Odaniel / Family History
The O'Daniel ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name O'Daniel is most often a variant form of the Irish name O'Donnell, families of which have always been among the most eminent in Ireland. Their forefather was 'Niall of the Nine Hostages' and their territory was County Donegal. The Chieftains of the sept were inaugurated on 'The Rock of Doon' near Letterkenny. They built strongholds around Donegal to defend themselves against the O'Neills and Tudors, losing to the latter in battle. The great Red Hugh, O'Donnell's heir, was abducted and imprisoned in Dublin Castle. His escape through the Wicklow Mountains is one of the greatest ever Irish sagas. The Annals are full of the exploits of these Chiefs and military leaders. It is possible also that some O'Daniels may originate from the Anglo-Saxon surnames Daniel and Daniels, to which the prefix 'O' was later added.The O'Daniel family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including O'Daniel descendants.