O'Donald History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The original Gaelic form of O'Donald was O'Domhnaill, which means descendant of Domhnall or descendant of Donal(l.) The name is derived from the Irish words "domhan" (the world) and "all" (mighty): son of Colga, a quo O'Domhnaill.  The surname claims descendancy from the Heremon Kings of Ireland. 
Early Origins of the O'Donald family
The surname O'Donald was first found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where records show this distinguished Irish Clann were directly descended from Connell, son of King Niall of the Nine Hostages who died in 371. Today the most numerous listing of the name can be found in Tirconaill (Donegal), but there are two other branches that are significant, those in Corcabaskin in West Clare, and those of the Ui Maine (Hy Many) in County Galway.  All descend from the same ancestor name Domhnall (English: Donal) and are O Domhnaill (Irish Gaelic.) The Donegal "promedominance only dates from the thirteenth century; prior to that they were located in the comparatively restricted area around Kilmacrenan, County Donegal." 
Important Dates for the O'Donald family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Donald research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1571, 1602, 1601, 1602, 1575 and 1608 are included under the topic Early O'Donald History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Donald Spelling Variations
Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name O'Donald family name. Variations found include O Donnell, O'Donald, O'Donle, O'Donall, O'Donnell and others.
Early Notables of the O'Donald family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Red Hugh O'Donnell (1571-1602), Irish chieftain and Earl of Tyrconnel, who fought against the English, but was defeated, with Hugh O'Neill, 2d Earl of Tyrone, at Kinsale in 1601. He was succeeded in...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Donald Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Donald migration to the United States
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the O'Donald family in North America:
O'Donald Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Charles, Roger, Thomas, and William O'Donald who, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860
O'Donald migration to New Zealand
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
O'Donald Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Robert O'Donald, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
You May Also Like
- ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)