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  The name Donlon (or Donnellan) is from the Irish name O Domhnalláin, meaning son of Domhnall (Donal or Donnell). From the eleventh century, the O Domhnalláins were a noted bardic family seated at Ross-O'Donelan, near Elphin in Roscommon. They settled in the area of Uí Maine, in mid-Galway/ South Roscommon. The O Domhnalláins were a branch of the ancient Clann Bresail, chieftains of Uí Maine. This area was ruled mainly by Uí Cheallaigh (the O'Kelly clan), also of Clann Bresail, but some of the progenitors of Uí Dhomhnalláin were of Uí Cheallaigh and also ruled Uí Maine.

   My grandfather, Tomás O Domhnalláin, wrote a family history, "Clann Uí Dhomhnalláin, The Story of a Family".  All of the information that I present here is from his work. which is based on family recollections and on documentary evidence. I have information about the Domhnalláin family of Ballydonnelan, near Aughrim in Co, Galway, from c.1400 to the mid 1800s. A younger son of Nehemias, Edmond O Domhnalláin, moved to Killucan, Co. Westmeath about the beginning of the seventeenth century. Here, records are lost, but it is highly probable that the Donlons of Ballyhealy, Delvin, Co. Westmeath (near Killucan), known to be there in the early 1800s, are descendents of Edmond O Domhnalláin. So I have two separate genealogies.

Genealogy of the Donlons of Ballydonnelan, Galway, starting c. 1400.

Genealogy of the Donlons of Ballyhealy, Westmeath, starting c.1800.

If you are interested in finding out about your own family history, I suggest the book A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors which gives very helpful pointers. Definitely talk to all your older family members! Or visit the web site Genealogy.com for software, old records, message boards for family names, and much more. And check out these gifts with your family crest!

 

Irish Genealogy Gifts

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Irish Genealogy Books

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The Book of Irish Families: Great and Small by Michael O'Laughlin.
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A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors by Redford and Betit.
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