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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, O'Toole appeared as O Tuathail, which is derived from "tuathal," which means "people mighty."


Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name O'Toole family name. Variations found include Toole, Tool, O'Toole, O'Tool, Tooley, Toile and many more.

First found in County Kildare (Irish:Cill Dara), ancient homeland of the Kildare based Uí Dúnlainge (Kings of Leinster), located in the Province of Leinster, seated at O'Toole's Castle, where they were descended from Tuathal, King of Leinster who died in 950 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Toole research. Another 307 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1327, 1590, 1128, 1180, 1225, 1327, 1670 and 1722 are included under the topic Early O'Toole History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 131 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Toole Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name O'Toole or a variant listed above, including:

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

  • Austin, Henry, James, John, Martin, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, and William O'Toole all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

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

  • Ann O'Toole, aged 58, who settled in America from Tullamore, in 1906
  • Alicia O'Toole, aged 27, who landed in America from Tusk, Ireland, in 1909
  • Adeline O'Toole, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States from Dublin, Ireland, in 1912
  • Alice O'Toole, aged 20, who settled in America from Castlecomer, Ireland, in 1912
  • Anastasia O'Toole, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from Manchester, England, in 1920

O'Toole Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Aggie O'Toole, aged 20, who emigrated to Conception Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1910


  • Joseph O'Toole, American Lawyer
  • James "Jim" Jerome O'Toole (b. 1937), retired American Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher
  • Annette O'Toole (b. 1952), American actress, dancer, and singer-songwriter, best known for portraying Martha Kent, the mother of Clark Kent on the television series Smallville
  • Maureen O'Toole (b. 1961), American silver medalist water polo player at the 2000 Summer Olympics
  • Peter Seamus O'Toole (1932-2013), Irish eight-time Academy Award-nominated actor best known for his performances in such films as "Lawrence of Arabia", "Becket" and others, recipient of three Golden Globes and an Emmy
  • Peter O'Toole, Irish musician
  • Joseph John "Joe" O'Toole (b. 1947), former Irish independent politician
  • Sergeant Edmund O'Toole VC, Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross for his efforts at the Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Ulundi
  • Jason O'Toole (b. 1973), Irish author and journalist
  • Martin Joseph O'Toole (1925-2013), Irish Fianna Fáil politician



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  1. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  2. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  11. ...

The O'Toole Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Toole 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 3 February 2015 at 21:04.

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