An Irish surname, Foley comes from the Gaelic term ‘foghladha’ which means a plunderer, robber or pirate. The spelling variations for Foley include Foolie, Foli, Sharry, Foaley, MacSharry, Mcharey, Foalie and Fowlie. In Ireland the Foley name began in Waterford, near the Munster region. The name spread into Cork and Kerry counties. During the 18th and 19th centuries many Foley families from Ireland resettled in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It still remains a common surname in most of Ireland. In England the Foley name is scattered across most of England and Wales. The highest populated counties with the Foley name at Glamorgan in Wales, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and the city of London in England. In Scotland Foley families reside mostly in Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Fife, Angus and Dumfries-shire counties. Within the United States the Foley surname started in Massachusetts, New York Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio and California. Famous: Clyde “Red” Foley (singer), Charles “Curry” Foley (professional U. S. baseball player, originally from Ireland), Ellen Foley (actress and singer), Scott Foley (actor), Margaret Foley (artist), Rick Foley (ice hockey player from Canada), Steve Foley (professional football player), Louise Foley (writer) and Jack Foley (poet).