Surname Oneal - Meaning and Origin
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Oneal: What does the surname Oneal mean?
The surname Oneal, also spelled O’Neal and O'Neil, is of Irish origin. This name is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name "O' Néill" which means "descendant of Niall". The prefix "O'" indicates "grandson" or "descendant" and the personal name "Niall" was originally a byname which means "champion". Therefore, Oneal can be interpreted as "descendant of the champion".
The name references an ancient Irish lineage, leading back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, a legendary 4th-century king of Tara, the traditional seat of the High King of Ireland, which makes the Oneals part of the Uí Néill, one of the chief royal dynasties of ancient and medieval Ireland.
It should be noted that the spelling variations of the name, such as O'Neil, O'Neill, or Oneal, arose as literacy became more prominent and people had different approaches to spelling phonetically. Today, all variations of the name are considered accurate and refer back to the same familial lineage.
Oneal: Where does the name Oneal come from?
The last name Oneal is most commonly found in the United States today. It is most highly concentrated in the South—in states like Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. The name is also found in states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia.
The Oneal surname in the U.S. likely has its roots in Irish and Southern English immigrants. An Irish branch of the Oneal family dates back to the mid-1500s, with records indicating a man named Patrick O'Neill living in Cork, Ireland. It’s likely that his descendants were among the many Irish that migrated to the U.S. in the 1700s.
The English branch of the Oneal family appears to have originated in west central England, possibly in or near Shropshire. The first recorded use of the name Oneal in England was found in records dating from the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. Family records list several members of the Oneal family as living in London County, Virginia at that time, suggesting they may have been among the first of the English to migrate to the U.S.
Today, the name Oneal is still common in the U.S., although it is not found as frequently elsewhere in the world. Though it is difficult to trace the specific ancestors of any particular Oneal family today, Oneals in the U.S. likely share a common bond in their history of immigration and settlement in the South.
Variations of the surname Oneal
The surname O'Neal is an Irish or Scottish surname originating from the Gaelic-speaking world. It can also be spelled as O'Neil, O'Nail, Uneal, O'Neale and Neal. It is derived from the original Irish and Scottish Gaelic name Ó Néill.
The variants of this surname are particularly common in the areas where Irish and Scottish Gaelic were once spoken, including Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. In other parts of the world, the variants of this surname are typically found amongst families that have been assimilated into cultures with more widespread English or American English dialects.
The O'Neal surname is derived from Niall of the Nine Hostages, an important Irish and Scottish king, who perished in 461AD. This surname is a very popular one and is found all over the world. The O'Neal family can be found in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries worldwide, as well as in countries populated by Irish and Scottish emigrants.
The primary variants of the O'Neal surname include O'Neil, O'Nail, Uneal, O'Neale and Neal. Variants of O'Neal may also occur in areas that were formerly Gaelic-speaking, such as Scotland and Ireland. Other variants may also exist amongst emigrated families.
In summation, the surname O'Neal is derived from an Irish or Scottish Gaelic name. Common variants of this surname include O'Neil, O'Nail, Uneal, O'Neale and Neal, and these variants have commonly been found in areas where Irish and Scottish Gaelic were once spoken. It is also a popular surname amongst Irish and Scottish emigrants, and may exist in other variants in these displaced populations.
Famous people with the name Oneal
- Shaquille O’Neal: Professional Basketball player and former Hollywood actor.
- Ryan O’Neal: Actor and former boxer.
- Penny O’Neal: Former World Cup Ski Champion.
- Cheryl O’Neal: Professional level tennis player.
- Christine O’Neal: Olympic swimmer and bronze medallist.
- Kelly O’Neal: Professional baseball player.
- Eli O’Neal: Professional football player.
- Cheryl O’Neal: Professional skier and championship level snowboarder.
- Maria O’Neal: Professional figure skater and Olympic silver medallist.
- Chris O’Neal: Country music artist and Grammy Award Winner.
- Mark O’Neal: Professional basketball player.
- Veronica O’Neal: Professional model and former Miss USA.
- Sean O’Neal: Professional skateboarder and actor.
- Felix O’Neal: Acclaimed Canadian poet.
- Eddie O’Neal: Professional golfer and Hall of Fame inductee.
- Mike O’Neal: Famous trumpet player and composer.
- Tatum O’Neal: Actress and former child star most famous for her role in the 1973 film Paper Moon.
- Quincy O’Neal: Professional boxer.
- Deanna O’Neal: Professional cheerleader and World Cup All-Star.
- Tom O’Neal: Ice hockey hall of famer.