O'Donahue History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name O'Donahue originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnchadha, which means son of Donnchadh or son of Donagh.

Early Origins of the O'Donahue family

The surname O'Donahue was first found in County Kerry (Irish:Ciarraí) part of the former County Desmond (14th-17th centuries), located in Southwestern Ireland, in Munster province, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the O'Donahue family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Donahue research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1640, 1811, 1812, and 1893 are included under the topic Early O'Donahue History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Donahue Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, scribes recorded people's names as they saw fit. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations. For O'Donahue some of these variations included: Donoghue, Donaghoe, Donaho, Donahoe, Donough, Donahue, Donahow, Doneghoe, Donehue, Donighue, Donohoe,Donahugh, Donohough, Donohow, Donohue, Donaughue, O'Donoghue, Dunphy, Donaghie, Donaghy and many more.

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

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


United States O'Donahue migration to the United States +

Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name O'Donahue or one of its variants:

O'Donahue Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bridget O'Donahue, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1894
  • Mary O'Donahue, aged 26, who landed in America from Ballyvanglen, in 1899
O'Donahue Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph O'Donahue, aged 14, who settled in America from Palmerstown, in 1902
  • Hannah O'Donahue, aged 21, who landed in America from Stradbally, Co. Waterford, in 1905
  • Mrs. Charles A. O'Donahue, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Mary O'Donahue, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland, in 1921
  • David O'Donahue, aged 39, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name O'Donahue (post 1700) +

  • James Patrick Michael "Pat" O'Donahue (b. 1930), former American NFL football defensive end
  • James G. O'Donahue, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly 88th District, 1974 [1]
  • Thomas O'Donahue (b. 1887), British high jumper at the 1912 Summer Olympics


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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