Show ContentsO'Toole History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, O'Toole appeared as O Tuathail, which is derived from "tuathal," which means "people mighty."

Early Origins of the O'Toole family

The surname O'Toole was first found in County Kildare (Irish:Cill Dara), ancient homeland of the Kildare based Uí Dúnlainge (Kings of Leinster), located in the Province of Leinster, seated at O'Toole's Castle, where they were descended from Tuathal, King of Leinster who died in 950 A.D.

Early History of the O'Toole family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Toole research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1128, 1180, 1225, 1327, 1590, 1670 and 1722 are included under the topic Early O'Toole History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Toole 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'Toole family name. Variations found include Toole, Tool, O'Toole, O'Tool, Tooley, Toile and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Toole family

Prominent amongst the family at this time was

  • St. Laurence O'Toole
  • Lorcán Ua Tuathail, also known as St Laurence O'Toole, (1128-1180), Archbishop of Dublin, canonized in 1225 by Pope Honorius III

O'Toole Ranking

In the United States, the name O'Toole is the 3,080th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [1]

United States O'Toole migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name O'Toole or a variant listed above, including:

O'Toole Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Austin, Henry, James, John, Martin, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, and William O'Toole all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
O'Toole Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ann O'Toole, aged 58, who settled in America from Tullamore, in 1906
  • Alicia O'Toole, aged 27, who landed in America from Tusk, Ireland, in 1909
  • Adeline O'Toole, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States from Dublin, Ireland, in 1912
  • Alice O'Toole, aged 20, who settled in America from Castlecomer, Ireland, in 1912
  • Anastasia O'Toole, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Manchester, England, in 1920

Canada O'Toole migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

O'Toole Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Aggie O'Toole, aged 20, who immigrated to Conception Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1910

New Zealand O'Toole migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

O'Toole Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas O'Toole, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand in January 1863 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name O'Toole (post 1700) +

  • Peter Seamus O'Toole (1932-2013), Irish eight-time Academy Award-nominated actor best known for his performances in such films as "Lawrence of Arabia", "Becket" and others, recipient of three Golden Globes and an Emmy
  • James Jerome "Jim" O'Toole (1937-2015), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1958 to 1967
  • Maureen O'Toole (b. 1961), American silver medalist water polo player at the 2000 Summer Olympics
  • Annette O'Toole (b. 1952), American actress, dancer, and singer-songwriter, best known for portraying Martha Kent, the mother of Clark Kent on the television series Smallville
  • Joseph O'Toole, American Lawyer
  • Martin Joseph O'Toole (1925-2013), Irish Fianna Fáil politician
  • Jason O'Toole (b. 1973), Irish author and journalist
  • Sergeant Edmund O'Toole VC, Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross for his efforts at the Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Ulundi
  • Joseph John "Joe" O'Toole (b. 1947), former Irish independent politician
  • Peter O'Toole, Irish musician
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Katherine  O'Toole (1858-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [3]
  • Mr. William  O'Toole (1862-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [3]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  3. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook