Early Origins of the O'Leavy family
Ulidia, in northern Ireland, where they were said to have descended from the Princes of Ulidia, who were in turn descended from the Heremon line of Irish Kings; the modern name for Ulidia, is Ulster. The "Four Masters" list that in 1199, a Rory O'Dunsleve joined the English (Norman soldiers) at Meath and plundered the monastery of Saint Peter and Paul in Armagh. In the 12th century during the Anglo/ Norman invasion of Ireland, the Dunleavys migrated to Tir Connell now known as Donegal and became hereditary physicians to the distinguished O'Donnells.
Early History of the O'Leavy family
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O'Leavy Spelling Variations
spelling variations of the surname O'Leavy are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Dunleavy, Dunlevie, Dunlevy, Dunlivie, McDunleavy, Donleavy and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Leavy family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the O'Leavy 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'Leavy or a variant listed above: Gregory Donlevy, who was naturalized in New York, NY in 1798; Walter Donlevy, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1813; Francis William Donlevy, who was naturalized in South Carolina in 1816.
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