Healy Last Name Meaning and Origin

What Does the Last Name Healy Mean?

Getty / Mark Gerum

The popular Irish surname Healy, is a shortened form of O'Healy, an anglicized form of one of the following:

(1) the Gaelic surname Ó hÉilidhe, meaning "descendant of the claimant," from the Gaelic éilidhe, meaning "claimant." The Ó hÉilidhe clan originated in Connaught.

(2) the Gaelic surname Ó hÉalaighthe, meaning "descendant of Éaladhach," a given name likely derived from ealadhach, meaning "ingenious." The Ó hÉalaighthe clan originated in Munster.

Healy is now rarely found with the O prefix, such as O'Healy, O'Haly or O'Hely, all common forms of the surname up to the end of the seventeenth century.

Healy may also be a geographical English surname for any of the places named "Healey" (or variants such as Hayleg, Helei, Heley, Helagh, and Helay) found in Lancashire, Northumberland or Yorkshire. The name means "the high clearing or wood", derived from the Old English heah, meaning "high" and leah, meaning "glade or clearing in a wood."

Healy is one of 50 common Irish surnames of modern Ireland, ranking forty-seventh on the list with a total Irish population of about 13,000. 

Surname Origin: Irish, English

Alternate Surname Spellings: HEALEY, HEELEY, HEELY, O'HEALY, O'HALY, O'HELY, O'HEALEY, HALY, HELY, HAILY

Famous People with the Surname HEALY:

  • Mark Healy - American surfer
  • Cecil Healy - Australian swimmer
  • Dermot Healy - Irish novelist, playwright and poet
  • James Augustine Healy - first African-American Roman Catholic bishop in the United States
  • Roy Healy - American rocket scientist
  • Timothy Michael Healy - Irish politician

​Genealogy Resources for the Surname HEALY:

World Names Surname Profiler - Distribution of the HEALY Surname
Trace the geography and distribution of the HEALY surname through this free online database.

It is fairly common throughout Ireland, with the greatest concentrations found in western Ireland.

HEALY Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Healy surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Healy surname query.

FamilySearch - HEALY Genealogy
Explore over 2 million results, including digitized records, database entries, and online family trees for the Healy surname and variants on the FREE FamilySearch website, courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

HEALY Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Healy surname.

DistantCousin.com - HEALY Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Healy.

-- Looking for the meaning of a given name? Check out First Name Meanings

-- Can't find your last name listed? Suggest a surname to be added to the Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins.

Find a Surname:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

-----------------------

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

MacLysaght, Edward. Surnames of Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1989.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


>> Back to Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins