Oconell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Oconell is O Conaill.
Early Origins of the Oconell family
The surname Oconell was first found in County Limerick where O'Connell was the chief of Hy-Cuilean, a territory south-east of Abbeyfeale, in the barony of Upper Connello near the borders of Cork and Kerry. The O'Connells had their chief residence in Castle Connell. In the twelfth century the O'Connells settled in Kerry. One reference claims that the O'Falvies, admirals of Desmond; the O'Connells, of Kerry; O'Sheas, chiefs of Muskerry, in Cork; and several other chiefs, claim descent from the Clan na Deaga, Chiefs of Munster, originally a branch of the Heremonians of Ulster.
The Cannell variant is "a name peculiar to the Isle of Man, is from the Celtic MacConaill." 
Early History of the Oconell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oconell research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1300, 1641, 1621, 1678, 1743, 1833, 1775 and 1826 are included under the topic Early Oconell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Oconell Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Oconell were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Connell, O'Connell, Cannell, Connall, Conell, Conall, Connill, Connull, Connel, Connal, Connul, Canell, Cannel, O'Connall, O'Conell and many more.
Early Notables of the Oconell family (pre 1700)
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oconell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Oconell family
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 Oconell or a variant listed above, including: John Cannell who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1652; John Cannell settled in New England in 1652; Henry Cannell settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.
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The Oconell Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Ciall agus neart
Motto Translation: Reason and power.
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print