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

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The surname Oneal 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.

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Oneal include O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neales, Neil, Nihill, Niell, O'Nail, O'Neil, O'Niel and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oneal research. Another 215 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1559, 1530, 1567, 1550, 1616, 1612, 1664, 1694, 1689 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Oneal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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...

Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oneal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North Ameri ca. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Oneal to North America:

Oneal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Owen O'Neal settled in Virginia in 1751

Oneal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Arthur O'Neal, aged 55, who settled in America, in 1894
  • Claude O'Neal, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

Oneal Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Dudley S. O'Neal, aged 18, who landed in America from Barbados, in 1903
  • Edward O'Neal, aged 47, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Charles H. O'Neal, aged 42, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Bernard O'Neal, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Ella O'Neal, aged 1, who landed in America, in 1912
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Oneal Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Ebenezer W. O'Neal, aged 36, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1924

Oneal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John O'Neal arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Success" in 1848
  • Dorothea O'Neal, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sibella"
  • Mary O'Neal, aged 21, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sultana"
  • Bridget O'Neal, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sultana"
  • Biddy O'Neal, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry"
  • ...

Oneal Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John O'Neal, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • Catherine O'Neal, aged 27, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • Stephen O'Neal, aged 4, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • Mary O'Neal, aged 6, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
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  • Edward Asbury O'Neal (1818-1890), Confederate officer during the American Civil War, 26th Governor of Alabama
  • Emmet O'Neal (1853-1922), American Democratic politician and lawyer, 34th Governor of Alabama
  • Deltha Lee O'Neal III (b. 1977), former American college and professional football player
  • John William "Bill" O'Neal (b. 1942), American author
  • Griffin Patrick O'Neal (b. 1964), American actor
  • Alexander O'Neal (b. 1953), American R&B singer
  • Patrice Malcolm O'Neal (1969-2011), American stand-up comedian, radio personality, and actor
  • Jermaine Lee O'Neal (b. 1978), American professional basketball player
  • Tatum Beatrice O'Neal (b. 1963), American actress, youngest person to receive an Academy Award at the age of 10
  • Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal (b. 1941), American Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated actor
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    2. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    3. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    5. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
    6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
    10. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
    11. ...

    The Oneal Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Oneal 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 24 June 2016 at 00:03.

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