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


Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Donley originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnghaile, derived from the words "donn," which means brown, and "gal," which means valor.

Donley Early Origins



The surname Donley 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.

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Donley Spelling Variations


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Donley Spelling Variations



Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Donley were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Donnely, Donnelly, Donelly, O'Donnelly, O'Donelly, Donnolly, Donnally, Donolly, Donnilly, Donnelie, Donneley, O'Donnally and many more.

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Donley Early History


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Donley Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donley research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1641, 1650 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Donley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Donley Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Donley Early Notables (pre 1700)



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

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Donley family in North America:

Donley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jude Donley, who landed in America in 1638

Donley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Donley, aged 33, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1811
  • Owen Donley, who landed in Maryland in 1840
  • Jane Donley, aged 22, landed in New York, NY in 1849
  • John Donley, aged 24, arrived in New York, NY in 1849
  • Thomas Donley, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1854
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Donley (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Donley (post 1700)



  • Joseph Benton Donley (1838-1917), American Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Charles "Red" Donley (1923-1998), long-time American sports and news anchor
  • Jimmy Donley (1929-1963), American singer-songwriter
  • Douglas "Doug" Max Donley (b. 1959), former American football wide receiver
  • Roy L. Donley (1885-1939), American businessman
  • Kevin Donley (b. 1951), American football coach and former player
  • Michael Bruce Donley (b. 1952), the American 22nd Secretary of the United States Air Force

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Donley Family Crest Products


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Donley Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. 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).
    2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
    4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    8. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    11. ...

    The Donley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Donley 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 10 September 2015 at 14:14.

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