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

Origins Available: French, Irish

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

All Irish surnames have a unique and often romantic meaning. The name O'Day originally appeared in Gaelic as O Deaghaidh or O Diaghaidh.


The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name O'Day revealed spelling variations, including Day, Dea, O'Dea and others.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'Dea was chief of Dysart-O'Dea, now the parish of Dysart, barony of Inchiquin, one of the original chiefs and clans of ancient Thomond. Today Dysert O'Dea Castle still stands near Corofin, County Clare with its Romanesque Doorway and High Cross and was the site of the Battle of Dysert O'Dea in 1318. It was here that the Irish chieftain Conor O'Dea, chief of the Cineal Fearmaic and ally of Murtough O'Brien, stood his ground only to be defeated by the invading forces from Scotland.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Day research. Another 273 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1318 and 1434 are included under the topic Early O'Day History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 279 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Day Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of O'Day:

O'Day Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James O'Day, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Danial O'Day, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Alice O'Day, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Daniel O'Day, aged 50, who settled in America, in 1896
  • Fanny O'Day, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

O'Day Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • George O'Day, aged 26, who landed in America from Tullycrine Co. Clare, in 1905
  • John O'Day, aged 7, who emigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • Geraldine O'Day, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Edward F. O'Day, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1908
  • David C O'Day, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1910

O'Day Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Dennis O'Day, aged 40, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Liverpool

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

  • Elizabeth O'Day, aged 21, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873


  • Anita O'Day (1919-2006), American jazz singer
  • Alan O'Day (1940-2013), American singer-songwriter, best known for writing and singing "Undercover Angel," an American No. 1 hit in 1977
  • Aubrey O'Day (b. 1984), American singer, dancer, actress, songwriter, fashion designer, former member of the group Danity Kane
  • Caroline Love Goodwin O'Day (1875-1943), American politician, the third woman, and first woman Democrat, elected to Congress from New York
  • Daniel O'Day, one of northwestern Pennsylvania's earliest independent refiners to be brought into John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company
  • Darren O'Day (b. 1982), American Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Texas Rangers
  • Devon O'Day (b. 1962), American radio personality, former plus-sized model for the Ford Modeling Agency, songwriter, and an author
  • George O'Day (1923-1987), American sailor, Olympic champion and boat designer
  • Hank O'Day (1862-1935), American right-handed pitcher, umpire and manager in Major League Baseball
  • Marcus Driver O'Day (1897-1961), American physicist, eponym of the O'Day lunar crater



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  1. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  5. 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).
  6. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  10. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  11. ...

The O'Day Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Day 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 31 July 2015 at 17:05.

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