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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name Donahue originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnchadha, which means son of Donnchadh or son of Donagh.

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The surname Donahue was first found in County Kerry (Irish:Ciarraí) part of the former County Desmond (14th-17th centuries), located in Southwestern Ireland, in Munster province, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Donahue are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include Donoghue, Donaghoe, Donaho, Donahoe, Donough, Donahue, Donahow, Doneghoe, Donehue, Donighue, Donohoe,Donahugh, Donohough, Donohow, Donohue, Donaughue, O'Donoghue, Dunphy, Donaghie, Donaghy and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donahue research. Another 210 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1640, 1811, 1812, and 1893 are included under the topic Early Donahue History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donahue Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Irish families boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination at that time. Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants to North America bearing the Donahue family name:

Donahue Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Philip Donahue, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Donahue Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Donahue, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1837
  • William Donahue, who arrived in Indiana in 1852
  • Patrick Donahue, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853
  • Bridt Donahue, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Pat Donahue, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1854


Donahue Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Edmond Donahue, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • John Donahue, aged 22, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast

Donahue Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Donahue, aged 17, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin"
  • Mary Donahue, aged 19, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin"
  • Denis Donahue, aged 35, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Gloucester"
  • Mary Donahue, aged 20, a seamstress, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry"
  • Mary Donahue, aged 20, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa"


Donahue Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Cornelius Donahue, aged 21, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879

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  • Miss Sarah Donahue (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Jed Donahue (b. 1960), American sports radio announcer
  • Troy Donahue (1936-2001), born Merle Johnson, Jr., American actor
  • Thomas R. Donahue (b. 1928), American organized labor activist
  • Terry Donahue (b. 1944), American college football coach, inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame (2000)
  • Sam Donahue (1918-1974), American saxophonist, best known for his work with Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and others
  • Francis Rostell "Red" Donahue (1873-1913), American Major League Baseball player
  • Pat Donahue, American baseball player
  • Joseph Donahue (b. 1954), American poet
  • Mike Donahue (1871-1960), American athlete and football coach

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  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  3. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  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. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Donahue Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Donahue 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 April 2016 at 17:17.

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