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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. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. 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.
  3. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  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. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  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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