While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Conelly is O Conghalaigh, O Conghaile, or O Coingheallaigh.
Early Origins of the O'Conelly family
The surname O'Conelly was first found in Connacht
, as well as County Monaghan
. There were three Gaelic septs whose name was Anglicized as Connolly: the O Conghalaigh sept (also known as O Conghaile) who lived in Connacht
and the adjacent County Monaghan; the O Coingheallaigh sept, which also used the alias Mac Coingheallaigh, were subordinate to the powerful O'Donovans and dwelled in West Cork in Munster; and another sept, related to the O'Maddens, resided in Connacht
and were of the Ui Maine.
Early History of the O'Conelly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Conelly research.Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1591, 1660, 1729, 1738, 1803, 1750 and 1825 are included under the topic Early O'Conelly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Conelly Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, surnames were spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations
were revealed in the search for the origin of the name O'Conelly family name. Variations found include Connolly, Conolly, Connally, O'Connolly, Connolley, Conally, Connelly, Conoley, Connaleigh, Connelay, Conley, Conlay, Conlaye and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Conelly family (pre 1700)
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Conelly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Conelly family to the New World and Oceana
Under the rule of England
, land ownership in Ireland
changed dramatically, and many native Irish families
found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine
created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of O'Conelly or one of its variants: Michael and Thomas Connally who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1834 and 1856 respectively; M. Connolley settled in New York in 1820; John Connolly settled in Virginia in 1773.