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O'Donelan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



Many variations of the name O'Donelan have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Domhnallain, derived from the personal name of Domhallan, Lord of Clan Breasail, from whom the sept claims descent.

Early Origins of the O'Donelan family


The surname O'Donelan was first found in Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the O'Donelan family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Donelan research.
Another 319 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1649, 1705, 1616, 1640, 1588, 1665 and 1660 are included under the topic Early O'Donelan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Donelan Spelling Variations


Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name O'Donelan revealed many variations, including Donellan, Donnellan, Donnelan, Donelan, Donnellin, Donellin and many more.

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


Prominent amongst the family at this time was Reverend Nehemiah Donellan (d. 1609), Archbishop of Tuam, who translated the New Testament into Irish. His first son was Nehemiah Donnellan (1649-1705), an Irish lawyer and judge and...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Donelan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the O'Donelan family to the New World and Oceana


To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name O'Donelan or a variant listed above, including: Patrick Donellen arrived in Philadelphia in 1860; Mary Donellin settled in Virginia in 1655; Catherine Donnellan settled in Quebec in 1848.

The O'Donelan Motto


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Omni violentia major
Motto Translation: Too strong for any violence.


O'Donelan Family Crest Products



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