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

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

The original Gaelic form of O'Donnell was O Domhnaill, which means descendant of Domhnall or descendant of Donal.

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Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname O'Donnell are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include O Donnell, O'Donald, O'Donle, O'Donall, O'Donnell and others.

First found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where records show this distinguished Irish Clann were directly descended from Connell, son of King Niall of the Nine Hostages who died in 371.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Donnell research. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1571, 1602, 1601, 1602, 1575 and 1608 are included under the topic Early O'Donnell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 149 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Donnell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the O'Donnell family relocated to North American shores quite early: Charles, Roger, Thomas, William O'Donald who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860; Phillip O'Donel arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1767.

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  • Chris O'Donnell (b. 1970), American film actor
  • Roseann "Rosie" O'Donnell (b. 1962), American multiple Daytime Emmy Award winning and Emmy Award winning actress and talk show host
  • Edward Joseph O'Donnell (1932-2009), American Bishop Emeritus of Lafayette
  • Martin "Marty" O'Donnell (b. 1955), American composer known for his work the video games Myth, Oni, and Halo
  • Neil Kennedy O'Donnell (b. 1966), former American NFL football quarterback
  • Don Leopoldo O'Donnell (1809-1867), Spanish general and statesman, Prime Minister of Spain (1856) whose heritage lay with the Irish O'Donnells of Tyrconnel
  • Daniel O'Donnell, Irish contemporary singer
  • Patrick Denis O'Donnell (1922-2005), Irish military historian
  • Stephen O'Donnell (b. 1986), Irish professional footballer
  • Patrick Cardinal O'Donnell (1856-1927), Archbishop of Armagh

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  • O'Donnell-Miller and Associated Families by Dorothy Miller O'Donnell.
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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. 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).
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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'Donnell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Donnell 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 23 August 2014 at 19:31.

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