Donovan Family History
The ancient origin of the name Donovan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Donovan is derived from the Gaelic O'Donnabhain sept that was located in Counties Limerick, Kilkenny and Cork. The O'Donovans were a very prominent sept throughout mediaeval times.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
Their original territory was in County Limerick but they were forced to migrate south to Cork after the Anglo-Norman invasion. They were among the most prominent septs in King James Army. A most famous bearer of the name in Irish history was Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, 1831-1915, the Fenian who, after being imprisoned because of his republican activities later settled to America. In Modern times the name Donovan is most associated with County Cork.The Donovan
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 Donovan