Donnelly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

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

Early Origins of the Donnelly family

The surname Donnelly 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.

Important Dates for the Donnelly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnelly research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1641, 1650 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Donnelly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donnelly Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Donnelly 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.

Early Notables of the Donnelly family (pre 1700)

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

Donnelly migration to the United States

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Donnelly or a variant listed above:

Donnelly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Donnelly, who landed in America in 1760-1763 [1]
  • Bryan, Peter and Thomas Donnelly, who landed in America in 1763
Donnelly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Catherine and Hugh Donnelly who settled in New York in 1803
  • Terrence Donnelly, who arrived in America in 1810 [1]
  • William Donnelly, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • William Donnelly, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Hugh Donnelly, who landed in America in 1811 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnelly migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Donnelly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Donnelly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1808
  • Jane Donnelly, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Owen Donnelly, aged 33, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Mary Donnelly, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Henry Donnelly, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnelly migration to Australia

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

Donnelly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Donnelly, a farrier, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Catherine Donnelly, aged 22, Irish convict from Cavan, who was transported aboard the "Arabian" in November 22nd, 1846, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Bridget Donnelly, aged 17, a housemaid, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino" [3]
  • Ellen Donnelly, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino" [3]
  • Jane Donnelly, aged 39, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino" [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnelly migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Donnelly Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Donnelly, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Donnelly, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Eliza Donnelly, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • James Donnelly, aged 42, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • Mary Donnelly, aged 30, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Donnelly (post 1700)

  • Kenneth J. Donnelly (1950-2017), American politician, Massachusetts state senator for the Fourth Middlesex district
  • Joseph Simon "Joe" Donnelly Sr. (b. 1955), American politician, United States Senator from Indiana (2013-)
  • Eleanor C. Donnelly (1838-1917), American Catholic poet, short story writer and biographer, nicknamed "The Poet of the Pure Soul"
  • Elaine Catherine Corrigan O'Brien Donnelly (1955-2014), American flight instructor and politician
  • Ted Donnelly, American jazz artist
  • Dorothy Donnelly (1880-1928), American musical actress
  • Donal Donnelly (b. 1931), Irish-American actor
  • Ignatius Donnelly (1831-1901), American politician and writer
  • Charles Donnelly (1914-1937), Irish poet and political activist
  • Ms. Cl Iona Donnelly B.E.M.,, British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to Music and Young People in Northern Ireland [4]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Donnelly family

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss May  Donnelly (1911-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [5]
  • Mrs. Sarah  Donnelly (1890-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [5]
  • Miss Ethel  Donnelly (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [5]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Peter Donnelly, English Fireman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [6]
  • Mr. John Donnelly, English Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [6]

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Citations

  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arabian voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1846 with 26 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arabian/1846
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Navarino.htm
  4. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  5. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  6. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
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