Many of the Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name O'Donavon originally appeared in Gaelic as O Donnabhain, derived from the words "donn," which means "brown," and "dubhan," a derivative of "dubh," which means "black."
Early Origins of the O'Donavon family
The surname O'Donavon was first found in County Limerick
(Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland
, in the province of Munster
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times at Bruree. Their hereditary territory were the lands along the banks of the river Maigues in that county. They were descended from Crom, the Chief of the Donovans, who built Crom Castle, and he in turn was descended anciently from Eoghan Mor (Eugene the Great), King of Munster
. Amhailgadh II's son, Crom's great, great grandfather, was a commander with King Brian Boru in the Battle of Clontarf against the Danes, and it was at this time through marriage that they lost the throne of Munster.
Early History of the O'Donavon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Donavon research.Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1639, 1584, 1641, 1689, 1684, 1705 and 1689 are included under the topic Early O'Donavon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Donavon Spelling Variations
The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the O'Donavon family name revealed numerous spelling variations
, including Donovan, Donavon, Donavan, Donevan, Donnovan, Donnavon, Donnavan, Donnovin and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Donavon family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Donal II O'Donovan (Irish: Domhnall Ó Donnabháin), The O'Donovan of Clann Cathail, Lord of Clancahill (died 1639); Donal III O'Donovan (Irish: Domhnall Ó Donnabháin), The O'Donovan of Clancahill, (born before 1584), he joined the so-called Irish Rebellion of 1641 under Donagh MacCarthy... Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Donavon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Donavon family to the New World and Oceana
Under the rule of England
, land ownership in Ireland
changed dramatically, and many native Irish families
found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine
created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of O'Donavon or one of its variants: Daniell Donavan who settled in Barbados in 1680; Ann, Bat, Bridget, and Catharine Donavan all settled in Boston Massachusetts between 1847 and 1850; they also settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Maryland, and New York.