Donevan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many of the Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name Donevan originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnabhain, derived from the words "donn," which means "brown," and "dubhan," a derivative of "dubh," which means "black."

Early Origins of the Donevan family

The surname Donevan was first found in County Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times at Bruree. Their hereditary territory were the lands along the banks of the river Maigues in that county. They were descended from Crom, the Chief of the Donovans, who built Crom Castle, and he in turn was descended anciently from Eoghan Mor (Eugene the Great), King of Munster. Amhailgadh II's son, Crom's great, great grandfather, was a commander with King Brian Boru in the Battle of Clontarf against the Danes, and it was at this time through marriage that they lost the throne of Munster.

Early History of the Donevan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donevan research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1639, 1584, 1641, 1689, 1684, 1705 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Donevan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donevan Spelling Variations

One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname Donevan were found in the many archives researched. These included Donovan, Donavon, Donavan, Donevan, Donnovan, Donnavon, Donnavan, Donnovin and many more.

Early Notables of the Donevan family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Donal II O'Donovan (Irish: Domhnall Ó Donnabháin), The O'Donovan of Clann Cathail, Lord of Clancahill (died 1639); Donal III O'Donovan (Irish: Domhnall Ó Donnabháin), The O'Donovan of Clancahill, (born before 1584), he joined the so-called Irish Rebellion of 1641 under Donagh MacCarthy and was accordingly stripped of his estates by...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donevan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Donevan migration to the United States +

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 Donevan family name:

Donevan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Donevan, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [1]
Donevan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Donevan, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1823
  • Florence Donevan, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849
  • Honora Donevan, aged 19, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Daniel Donevan, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1858 [1]
  • Patrick Donevan, who settled in Philadelphia in 1865

Australia Donevan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Donevan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Donevan, (Donovan), (b. 1807), aged 19, Irish nurse girl who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 7 years for house robbery, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers


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