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KEILTY Family History

Recorded in the spelling of Keilty, Kiltie, Kilty, and Quilty, this Irish surname is an anglicized form of the ancient Gaelic name O'Caoilte or sometimes MacCaoilte. The prefix "O" indicates "descendant of", which "Mac" is more direct and describes the "son of", plus in this case the personal name Caoilte, thought to be derived from the Gaelic element "coill" meaning a "wood" or more likely "caol" meaning "the slender one", and presumably a nickname for the first chief of the clan. The majority of Irish surnames derive from the nicknames of the chiefs, some being by modern standards rude or even lewd! The surname is mainly found in the province of Munster and then in counties Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary.

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