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Surname O'Niel - Meaning and Origin

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O'Niel: What does the surname O'Niel mean?

The last name O'Niel is of Irish and Scottish ancestry and has been associated with Gaelic origins. It is derived from the Irish phrase "O’Niadh's", meaning "The descendant of Niadh", with Niadh being an old Irish personal name which meant "Champion". The surname is most commonly found in Counties Limerick and Westmeath in Ireland.

In its initial Irish form, the name O'Niel was often seen as "O Niall". Over time, many variants were created in order to be better suited to the English language, with spelling variations like O'Neill, ONeil, O'Neil and O'Niel. The "O" prefix is an indication that an individual is a descendant of a famous warrior. It is widely believed that the name O'Niel was first taken on by a warrior who fought under the leadership of an ancient Irish King.

In Scotland, the O'Niel name is often associated with the Clan Donald. This clan was an important and powerful group of nobles in medieval Scotland and was one of the most powerful branches of the Clan Donald. As such, many members of the clan adopted the O'Niel name as a sign of their allegiance.

The O'Niel family has a long history of greatness, with members of the family often being associated with great feats and achievements, such as fighting in battles, holding high office positions, and performing brave and courageous acts of valor. It is a name that is carried with much pride, and one in which many generations of the family are proud to be associated with.

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O'Niel: Where does the name O'Niel come from?

The last name O'Niel is most commonly found in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

In Ireland, the O'Niel name first began to be used in County Londonderry, now known as Derry. This area, which borders Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, was historically known as the home of the O'Neill, an ancient Irish king. The descendants of these original O'Neills later formed a branch of Irish pedigree called the O'Neills of Ulster, which in turn evolved into the name O'Niel. Many O'Niel families today trace their lineage back to this noble house.

In the United Kingdom, the O'Niel name is most commonly concentrated in London and Northern Ireland, with a small number of O'Niel families in Scotland and Wales. The majority of these families originated from County Londonderry in Ireland and the influx of Irish immigrants into the United Kingdom during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s.

In the United States, the name O'Niel is more common in states and cities with large Irish populations, such as New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. It is also encountered in the states of California, Florida and Texas. The popularity of the O'Niel name is due in large part to the Irish immigrants who settled in these states, bringing their surnames with them for generations.

No matter where you are in the world today, if you have the last name O'Niel, you can be sure that you can trace your history back to the ancient Irish kingdom of Ulster.

Variations of the surname O'Niel

The surname O'Niel is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Niall, meaning "descendant of Niall". The surname has many variants in spelling and also in surnames that have the same origin.

Variants of the surname O'Niel include O'Neill, Neill, Neil, Neal, MacNeill, McNeill, MacNeal, McNeal, Neale, O'Neal, O'Neale, O'Neil, and MacNeille.

Variants of the Gaelic Ó Niall surname include Ó Neill, Ó Neill Is Tuaithe, Ó Nialláin, Uí Nialláin, Mac Niall, Mac Neill, Mac Nell, Mac Nale, Mac Nail, Mac Nilli, McNeill, MacNeille, MacNeal, McNeil, McNeail, McNeile and Neal.

Some Irish families who bear the name O'Niel are descended from a Galloway (Scotland) Norman family named Ua Néill, which is pronounced O'Néill, who were of the Uí Nialláin dynasty.

Surnames derived from Ó Niall are often confused with those derived from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a 5th-century High King of Ireland. These names include O'Neill, Nelson, and MacNeil, all of which have similar spellings.

In addition, some families of O'Niel may be descended from the Scottish Clan O'Neal. The Clan O'Neal was of Cambro-Norman origin, based in Ireland, and belonged to the Uí Neill Clan, descendants of an ancient Irish ancestor named Niall of the Nine Hostages.

In conclusion, O’Niel is a very common surname in Ireland and is often used interchangeably with other surnames of similar origin. It is also very similar to the surname O'Neill, which also has many variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin.

Famous people with the name O'Niel

  • Chris O'Neill: Swedish social entrepreneur and husband of Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria
  • Patrick O'Neal: American actor
  • Jamie O'Neill: Irish novelist
  • Neil O'Neil: American actor
  • Terence O'Neill: Former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
  • Ciarán O'Neill: Irish footballer
  • Conan O'Brien: American television host
  • Seán Ó'Neill: Irish footballer
  • Warren O'Neill: American actor
  • Cathy O'Neil: American mathematician, data scientist, and author
  • Ryan O'Neal: American actor
  • Pat O'Neill: American filmmaker
  • Siobhán O'Neill: Northern Irish psychologist
  • Rodney O'Neill: Australian educator and environmentalist
  • Greg O'Neill: Australian Minister for Housing and Minister for Disability Services
  • Kelly O'Neill: American actor
  • Tracy O'Neill: American novelist
  • Patrick K. O'Neill: American actor
  • Lisa O'Neill: Irish folk musician
  • Róisín O'Neill: Irish footballer

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