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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

The spelling and overall form of Irish names often vary considerably. The original Gaelic form of the name Doyle is O Dubhghaill, derived from the words dubh, which means black, and ghall, which means foreigner, or "dubhgall," which meant "dark and tall." [1]


Names written in official documents were generally spelt as they sounded, leading to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion in records of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Doyle that are preserved in documents of the family history are Doyle, O'Doyle, Doyill, Doill, Doile, Doyel and others.

First found in the counties of Wicklow, Wexford, and Carlow. Although the name is now common throughout Ireland, it has always retained a close association with these southeastern Leinster counties. Although at least one historian gives their descent from Dubhgilla, King of Idrone in Leinster, more evidence points to descent from King Conn of the " Hundred Battles." His name comes from the hundreds of battles he fought and won, before his death in the 2nd century. It is traditionally believed that the family takes its name from a Norseman who settled in Ireland prior to the Norman Conquest; a theory that is borne out by the fact that the Doyles tended to be more concentrated in the coastal regions favored by Norse settlers. Moreover, the Gaelic word dubhghall was used in early times to refer to a Norseman or Scandinavian. With the settlement of Norsemen in various places, several distinct septs called O Dubhghail probably arose independently. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doyle research. Another 305 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1786, 1834, 1873, 1917, 1797 and 1868 are included under the topic Early Doyle History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 59 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Doyle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Doyle:

Doyle Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Doyle who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as early as 1683
  • Ed Doyle, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1683

Doyle Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Owen Doyle, who arrived in Maryland in 1711
  • Elizabeth Doyle, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1716
  • Eliza Doyle settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1716
  • Thos Doyle, who arrived in Virginia in 1717
  • Elizabeth Doyle settled in Virginia in 1723

Doyle Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Lawrence Doyle, who landed in America in 1800
  • Walter Doyle, who landed in America in 1801
  • Patk Doyle, aged 20, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Michl Doyle, aged 27, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Margt Doyle, aged 34, landed in New York, NY in 1804


  • Laurance R. Doyle (b. 1953), American principal investigator and astrophysicist for SETI
  • Major-General John Paul Doyle (1904-1988), American Director of Transportation, Headquarters US Air Force (1952-1955)
  • Brian Doyle (b. 1955), American former Major League Baseball player
  • Brian J. Doyle (b. 1950), former Press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • David Fitzgerald Doyle (1929-1997), American actor, best remembered for his role as detective John Bosley on the television series Charlie's Angels
  • Jack Doyle (1869-1958), American Major League Baseball player
  • Arthur Doyle (1944-2014), American jazz saxophonist, flutist, zanzithophonist and vocalist
  • Roddy Doyle (b. 1958), Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter and winner of the Booker Prize in 1993
  • Miss Elizabeth Doyle (d. 1912), aged 24, Irish Third Class passenger from Bree, Wexford who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Richard James "Dic" Doyle (1923-2003), Canadian journalist, editor, and Senator made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1983



  • Patrick Doyle and Timothy Keane, Their Families and Descendants by Clarke L. Neal.

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: Fortitudine Vincit
Motto Translation: He conquers by fortitude.


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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  4. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  5. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Doyle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Doyle 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 25 September 2014 at 21:51.

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