The name "Quilty" is an Anglicized form of the ancient Gaelic name of "Caoilte", (pronounced: Cweeltia). There was a mythic Celtic warrior (c. 3rd Century A.D.) by that name who was the Irish equivalent of a "knight of the round table." According to legend he lived long enough to be baptized by St. Patrick (c.389-461). The book "If You're A Wee Bit Irish: a chart of old Irish families collected from folk tradition" by William Durning (1978) recounts the ancestry of Caoilte back to Adam. James Joyce (1882-1941) in chapter twelve of his masterpiece, Ulysses, (1922) has "The tribe of Caolte" as one of the twelve tribes of Ireland in a biblical parallel to the twelve tribes of Israel. Quilty is also a small town in County Clare Ireland, near the black cliffs of Moher.
(Gaelic) : Caoilte, Caolte, Cuallta
(English): Kielty, Kealty, Keelty, Keilty, Kelty, Kilty, Quilty, (with or with out an O' or Mc or Mac) The most common are Kielty and Quilty.
Meaning: Possibly a derivation of coillte meaning woods or at the wood and caol meaning slender.
Coat-of-Arms: A broken Lance held in armoured hand, set over a bend of gules on an argent ground.
Motto: " Lamb Ladir an Nachtar-meaning,"the strong hand uppermost."
Demographics: In 1850 there were over 75 families bearing the name of "Quilty" in Ireland, over half of them in County Limerick. As of 2005, there were about 300 families bearing the name of "Quilty" in the United States alone, almost half them in the northeast, with the highest concentrations in the states of Massachusetts, New York, Florida, Illinois, and California.
Listed chronologically according to year of birth:
Thomas John (Tom) Quilty (1887-1979) Australian station owner, philanthropist and poet. In 1966 he donated 1000 pounds for a trophy, "The Tom Quilty Gold Cup", as the winner award for a 100 mile (160 km) national championship endurance horse event, held annually in Australia since 1966. Tom to this day still holds the record for the largest freehold land acreage in Australia's history, 3 million acres (12,000 km²).
John Quilty (1921-1969) Canadian Hockey Player born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Center. Played for Montreal Canadians 1940-42 & 1946-48 and Boston Bruins 1948-49. Won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1941.
Ellis Quilty (1926-2005) Son of Reg Quilty. One of the last of the true Quilty men that pioneered Australia's rugged country. Entered in the Stockmen's Hall of Fame for his contribution to the History of Australia's Cattle Men, running cattle on a 1 million acre (4,000 km²) station.
Michael Quilty (1959-2001) firefighter with NYFD Ladder 11, 911 hero & fatality.
Sean Quilty (1966-) Australian Marathon Runner: Won the silver medal for the men's marathon in the 1994 Commonwealth Games, and participated in the 1996 Olympics.
Donnchadha Quilty (1983-) a graduate of Trinity College Dublin in Natural Sciences (2006), studied maths at Cambridge University (2006/7) has been awarded a Fullbright Scholarship for a Ph.D program at MIT in Boston in the field of high energy physics.
Jeffrey Quilty (1989-) French scholar, once represented Newfoundland and Labrador in the international final of La Dictée P.G.L. Will be attending Memorial University of Newfoundland in fall 2008. Also a notable sports trivia competitor, was the 1st half winner of Sportsnet.ca's Ramada Premiership Predictor this season. Currently resides in Marystown, Newfoundland, Canada
Kevin Quilty (1987-) Born in the mean streets of Brookfield, Kevin Quilty didn't have an easy life growing up. Life was full of vicious bike races (won and lost)dangerous intramural basketball games in middle school and tackle football in the school yard. Yet he survived and is now known as the top representative of the remaining Quiltys.
Clare Quilty is also the name of a rock band whose first album was released in 1997.