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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish O'Connell family come from? What is the Irish O'Connell family crest and coat of arms? When did the O'Connell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the O'Connell family history?

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

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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 O'Connell family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Connell, O'Connell, Cannell, Connall, Conell, Conall, Connill, Connull, Connel, Connal, Connul, Canell, Cannel, O'Connall, O'Conell and many more.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Connell research. Another 526 words(38 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1300, 1621, 1641, 1678, 1743, 1775, 1826, and 1833 are included under the topic Early O'Connell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

O'Connell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • James O'Connell, aged 22, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork
  • Patrick O'Connell, aged 45, a teacher, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway
  • Michael O'Connell, aged 8, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway
  • Biddy O'Connell, aged 6, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway
  • Daniel O'Connell, aged 4, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway


O'Connell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John O'Connell, aged 21, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Standard"
  • William O'Connell, aged 33, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"
  • Patrick O'Connell, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Tantivy"
  • Cornelius O'Connell, aged 31, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Caucasian"
  • Michael O'Connell, aged 26, arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "Escort"

O'Connell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Cornelius O'Connell, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" in 1867
  • Denis P. O'Connell, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875
  • Patrick O'Connell, aged 21, a farm labourer, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
  • John O'Connell, aged 32, a farm labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878
  • Martin O'Connell, aged 21, a ploughman, arrived in Westland aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878


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  • Jerry O'Connell (b. 1974), American television and film actor
  • Arthur O'Connell (1908-1981), Academy Award nominated American stage and film actor
  • Daniel P. O'Connell (1885-1977), American politician from New York
  • Helen O'Connell (1920-1993), American singer, actress and dancer, member of the Jimmy Dorsey Band
  • William Henry O'Connell, American Archbishop and Cardinal
  • Aaron Douglas O'Connell (b. 1981), American experimental quantum physicist, creator of the world's first quantum machine
  • Bill O'Connell (b. 1953), American jazz pianist and bandleader from New York City
  • Charles "Charlie" O'Connell (b. 1975), American actor and reality television personality
  • Jeremiah "Jerry" O'Connell (b. 1974), American Young Artist Award winning actor, best known for his roles in the TV series Sliders and My Secret Identity
  • Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), Irish politician, referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator for his campaigns for Catholic Emancipation

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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.

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  1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  11. ...

The O'Connell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Connell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 June 2015 at 20:30.

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