Interestingly, sons David and James married their Reilly first cousins.
  • Alan Clark Reilly is thought to have had a twin, David yet no more is known of him. Alan Clark, married Agnes McCarther who together raised a family of 11 children. Of these Henry, George, Robert John, Charles and David emigrated to the Toronto area of Canada. One who remained, Elizabeth married her cousin, James Riley, son of Stewart, above. One son, David is understood to be the only one to return from Toronto after not settling there.
  • James Reilly married Mary Jane Whiteside and had 16 children of there own and adopted one more.
  • Sarah Reilly married David Craig and had 7 children, 6 of whom survived. All of the family emigrated to Toronto.
  • Martha Reilly, married to Robert Ferguson, had 6 children. All emigrated to Toronto. Their Daughter Martha married David Reilly son of Stewart above.

Come the time of the 1901 census James and Sarah Reilly together with their son David were living in the townland of Killycor, Cumber Upper Parish. Their denomination was recorded as Church of Ireland i.e. Anglican.

A New Life in Toronto

Of James’ and Sally’s family as many as 22 and possibly more, children and grandchildren went to Toronto.

Family Tree Chart

The family tree can be viewed as a pdf document. Provided you have Adobe Acrobat reader you may view the chart by clicking here.