Arrow Downward Arrow Downward Close Close Done Done Cart Cart clock clock
Personal guidance

We are always happy to help you! Contact us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

If you would like us to call you back, please provide your phone number and how you can be reached. We will be happy to call you for a personal consultation. WhatsApp

Surname O'Niell - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'O'

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

The surname O'Niell is an Irish name that has been around in Ireland since the 10th century AD. The origin of the name is rooted in the Gaelic phrase "U Néil", which translates to "grandson of Neil". This phrase indicated that an individual was descended from the great King Niall of the 9th Century. From then on, the name has become a common fixture in Ireland, being adopted as the surname of many generations of the original O'Niell family.

The name can still be found prominently in Ireland and each of its four provinces. It is also found in other countries around the world where Irish immigrants settled including the United States, Canada, Australia and beyond. The surname's variants include Nihill, Neill and Neil.

In modern times, the surname has also come to denote strength, resilience and a proud heritage. Many who carry the surname consider it to be a badge of honour and take pride in its association with the original Niall of the 9th century. The name can be viewed as an important part of the history of Ireland as it stands as an enduring legacy of times past.

Order DNA origin analysis

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

The last name O'Niell can be found primarily in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is particularly common in Ireland, where O’Niells are among the most numerous Clans in the country. According to the records from the Central Statistics Office, this surname is the 23rd most common surname in the Republic of Ireland. It is also popular in Ireland’s Northern region and in Counties Down and Armagh in particular.

In the United Kingdom, O’Niells are mostly concentrated in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland, where the name is fairly common. Outside of the Isles, O’Niells are also quite well-represented in the United States. The surname is particularly prevalent in New England states, but can be found in many other states as well. For instance, O'Niells are particularly abundant in California, Florida, and Illinois.

Overall, the last name O'Niell is a widespread surname, but is particularly common in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While some O’Niells may have spread around the world in the centuries past, the majority of the name’s bearers have remained concentrated in these three regions.

Variations of the surname O'Niell

The surname O'Niell is an anglicized form of the adult male patronymic clan name Ó Niall or Ó Neill. It is derived from the Irish ó (grandson, descendant) and Niall (champion). The prefix is contracted to O' or Né. It is the most widespread surname in Ireland and among the twenty most common surnames in the United Kingdom.

The anglicanized variants of O'Niell often include O'Neill, O'Neal, Neal, Neill, Neale, Nihill and Nyall. Variants of the surname can also appear with an inserted letter “a”, i.e. O'Neal, Niell, and Neall.

US based variant spellings and surnames include O'Neill, Oneal, Oneill, O'neal, O'Neal, Neil, Neale, Nye, Neill, Nihill, Nihl, and Neel. Scots Gaelic uses O'Neills or Niell but with a hard “g” sound before “Niell”.

Numerous variants of O’Neill exist in Scotland. These include O’Neall, O’Neal, Neill, Neall, and Niall. It is also Anglicized in most continental European countries to Nihill, Neil, Niell, Neil, Neel, Nell, Nil, Neill, Heil, and Niels.

In Germany the name Niell or Niall is derived from the Middle German form of Nicolas, and is also found in various forms such as Nealken, Nien, Neelken, and Nehlken.

In Spain, the arenome appeared as Naill, Neil, Niall, O'Neill, O'Neel, and O'Neil. In France, it appeared as Neill, Neil, and Nil. Similarly, it was introduced into Turkey and the Middle East as Neill, Neil, Nil, Naill, or Nihl.

O’Niell is also found in Australia along with variants such as Neil, Moore, Nihill, Conneil, and O’Neil. It was derived from different origins during the immigration period and is usually found more commonly in Western and South Australia.

In conclusion, O'Niell is a widely used surname in various forms around the world. Its various spellings and surnames signify the history and culture of the different countries where the name is present.

Famous people with the name O'Niell

  • Glen O'Neill: former professional football player
  • Paul O'Neill: former US Secretary of the Treasury
  • Eddie O'Neill: boxer who held the welterweight title
  • Odra O'Neal: former Olympic wrestler
  • A. J. O'Neill: writer and essayist
  • Bill O'Neill: professional bowler
  • Donal O'Niell: Irish professional singer and songwriter
  • emer O'Neill: actress
  • Robert O'Neill: former US Navy Seal
  • Siobhan O'Neill: British actress
  • Tim O'Neill: American Major League Baseball infielder
  • Robert O'Niell: American theater actor and director
  • Patrick O'Niell: Australian professional golfer
  • Mike O'Niell: former Irish rugby league player
  • Perry O'Niell: former NHL hockey player
  • Des O'Neill: former GAA player and manager
  • Carrie O'Niell: popular Irish YouTuber
  • Finola O'Niell: an Irish author and artist
  • John O'Niell: American NYC firefighter who died as a part of 9/11
  • Maureen O'Niell: Irish artist and photographer

Other surnames


Write comments or make additions to the name "O'Niell"

Your origin analysis