Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Donly originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnghaile, derived from the words "donn," which means brown, and "gal," which means valor.
Early Origins of the Donly family
The surname Donly 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 Donly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donly research.Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1641, 1650 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Donly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Donly Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations
for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Donly were encountered in the archives: Donnely, Donnelly, Donelly, O'Donnelly, O'Donelly, Donnolly, Donnally, Donolly, Donnilly, Donnelie, Donneley, O'Donnally and many more.
Early Notables of the Donly family (pre 1700)
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donly family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Donly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Patrick Donly, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
- Mary Donly, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833