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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish, Italian

Where did the Irish Costello family come from? What is the Irish Costello family crest and coat of arms? When did the Costello family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Costello family history?

The Costello surname came to Ireland with the Anglo- Norman invasion of the 12th century. They were originally from the Norman family Nangles, or de Angulos, and descended in Ireland from Gilbert de Nangle. Costello and associated variations come from the personal name of a son of Gilbert, Oisdealbhach, whose name consists of the elements "os," which means "deer or fawn", and "dealbhadh," which means "in the form of" or "resembling." The Gaelic form of the surname Costello, which predated the Anglicized version of the name, is Mac Oisdealbhaigh. This is the earliest recorded example of a Norman family assuming a Mac surname. The prefix O has sometimes been erroneously assumed.

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Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations encountered while researching the name Costello. Some of these variations included: Costello, MacCostello, Costillo, Costallo, Kostello, McCostello, Caustello, Costellow and many more.

First found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they were granted lands by the Earl of Pembroke in the Anglo- Norman invasion of 1172.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Costello research. Another 275 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1500, 1803 and 1865 are included under the topic Early Costello History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Costello Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Costello:

Costello Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Honor Costello who landed in America in 1756
  • Robert Costello, who landed in America in 1760-1763

Costello Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edmond Costello, aged 35, arrived in Maryland in 1813
  • Thomas Costello, who landed in New York NY in 1815
  • Ellen Costello, aged 55, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Ann Costello settled in New York State in 1848
  • Bridget Costello settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1850


Costello Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Sam Costello, who arrived in Alabama in 1922

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  • Louis Francis "Lou" Costello (1906-1959), American actor and comedian best known as half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Bud Abbott
  • Vice Admiral Barry M. Costello, American Commander of the US Third Fleet of the United States Navy, (2005 to 2007)
  • Helene Costello (1906-1957), American silent film actress
  • John Costello (b. 1850), U.S. Navy sailor and Medal of Honor recipient
  • Maurice Costello (1877-1950), American vaudeville actor
  • Paul Vincent Costello (1894-1986), American triple Olympic Gold Medal winner
  • De Clan Costello (b. 1926), Irish jurist, member of the Irish Parliament and Attorney-General
  • Les Costello (1928-2002), Canadian ice hockey player and Catholic priest
  • Elvis Costello (b. 1954), born Declan Patrick McManus, English Grammy Award winning, twice Brit Award nominated singer and songwriter, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2003)
  • Peter Howard Costello (b. 1957), Australian lawyer and former politician

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ne te quaesiveris extra
Motto Translation: Seek nothing beyond your sphere.

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  1. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Costello Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Costello Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 August 2014 at 21:42.

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