Origin of the Name Donnelly
The ancient history of the name Donnelly
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
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 coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Donnelly descendants.