Various surnames and place names in Ireland are more easily written in English as Hurley. One etymology would be to derive it from the surname OhUirthile, which means 'of Uirthile', Uirthile being a personal name, more easily written in English as Urley or Earley.
The clan in County Limerick whose name is most easily written in English as O'Hurley, though it can also be written as Murilly, is from an area where there is a place called Rathurley. This interests me particularly as a few days ago I posted about the name Ranfurly, another family name that has come into usage as a personal name for men, and, my exposure to the name was its use as a woman's name. Ranfurly is a Scottish place name as well, and seems to mean 'a part' of "a feorling", which is a land measurement. I wonder if there is any connection between the two place names, or the surnames.
Another etymology derives Hurley from O Muirthile, a surname meaning 'of Muirthile' and can be written as Muirhilla or Murley. It can also be written as O'Hurley.
Another family name in Ireland, written as O'Herlihy in English, or as O'Hurley, is O hiarlatha.
Another source I consulted was St. Ciaran Patron of Ossory: A Memoir of His Life and Times. It refers to a place in Ireland (Munster) called Orlaidhe, Arleudhe, or Urliudhe. The English version of these names being either Urley or Earley. It refers to the countryside near Scottsborough, on the borders of Ossory and Munster, along the banks of "the King's river". This place is referred to because, after a certain battle, the army of the people from Ossory retreated through this tract of land. It cites O'Reilly's Irish dictionary for the meaning of Orlaidhe or Urliudhe, which is "a skirmish" or "a conflict". Some of the place names in the area reflect this name. Harleypark is a townland, the book calls it "evergreen", that had been called Ros-na-Harley, which means "The Ross of Arley", ross meaning 'grove', so "the grove of Arlaidhe", or "the grove of the conflict".
You will remember the countryside near Scottsborough. Scottsborough was named for a family of Scotts (as in the surname Scott) that lived there. Before that, though, it was called Urling. Originally that was Urluidhe or Arlaidhe. So when one of those Scotts became a Viscount of the area, his title was Viscount de Earlsfort, or fort of Urluidhe, or Earley. Baile Orlaidhe became, under English rule, Newtown-de-Earley. Afterward it was simply Earleytown, and then Earlstown. Just a few miles from Kilkenny.
The famous battle that was fought, was fought in 445 A.D. and is called the Battle of the Feimhin. It is said that Cairthind son of Colboth, son of Niall 'fell in this battle' and that he was 'one of the Picts'. Which brings me back to the idea of the family that the place Ranfurly is named for (one theory is that the place is named for the family that was 'seated' there). I can't help but wonder if there is a connection. In fact, it leads me to wonder at the rare woman given the name Ranfurly or Hurley. Perhaps it was as much a way of honoring the family's early heritage as anything else.
Imani - Swahili, derived from the Arabic word 'iman' meaning 'faith' or 'belief'.
Joalba - This unique name is one I encountered on a lady with Puerto Rican heritage, I believe her parents smooshed their names together, his was Jose, I think, and hers was Alba (Alba means 'dawn' in Spanish). Pronounced 'joe all bah' in English.
|Puerto Rican family|
A side note about the meaning of Alba in Spanish. Alba is the first light of dawn that appears, even before the sun rises above the horizon. You know that point in early morning where it goes from being black to the sky beginning to lighten? That is alba.
|alba, or the first light of dawn|
Keltie - Scottish Gaelic "Cailtidh" from the Celtic word 'caleto' meaning 'hard' and 'dubro' meaning 'water'. Kelty is the name of a coalmining town in Fife, Scotland.
Lemanuel- according to William Ricketts Cooper, in his book An Archaic Dictionary: Biographical, Historical, and Mythological; From the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Etruscan Monuments and Papyri, this name is featured in Cabalistic mythology and is the spirit of the moon.
Malo -name of a Welsh monk who lived in the sixth century, his name is also written Maclow or Mac Low and in French as Maclou. Malo is pronounced 'muh LO".
Nicodemus - Greek, meaning "vanquisher of the people".