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Donneley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Donneley family

The surname Donneley 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 Donneley family

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

Donneley Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Donneley family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Donnely, Donnelly, Donelly, O'Donnelly, O'Donelly, Donnolly, Donnally, Donolly, Donnilly, Donnelie, Donneley, O'Donnally and many more.

Early Notables of the Donneley family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Donneley family to the New World and Oceana

Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Donneley: 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.

Donneley Family Crest Products

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