Donnelly Family History
The ancient origin of the name Donnelly
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Donnelly
include O'Donnelly and Donelly. This Irish sept belonged to Ulster and was known as O'Donnghaile of Cinel Eoghan. They descended from Donnaghaile O'Neill, seventeenth in line from the famous 'Niall the Great'. Their territory was centred around Ballydonnelly, County Tyrone, which was named after them. The Chief was hereditary Marshal of the O'Neills military forces and they were noted soldiers in early times. Another Sept called in English O'Donnelly, but in Irish O'Donnghalaigh, belonged to Lower Ormond in County Tipperary, but there are few survivors there today. In modern times the Donnellys are more frequently found in America and Canada than in Ireland.The Donnelly
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 Donnelly