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

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

The original Gaelic form of Odonnell 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 Odonnell 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 Odonnell research. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1571, 1602, 1601, 1602, 1575 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Odonnell 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 Odonnell 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 Odonnell 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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  1. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  2. 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.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Odonnell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Odonnell 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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