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

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

Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Connell is O Conaill.

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Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the O'Connell family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Connell, O'Connell, Cannell, Connall, Conell, Conall, Connill, Connull, Connel, Connal, Connul, Canell, Cannel, O'Connall, O'Conell and many more.

First found in County Limerick where O'Connell was the chief of Hy-Cuilean, a territory south-east of Abbeyfeale, in the barony of Upper Connello near the borders of Cork and Kerry. The O'Connells had their chief residence in Castle Connell. In the twelfth century the O'Connells settled in Kerry. One reference claims that the O'Falvies, admirals of Desmond; the O'Connells, of Kerry; O'Sheas, chiefs of Muskerry, in Cork; and several other chiefs, claim descent from the Clan na Deaga, Chiefs of Munster, originally a branch of the Heremonians of Ulster.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Connell research. Another 526 words(38 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1300, 1621, 1641, 1678, 1743, 1775, 1826, and 1833 are included under the topic Early O'Connell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 28 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Connell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name O'Connell or a variant listed above: John Cannell who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1652; John Cannell settled in New England in 1652; Henry Cannell settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.

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  • Jerry O'Connell (b. 1974), American television and film actor
  • Arthur O'Connell (1908-1981), Academy Award nominated American stage and film actor
  • Daniel P. O'Connell (1885-1977), American politician from New York
  • Helen O'Connell (1920-1993), American singer, actress and dancer, member of the Jimmy Dorsey Band
  • William Henry O'Connell, American Archbishop and Cardinal
  • Aaron Douglas O'Connell (b. 1981), American experimental quantum physicist, creator of the world's first quantum machine
  • Bill O'Connell (b. 1953), American jazz pianist and bandleader from New York City
  • Charles "Charlie" O'Connell (b. 1975), American actor and reality television personality
  • Jeremiah "Jerry" O'Connell (b. 1974), American Young Artist Award winning actor, best known for his roles in the TV series Sliders and My Secret Identity
  • Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), Irish politician, referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator for his campaigns for Catholic Emancipation

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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: Ciall agus neart
Motto Translation: Reason and power.

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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  3. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  4. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The O'Connell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Connell 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 24 October 2014 at 22:32.

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