Donnely family crest and coat of arms

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Meaning of the Donnely family crest symbols

Lion (standing)

The lion symbol represents the ferocious nature of family members, their bravery and valor. It is one of the oldest symbols in heraldry and is considered to be one of the most desirable to have on a coat of arms.

Shield - Bordure

The 'bordure' edge around the shield is a mark of difference used to identify separate families that hold similar coat of arms designs. It is one that became a distinctive mark of pride over time for those families that used one.

Meaning of the Donnely coat of arms colors


The silver or white color on the coat of arms, (known as 'Argent'), signifies sincerity and peacefulness. It is one of the oldest colors known in ancient heraldry.


The red color (known as Gules) traditionally symbolized martyrdom and the historic military strength of family members when called upon in times of war.

Donnely name meaning and origin

Donnelly is a surname of Irish origin. It is derived from the Gaelic "Donnghaile," where "Donn" means brown or brave and "gall" refers to a stranger or foreigner. Therefore, the name Donnelly essentially signifies 'brave stranger'. This name was often given to strong, courageous individuals in ancient Ireland.

History of family crests like the Donnely coat of arms

Family crests and coats of arms emerged during the Middle Ages, mostly in wider Europe. They were used as a way to identify knights and nobles on the battlefield and in tournaments. The designs were unique to each family and were passed down from generation to generation.

The earliest crests were simple designs, such as a single animal or symbol, but they became more elaborate over time. Coats of arms were also developed, which included a shield with the family crest, as well as other symbols and colors that represented the family's history and achievements.

The use of family crests and coats of arms spread throughout Europe and became a symbol of social status and identity. They were often displayed on clothing, armor, and flags, and were used to mark the family's property and possessions.

Today, family crests and coats of arms are still used as a way to honor and celebrate family heritage.

Donnely name variations and their meaning

The family name Donnely has several variations that have emerged over time. One common variation is Donnelly, which is a slight alteration in the spelling. This variation may have occurred due to different regional accents or dialects. Another variation is Donnolly, which adds an extra "o" to the name. This alteration could have been a result of phonetic pronunciation or personal preference. Additionally, the name may have evolved into Donnelys, with the addition of an "s" at the end. This variation could indicate the plural form of the name or signify a different branch of the family. Furthermore, there might be other variations such as Donnelyson or Donnelyman, which could have been created to indicate a specific lineage or occupation within the family. These variations in the spelling of the Donnely family name highlight the fluidity and adaptability of surnames over time.

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