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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Odonnell family come from? What is the Irish Odonnell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Odonnell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Odonnell family history?

The original Gaelic form of Odonnell was O'Domhnaill, which means descendant of Domhnall or descendant of Donal(l.) The name is derived from the Irish words "domhan" (the world) and "all" (mighty): son of Colga, a quo O'Domhnaill. [1] The surname claims descendancy from the Heremon Kings of Ireland. [1]

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Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Odonnell are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include O Donnell, O'Donald, O'Donle, O'Donall, O'Donnell and others.

First found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where records show this distinguished Irish Clann were directly descended from Connell, son of King Niall of the Nine Hostages who died in 371. Today the most numerous listing of the name can be found in Tirconaill (Donegal), but there are two other branches that are significant, those in Corcabaskin in West Clare, and those of the Ui Maine (Hy Many) in County Galway. [2] All descend from the same ancestor name Domhnall (English: Donal) and are O Domhnaill (Irish Gaelic.) The Donegal "promedominance only dates from the thirteenth century; prior to that they were located in the comparatively restricted area around Kilmacrenan, County Donegal." [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Odonnell research. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1571, 1602, 1601, 1602, 1575 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Odonnell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 149 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Odonnell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Odonnell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Richard O'Donnell settled in Bay de Verde, Newfoundland in 1802
  • Edward O'Donnell settled in Isle Valen, Newfoundland and died there in 1828
  • Biddy O'Donnell, aged 17, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
  • Neil O'Donnell, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Trial" in 1833
  • Nancy O'Donnell, aged 18, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833


Odonnell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Maria O'Donnell, aged 19, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Medina"
  • Maurice O'Donnell, aged 24, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett"
  • Catherine O'Donnell, aged 23, a dairy maid, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "David Malcolm"
  • Bridget O'Donnell, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emerald Isle"
  • Ellen O'Donnell, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emerald Isle"


Odonnell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Catherine O'Donnell arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • Philip O'Donnell, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Mary O'Donnell, aged 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Margaret O'Donnell, aged 3, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • James O'Donnell arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865


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  • Mr. Patrick O'Donnell, American 2nd Class passenger from Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Neil Kennedy O'Donnell (b. 1966), former American NFL football quarterback
  • Martin "Marty" O'Donnell (b. 1955), American composer known for his work the video games Myth, Oni, and Halo
  • Roseann "Rosie" O'Donnell (b. 1962), American multiple Daytime Emmy Award winning and Emmy Award winning actress and talk show host
  • Chris O'Donnell (b. 1970), American film actor
  • Edward Joseph O'Donnell (1932-2009), American Bishop Emeritus of Lafayette
  • Stephen O'Donnell (b. 1986), Irish professional footballer
  • Don Leopoldo O'Donnell (1809-1867), Spanish general and statesman, Prime Minister of Spain (1856) whose heritage lay with the Irish O'Donnells of Tyrconnel
  • Patrick Denis O'Donnell (1922-2005), Irish military historian
  • Daniel O'Donnell, Irish contemporary singer

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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  2. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  11. ...

The Odonnell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Odonnell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 September 2015 at 08:18.

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