Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the O'Dunn family in Ireland
was O Duinn or O Doinn. Both Gaelic names are derived from the Gaelic word donn, which means brown. O Doinn is the genitive case of donn.
Early Origins of the O'Dunn family
The surname O'Dunn was first found in County Meath
(Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland
, in the province of Leinster
. The family was descended from O'Rigain one of the ancient "Four Tribes of Tara" in the Kingdom of Meath, now the county of Meath. The Kings of Meath in turn traced their regal history back to the Heremon
Early History of the O'Dunn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Dunn research.Another 581 words (42 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1268, 1691, 1700, 1758, 1642, 1713, 1651, 1733, 1692 and 1695 are included under the topic Early O'Dunn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Dunn Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname O'Dunn are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Dunn, Dunne, Dun, O'Dunne, O'Doyne, Doine, Doin, O'Dunn and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Dunn family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Dunn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Dunn family to the New World and Oceana
A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia
in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name O'Dunn or a variant listed above: Thomas Dunn who settled in Wymouth, Massachusetts in 1647; Miss Dunn settled in Barbados in 1774; Mrs. Dunn settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766; Agnes Dunn settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767.
The O'Dunn 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: Mullach a-bu
Motto Translation: Victory for the Dunns.