Bachall Isa
October 18, 2008 4:55 AM   Subscribe

The O'Donnell clan claims descendancy (like, dare I say, a significant part of the Irish population), from Niall of the Nine Hostages, legendary High King of Ireland. The O'Donnell clan ruled over the kingdom of Tyrconnell, in modern-day County Donegal, well into the modern age. However, after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, Rory O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, fled Ireland together with Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, in the Flight of the Earls.

Rory O'Donnell's descendents ultimately found their calling, like many fellow Wild Geese, in military service to the King of Spain. So it was that, over two centuries later, Leopoldo O'Donnell became successively, general, prime minister and Duke of Tetuan. So it is that one of Madrid's main streets is the Calle O'Donnell, and His Excellency Don Hugo O'Donnell y Duque de Estrada, Duke of Tetuan and Grandee of Spain is next on the line to the title of Prince of the Name of O'Donnell.
posted by Skeptic (19 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Great post, fascinating links. Thanks.
posted by RussHy at 5:19 AM on October 18, 2008

I love the way the Irish have clans and these clans have histories and these histories go back before anyone can remember.

I can relate. Personally I know of Rosie O'Donnell of the Dyke clan who became famous for reasons nobody can remember.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:27 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

twoleftfeet... pointless post
posted by HuronBob at 5:36 AM on October 18, 2008

mmm, a big bowl of history! just what I like in the morning...

thanks much, Skeptic - excellent post
posted by jammy at 5:42 AM on October 18, 2008

pointless post

Riffing off of the fine O'Donnell name. Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.

I'm really a bit jealous. We Leftfeet's have very little ancestry to trace.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:47 AM on October 18, 2008

I am an O'Donnell, and I approve of this message.
posted by COD at 6:02 AM on October 18, 2008

Funny, I came in here thinking to myself, "Rosie O'Donnell joke in 3... 2... 1..."
posted by miss lynnster at 6:18 AM on October 18, 2008

Rosie O'Donnell joke in 3... 2... 1

Pretty obvious, isn't it? But Rosie O'Donnell is virtually unknown outside of the U.S. The O'Donnell clan (Rosie not included) might be better known in Great Britain.

So when you do the 3....2...1... you have to factor in the time difference between the two major English language user groups.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:32 AM on October 18, 2008

I love the history of my family name (O'Neill), I am sure most of it is made up but the stories are good.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:47 AM on October 18, 2008

Sept MacCoig of Clan MacLeod represent.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:11 AM on October 18, 2008

Clan Looney...whoop whoop...and other clans, too. Though, I'm not sure if my Looneys actually have their own personal song like the O'Donnells. Boo.
posted by Atreides at 8:14 AM on October 18, 2008

I'm related to the Niall dude too, homeboy really knew how to take it down and shake it out boy. He musta put more babies in ladies than Tracy Morgan.

Ahem, sorry, really nice post.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:11 AM on October 18, 2008

O'Donnell rules!?!
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:23 AM on October 18, 2008

Who knows how much worse it would be (scientists, from Trinity College Dublin, have discovered that as many as one in 12 Irish men could be descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages) if it weren't for the Viking raids.
posted by jamjam at 10:50 AM on October 18, 2008

If you're interested, the actual haplotype marker values for Niall -- i.e. his genetic signature, still evident in many Irishmen's y-chromosomes today -- is listed here. You can also order a genetic test from that page to see if you're a match. (It's one of the cooler things you can do with 99 bucks.)

According to the page: "Modern surnames tracing their ancestry to Niall include (O')Neill, (O')Gallagher, (O')Boyle, (O')Doherty, O'Donnell, Connor, Cannon, Bradley, O'Reilly, Flynn, (Mc)Kee, Campbell, Devlin, Donnelly, Egan, Gormley, Hynes, McCaul, McGovern, McLoughlin, McManus, McMenamin, Molloy, O'Kane, O'Rourke and Quinn."
posted by Asparagirl at 11:00 AM on October 18, 2008

This post reminds me that it's time to bring in the Paddy O'Furniture.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:28 PM on October 18, 2008

Well there you go brothers and sisters, I'm an inbred on my father's side, which handily explains many of my defects and defaults and much of my piratical nature and general shitbirdedness; Darlings, I'm a goddammed Reilly (lost the O' at Ellis) and a fucking McManus, God between us and evil.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2008

Being an O'Donnell myself and the official (according to my parents) last Prince of Donegal, I also approve of this message.
posted by matt_od at 9:02 PM on October 18, 2008

Do you have a little Irish in you? Darling would you like a little Irish in you?
posted by newdaddy at 8:05 PM on October 19, 2008

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