Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Donelle originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnghaile, derived from the words "donn," which means brown, and "gal," which means valor.
Early Origins of the Donelle family
The surname Donelle 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 Donelle family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donelle research.Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1641, 1650 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Donelle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Donelle Spelling Variations
A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations
during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Donelle include Donnely, Donnelly, Donelly, O'Donnelly, O'Donelly, Donnolly, Donnally, Donolly, Donnilly, Donnelie, Donneley, O'Donnally and many more.
Early Notables of the Donelle family (pre 1700)
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donelle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donelle family to the New World and Oceana
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 Donelle: Catherine and Hugh Donnelly who settled in New York in 1803; Hugh Donnelly settled in Belfast, Maine in 1820; Bryan, Peter and Thomas Donnelly landed in America in 1763.