Driscoll History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Before Irish names were translated into English, Driscoll had a Gaelic form of O hEidersceoil, from the word eidirsceol, which means an intermediary.

Early Origins of the Driscoll family

The surname Driscoll was first found in the southern part of the county of Kerry. They were later forced out of this territory by the O'Sullivans, and migrated eastward, settling around Baltimore in the southwest of County Cork. They remain almost exclusively in this region today, despite the depredations of the neighboring O'Donovan and O'Mahony septs. [1]

"The original habitat of the O'Driscolls was the Barony of West Carbery, in County Cork, where O'Driscoll was Lord of Baltimore, and possessed the Island of Cape Clear and adjacent territory. The great majority of the present Driscolls are to be found there." [2]

The sept takes its name from Eidersceoil, who was born around 910 AD, and was in turn descended from Lughaide Laidhe, who was the ancestor of the Corca Laoidheclann which occupied the area of Cork belonging to the diocese of Ross. The variant Dirsicall was ten times more common than O'Driscoll eighty years ago, the situation has now been reversed.

Early History of the Driscoll family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Driscoll research. Another 216 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1698, 1460 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Driscoll History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Driscoll Spelling Variations

The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the Driscoll family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Driscoll, O'Driscoll and others.

Early Notables of the Driscoll family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Driscoll Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Driscoll migration to the United States +

A great wave of Irish migration occurred during the 19th century as a direct result of English colonial rule and tight-fisted absentee landlords. Many of these Irish immigrants boarded passenger ships bound for North America. Those who migrated early enough were given land in either British North America or the United States; those who came in the late 19th century were typically employed in industrial centers as laborers. At whatever age they undertook the dangerous passage to North America, those Irish immigrants were essential to the speedy development of the two infant nations to which they arrived, whether they broke and settled land, helped build canals, bridges, and railroads, or produced products for consumer consumption. An examination of immigration and passenger lists has uncovered a large number of immigrants bearing the name Driscoll or one of its variants:

Driscoll Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Driscoll, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737 [3]
  • Jeremiah Driscoll, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 [3]
  • Cornelius Driscoll, who arrived in New England in 1781 [3]
Driscoll Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jerman Driscoll, who arrived in Mississippi in 1843 [3]
  • Canelius Driscoll, aged 28, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1844 [3]
  • Daniel Driscoll, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1849 [3]
  • Denis Driscoll, who landed in Mississippi in 1851 [3]
  • J Driscoll, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Driscoll migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Driscoll Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Maurice Driscoll, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1752
Driscoll Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Driscoll, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1802
  • Timothy Driscoll, aged 36, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • David Driscoll, aged 28, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Peter Driscoll, aged 24, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Ellen Driscoll, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Driscoll migration to Australia +

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

Driscoll Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Darby Driscoll, Irish convict who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. Andrew Driscoll, British convict who was convicted in Kent, England for life, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Mr. Michael Driscoll, (b. 1820), aged 15, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836, he died in 1837 [6]
  • Mr. John Driscoll, English convict who was convicted in Bristol, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Honora Driscoll, aged 17, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin" [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Driscoll 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:

Driscoll Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Driscoll, British settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [9]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Driscoll, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [9]
  • Daniel Driscoll, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cresswell" in 1856
  • Thomas Driscoll, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cresswell" in 1856
  • Mr. Matthew Driscoll, (b. 1838), aged 26, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ivanhoe" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th June 1864 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Driscoll (post 1700) +

  • Michael Patrick Driscoll (1939-2017), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Boise (1999–2014)
  • John L. Driscoll (1896-1968), American football coach and sports figure
  • John Driscoll (b. 1981), American television and soap opera actor
  • Devin "Devon" Driscoll (b. 1982), American professional wrestler
  • Denny Driscoll (1855-1886), American Major League Baseball player
  • Charles Benedict Driscoll (1885-1951), American journalist and editor
  • Mark Driscoll (b. 1959), American television producer and writer
  • Lieutenant William P Driscoll (b. 1947), United States Navy Flight Officer who received the Navy Cross during the Vietnam War [11]
  • Willie Driscoll, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Daniel B. Driscoll, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight 191
  • D Driscoll, American passenger from Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash [12]
Halifax Explosion
  • Master Gordon D.  Driscoll (1908-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Master James Louis  Driscoll (1916-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Daniel Driscoll, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [14]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Cornelius Driscoll, English Third Waiter from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [15]
  • Mr. Timothy J. Driscoll, American 3rd Class passenger from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [15]


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Matheson, Robert E., Special Report on Surnames in Ireland with Notes as to Numeric Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., 1894. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  7. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 23rd August 2020, Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie)
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELGIN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Elgin.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ William Driscoll. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) William Driscoll. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Driscoll
  12. ^ Flight 191's Victims - latimes. (Retrieved 2014, April 16) . Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/1985-08-04/news/mn-4349_1_fort-lauderdale-area
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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