Dannelly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Dannelly originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnghaile, derived from the words "donn," which means "brown," and "gal," which means "valor."
Early Origins of the Dannelly family
The surname Dannelly was first found in County Donegal. Later, the sept expanded eastward and became based at Ballydonnelly in the county of Tyrone. The name continues to be common in this area of Ireland today.
The name is believed to be directly descended from King Niall of the Nine Hostages, the great Irish general/king who died by the River Seine in France about 365 A.D., after soundly defeating the Romans and being instrumental in their return to the south. Niall made King Arthur's exploits seem rather small by comparison.
The Donnelly chief was always elected Chief Marshall of the O'Neill forces and their exploits have filled the pages of Irish history compiled by the Four Masters. They are a part of the great Clann Eoghan(Owen).
They claim to be seventeenth in descent from the great King Niall, and their territories were at Ballydonnelly in County Tyrone.
Early History of the Dannelly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dannelly research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1641, 1650, 1716, 1786, 1816, 1825, 1826 and 1836 are included under the topic Early Dannelly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dannelly Spelling Variations
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 Dannelly family name. Variations found include Donnely, Donnelly, Donelly, O'Donnelly, O'Donelly, Donnolly, Donnally, Donolly, Donnilly, Donnelie, Donneley, O'Donnally and many more.
Early Notables of the Dannelly family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Patrick Donnelly (1650-1716), an Irish Roman Catholic Bishop, known as The Bard of Armagh, born in Desertcreaght, Cookstown, County Tyrone.
John Feltham Danneley, "born at Oakingham in 1786, was the second son of a lay-clerk of St. George's Chapel, Windsor. At fifteen years of age he studied thorough bass under Samuel Webbe, and the pianoforte first under Charles Knyvett and afterwards under Charles Neate. He resided...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dannelly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dannelly migration to the United States +
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 Dannelly or a variant listed above, including:
Dannelly Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Peter Dannelly, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1904
- Patrick Dannelly, aged 20, who landed in America from New Derry, Ireland, in 1908
- Hugh Dannelly, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1912
- Edward Dannelly, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States, in 1922
- John Dannelly, aged 44, who immigrated to America, in 1923
Contemporary Notables of the name Dannelly (post 1700) +
- William "Bill" Dannelly, American former Wilcox County probate judge, eponym of the William "Bill" Dannelly Reservoir, Wilcox County, Alabama
- Charlie Smith Dannelly (b. 1995), American politician, Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly
- Brian Dannelly, German-born, American Gen Art Film Festival winning film director and screenwriter
- Charlie Dannelly, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 2004 
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