O'Conil History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Conil is O Conaill.

Early Origins of the O'Conil family

The surname O'Conil was first found in County Limerick where O'Connell was the chief of Hy-Cuilean, a territory south-east of Abbeyfeale, in the barony of Upper Connello near the borders of Cork and Kerry. The O'Connells had their chief residence in Castle Connell. In the twelfth century the O'Connells settled in Kerry. One reference claims that the O'Falvies, admirals of Desmond; the O'Connells, of Kerry; O'Sheas, chiefs of Muskerry, in Cork; and several other chiefs, claim descent from the Clan na Deaga, Chiefs of Munster, originally a branch of the Heremonians of Ulster.

The Cannell variant is "a name peculiar to the Isle of Man, is from the Celtic MacConaill." [1]

Early History of the O'Conil family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Conil research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1300, 1641, 1621, 1678, 1743, 1833, 1775 and 1826 are included under the topic Early O'Conil History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Conil Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname O'Conil can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Connell, O'Connell, Cannell, Connall, Conell, Conall, Connill, Connull, Connel, Connal, Connul, Canell, Cannel, O'Connall, O'Conell and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Conil family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the O'Conil family

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the O'Conil name: John Cannell who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1652; John Cannell settled in New England in 1652; Henry Cannell settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.



The O'Conil Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ciall agus neart
Motto Translation: Reason and power.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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