Maolmordha "Miles" Riley 
- Born: 1614, , , , Ireland
- Marriage: Nancy Hull 
- Died: 1669 at age 55
THE RILEY FAMILY:
Irish History-the O'Reillys
The O'Reilly Coat of Arms, the severed hand
The Riley Coat of Arms has two lions with asevered and blood-dripping hand between the two lions. It is said that the invading King told his two sons that the first son touching the new land would have his choice of lands. The two sons stood at the head of their boats as they approached land. Realizing that he was not going to reach land first, one of the brothers took his sword and chopped off his own hand at
the wrist and hurled it to shore just before his brother touched shore. He, therefore, became the greater land holder of what was to become Ireland. Through Irish history, all those claiming descent from the brother who cut off his hand have displayed a bloody hand on their armor.
Miles Riley, b. 1614 -d.1669(1)
Miles Riley was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in 1614. As of this
writing, I know nothing of Miles' parents or his place of birth, but it
is known that he had two brothers, Garrett and Thomas. On January 2nd, 1634, Miles and his brother Garrett left county Cavan and booked passage on the merchant ship Bonaventure sailing from London, England. The ship was captained by James Ricrofte. The ship's manifest lists Mile's age as 20 years, and Garrett's as 24. They swore an oath of allegiance to the ship's captain, and sailedfor the Virginia Colonies. It is suspected that they debarked at New Point Comfort in Virginia near the Potomac River and Maryland. Miles settled in Rappahannock County, Virginia. In 1663 in Rappahannock County, Miles applied for and was granted a King's Land Grant of 200 acres, and an additional 1,100 acres in 1665. He received these grants for paying the passage of about 20 new immigrants in 1662/65. (Later Rappahannock County's name was changed, and is now known as Orange County, Virginia.) While Miles and Garrett were in the Colonies, a rebellion in Ireland broke out in 1641, and as a result the English took ten years to regain control. As a concession to the Protestant Irish, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell allowed the Irish to purchase land and houses about 1650. Miles's brother, Garrett, plied his trade as a carpenter in the Colonies, but apparently sold any free land grants he had and bought his passage back to Ireland. Evidently, Garrett had heard of this change in English policy. He purchased a six-room, thatched-roof house in the town of Kells, County Meath, Ireland. Garrett Reyley (Riley) appears on the AValuation of Kells@, a sort of tax roll, or census, in the years 1655 and 1665.
A third brother of Miles, Thomas Riley (or O rily), is listed in a land
grant in the 1660's. He is not shown as arriving on the Bonaventure with Miles and Garrett, but may have been sponsored by Miles at a later time. His age was listed as 16 upon arrival in Virginia, in 1654. He settled in Accomack County Virginia. Descendants of Thomas settled in Accomack County, and some migrated up the peninsula to Sussex County, Delaware, while others went to Somerset/Worcester County, Maryland. A sister, Elizabeth Riley, also migrated from Ireland, but there are no records of her found. She is included here in the hopes that some connection can be made, and that she will not be forgotten.
Miles is on record as having four sons. Their Irish names were
respectively, Seaan, Emonn, Tomes, and Aodh. The English made the Irish people change their names to fit the English language, so their
Anglicized names were John, Edward, Thomas, and Hugh. Miles' Irish name was Maolmordha. There is no record so far of Miles' wife at this time. Named as Ninian Riley's father in the Nancy Riley Clarke diary. THREE VANDEREN SISTERS OF OWEN COUNTY, KENTUCKY, by David C.McMurtry, 1990, cites a list of passengers of THE BONADVENTURE, which left the port of London, England, on
January 2, 1634
Maolmordha married Nancy Hull  [MRIN: 6508].