O-neale History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name O-neale is Ó Néill, which means descendant of Niall, a personal name of Irish origin, thought to mean "champion." [1]

"Of the very great antiquity of this distinguished name and family there can be no doubt." [2]

Early Origins of the O-neale family

The surname O-neale 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-neale family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O-neale research. Another 108 words (8 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-neale History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O-neale Spelling Variations

Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name O-neale family name. Variations found include O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neales, Neil, Nihill, Niell, O'Nail, O'Neil, O'Niel and many more.

Early Notables of the O-neale 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 known as the Great Earl...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O-neale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States O-neale migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the O-neale family in North America:

O-neale Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles O'Neale, who settled in Maryland in 1776

Australia O-neale migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

O-neale Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Sarah O'neale, (O'Neil), Irish servant who was convicted in Ireland, Antrim for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" on 21st March 1817, arriving in New South Wales, Australia then transported on to Tasmania per "Elizabeth Henrietta" [3]
  • Mr. John O'Neale, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. Cornelius O'Neale, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st September 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name O-neale (post 1700) +

  • Laurence O'Neale, American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Montgomery County, 1790-96 [6]


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  4. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/camden
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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