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

Origins Available: French, Irish

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

All Irish surnames have a unique and often romantic meaning. The name O'Day originally appeared in Gaelic as O Deaghaidh or O Diaghaidh.


The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name O'Day revealed spelling variations, including Day, Dea, O'Dea and others.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'Dea was chief of Dysart-O'Dea, now the parish of Dysart, barony of Inchiquin, one of the original chiefs and clans of ancient Thomond.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Day research. Another 396 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1318 and 1434 are included under the topic Early O'Day History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 280 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Day Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of O'Day:

O'Day Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James O'Day, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Danial O'Day, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Alice O'Day, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Daniel O'Day, aged 50, who settled in America, in 1896
  • Fanny O'Day, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

O'Day Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • George O'Day, aged 26, who landed in America from Tullycrine Co. Clare, in 1905
  • John O'Day, aged 7, who emigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • Geraldine O'Day, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Edward F. O'Day, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1908
  • David C O'Day, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1910


  • Anita O'Day (1919-2006), American jazz singer
  • Alan O'Day (1940-2013), American singer-songwriter, best known for writing and singing "Undercover Angel," an American No. 1 hit in 1977
  • Aubrey O'Day (b. 1984), American singer, dancer, actress, songwriter, fashion designer, former member of the group Danity Kane
  • Caroline Love Goodwin O'Day (1875-1943), American politician
  • Devon O'Day (b. 1962), American radio personality, former plus-sized model for the Ford Modeling Agency, songwriter, and an author
  • George O'Day (1923-1987), American sailor, Olympic champion and boat designer
  • Hank O'Day (1862-1935), American right-handed pitcher, umpire and manager in Major League Baseball
  • Marcus O'Day (1897-1961), American physicist
  • Molly O'Day (1911-1998), American film actress
  • Molly O'Day (1923-1987), American country music vocalist in the late 1940s



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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  6. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  7. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The O'Day Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Day 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 5 October 2013 at 11:49.

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