Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Nail is Ó Néill, which means descendant of Niall, a personal name
of Irish origin, thought to mean "champion."
Early Origins of the O'Nail family
The surname O'Nail was first found in County Tyrone
(Irish: Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster
, central Northern Ireland
, and County Clare
where O'Neill was chief of Clan
Dalvy and of Tradree, a district in the barony of Inchiquinn. In the 10th century, a branch of this family went to Limerick
to assist in the expulsion of the Danes. After one victorious occasion they wore green boughs in their helmets and on their horses' heads signifying their victory.
Early History of the O'Nail family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Nail research.Another 215 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1559, 1530, 1567, 1550, 1616, 1612, 1664, 1694, 1689 and 1689 are included under the topic Early O'Nail History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Nail Spelling Variations
Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations
of the name O'Nail dating from that time include O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neales, Neil, Nihill, Niell, O'Nail, O'Neil, O'Niel and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Nail family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Sir Niall O'Neill who distinguished himself at the Battle of the Boyne; Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone
(c.1480-1559) King of Tir Eogain; Shane O'Neill (c.1530-1567), Irish king of the O'Neill dynasty of Ulster; Hugh O'Neill (c.
1550-1616), Earl of Tyrone
, also... Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Nail Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Nail family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
O'Nail Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Elder O'Nail, aged 25, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
- Sally O'Nail, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834