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'Connolly is O Conghalaigh, O Conghaile, or O Coingheallaigh.
Early Origins of the O'Connolly family
The surname O'Connolly 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'Connolly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Connolly 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'Connolly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Connolly Spelling Variations
One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname O'Connolly were found in the many archives researched. These included Connolly, Conolly, Connally, O'Connolly, Connolley, Conally, Connelly, Conoley, Connaleigh, Connelay, Conley, Conlay, Conlaye and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Connolly family (pre 1700)
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Connolly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Connolly family to the New World and Oceana
Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families
left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name O'Connolly: 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.
Suggested Readings for the name O'Connolly
- The Flow of Time: The Allisons & the Conners, with Related Branches of Southwest Virginia by Laura Allison Carrothers.