Donlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Many variations of the name Donlan have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Domhnallain, derived from the personal name of Domhallan, Lord of Clan Breasail, from whom the sept claims descent.

Early Origins of the Donlan family

The surname Donlan was first found in Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Important Dates for the Donlan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donlan research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1649, 1705, 1616, 1640, 1588, 1665 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Donlan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donlan Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Donlan were encountered in the archives: Donellan, Donnellan, Donnelan, Donelan, Donnellin, Donellin and many more.

Early Notables of the Donlan family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Reverend Nehemiah Donellan (d. 1609), Archbishop of Tuam, who translated the New Testament into Irish. His first son was Nehemiah Donnellan (1649-1705), an Irish lawyer and judge and...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donlan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donlan migration to the United States

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Donlan:

Donlan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Donlan, who landed in Virginia in 1769-1770 [1]
Donlan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Martin Donlan, aged 32, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Patrick Donlan, aged 60, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [1]

Donlan migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Donlan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jeremiah Donlan, aged 24 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Avon" departing 19th May 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 26th July 1847 but he died on board [2]

Donlan migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Donlan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Donlan, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "South Sea"

Contemporary Notables of the name Donlan (post 1700)

  • James Donlan (1888-1938), American actor from San Francisco who appeared in 107 films between 1929 and 1939
  • Gretchen Donlan (b. 1993), American pair skater
  • Kenneth Donlan (1927-1994), British newspaper editor who worked for the Daily Mail for 25 years
  • Steve Donlan, English professional rugby league footballer
  • Stuart Donlan (b. 1978), English former professional rugby league footballer

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  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 69)
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