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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish O'Hanley family come from? What is the Irish O'Hanley family crest and coat of arms? When did the O'Hanley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the O'Hanley family history?

The Irish surname O'Hanley comes from the Gaelic "O hAinle," which is derived from the word "ainle," meaning "beauty."


The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name O'Hanley revealed spelling variations, including O'Hanley, Hanley, O'Hanly, Hanly, Henley, O'Henley, Henly, O'Henley, Hanlay and many more.

First found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times and the surname emerged as an anglicized form of the Irish O hAinle.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Hanley research. Another 321 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1085, 1096, 1111, 1659, and 1718 are included under the topic Early O'Hanley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early O'Hanley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the O'Hanley name:

O'Hanley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mary O'Hanley, aged 18, who landed in America from Lanesboro, in 1897

O'Hanley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Angus O'Hanley, aged 68, who emigrated to America, in 1911
  • Sadie O'Hanley, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States, in 1916


  • Ross O'Hanley (1939-1972), American AFL football safety for the Boston Patriots
  • Brian O'Hanley (b. 1984), American professional ice hockey player


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: Saigeadoir collac abu
Motto Translation: The valiant archer for ever.


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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  2. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The O'Hanley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Hanley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 November 2012 at 09:45.

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