O'Niel 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'Niel 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'Niel family

The surname O'Niel 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'Niel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Niel 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'Niel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Niel 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'Niel 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'Niel 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'Niel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia O'Niel migration to Australia +

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

O'Niel Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John O'Niel, Scottish convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Lower, 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 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim


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