O Neill Family Crest

Oneill family crest coat of arms

Meaning of the colors on the O'Neill family crest

Argent (silver) - represents the sincere nature of the O'Neill family members in normal times through the ages.

Azure (blue) - represents the family's legacy of truthfulness and loyalty.

Gules (red) - symbolizes martyrdom and this family's historic military strength when called upon.



 Meaning of the symbols on the O'Neill family crest 

Two lions rampant - represents ferociousness, bravery and valour, one of the most desirable family crest symbols.

The fish - signifies trueness of mind and the virtuous nature of family members based on a heritage of such attributes.

The three stars - symbolizes the noble and good qualities of family members, It also represents additional divine characteristics granted from a higher power.


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Origins of the O'Neill family name

The O'Neill clan is one of the most famous and historic of all the Irish families. The clan name is derived from the Irish UaNeill, which means "grandson of Niall".

The clan has a long and proud history,  tracing its very earliest origins back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, a 5th century Irish king when they were one of the most powerful clans in Ireland.

The clan's fortunes took a turn for the worse in the 12th century when they lost control of their ancestral homeland in Ulster to the Anglo-Norman invaders. In the centuries that followed, the clan was involved in many bloody clashes with the English, as they fought to regain their land and independence.


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Summary of the O'Neill family and the O'Neill family crest

  • The O'Neill clan is one of the most powerful and influential families in Ireland.
  • The clan traces its very earliest origins back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, a 5th century Irish king.
  • Later family members include Niall of the O Neill family was also an Irish king who ruled the province of Ulster in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. He was the son of Cennétig mac Lorcáin, king of Dál gCais and king of Tuadmumuand, and was the high king of ancient Ireland.
  • The O'Neills were the dominant clan in Ulster for centuries, and their power and influence extended far beyond the province.
    • Despite their turbulent early history, the O'Neill clan has produced some of Ireland's most famous and celebrated figures. These include the great warrior chieftain Hugh O'Neill, who led the clan to victory against the English in the famous Battle of the Yellow Ford.
    •  The clan's fortunes changed in the 17th century, when they lost control of Ulster in the wake of the Ulster Rebellion.
    • However, the clan bounced back in the 17th century when they played a pivotal role in the Irish Rebellion of 1641.
    • The O'Neills of Tyrone were the most prominent members of the clan in the 18th and 19th centuries.
    • The clan's fortunes declined further in the 20th century, as many of its members emigrated from Ireland.
    • The O'Neill clan is still prominent in Ireland today, with many members holding high-profile positions in politics, business and the arts.
    • The O'Neill clan is also known as Clanaboy, after the territory in Ulster that was once under their control.
    • The clan has been involved in many other significant events in Irish history, and they continue to be a prominent and respected clan today with the O'Neill name being popular in North America in modern times as the many descendants of this ancient family have grown in numbers.