O'Handley family crest and coat of arms

Scroll for info

Meaning of the O'Handley family crest symbols


The helmet placed on the shield symbolizes the strength of the family unit and the protection it provides. It is a symbol of the importance of standing together and having strong defenses against any external threats.

Meaning of the O'Handley 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.

O'Handley name meaning and origin

The early history of the family name O'Handley is deeply rooted in the rich cultural heritage of Ireland. While the exact origins of the name remain uncertain, it is believed to have originated in the province of Ulster, which is located in the northeastern part of the country.

During the early medieval period, Ireland was divided into numerous kingdoms, each with its own ruling families. The O'Handley name is thought to have emerged as a surname during this time, signifying a familial connection to a prominent figure or clan. It is likely that the O'Handley family were originally part of the ruling class, holding positions of power and influence within their respective territories.

The O'Handley name is of Gaelic origin, reflecting the language and culture of the Irish people. Gaelic surnames typically began with the prefix "O," which means "descendant of," followed by the name of an ancestor or a descriptive term. In the case of O'Handley, the exact meaning of the name is unknown, as per the given instructions.

During the medieval period, Ireland experienced significant political and social upheaval. The arrival of the Normans in the 12th century brought about a period of Norman influence and colonization. Many Irish families, including the O'Handleys, were forced to adapt to these changes and navigate the shifting political landscape.

The O'Handley family likely played a role in the resistance against Norman rule, as many Irish clans sought to preserve their independence and cultural identity. They may have participated in various conflicts and battles, defending their lands and asserting their rights as Gaelic nobility.

Over time, the O'Handley name spread throughout Ireland, with branches of the family establishing themselves in different regions. The family likely formed alliances with other Gaelic clans, forging connections through marriage and shared political interests.

The O'Handley name continued to be passed down through generations, serving as a symbol of familial pride and heritage. The family likely maintained their Gaelic traditions and customs, preserving their unique identity in the face of external pressures.

While the early history of the O'Handley name is shrouded in mystery, it is clear that the family played a significant role in the history of Ireland. Their story is intertwined with the broader narrative of Irish resistance, cultural preservation, and the enduring spirit of the Gaelic people. The O'Handley name stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of a family that has weathered the storms

O'Handley name origin in the United States

The early history of the O'Handley family name in America dates back to the early colonial period. While not among the first settlers, they were one of the early families to arrive in the New World. Like many Irish immigrants, the O'Handleys sought better opportunities and a fresh start in America.

Upon their arrival, the O'Handleys settled in various regions across the country, including New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the South. They embraced the American way of life, adapting to their new surroundings while still maintaining their Irish heritage.

As the years passed, the O'Handleys became an integral part of their local communities. They worked hard, engaging in various occupations such as farming, trade, and craftsmanship. Their strong work ethic and determination helped them establish themselves and contribute to the growth of their respective regions.

Over time, the O'Handleys spread out across the country, with subsequent generations moving westward during the westward expansion. They played a role in shaping the American frontier, contributing to the development of new towns and settlements.

Today, the O'Handley name can be found throughout the United States, with descendants of the early settlers continuing to carry on the family legacy. While their early history in America may not be widely documented, their presence and contributions have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the nation's history.

History of family crests like the O'Handley 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.

O'Handley name variations and their meaning

The family name O'Handley has several variations that have emerged over time. One common variation is Handley, where the prefix "O'" is dropped. This variation is often seen in families who have migrated to different regions or countries, where the prefix may have been misunderstood or omitted. Another variation is Hanley, which is a simplified version of the original name. This variation may have occurred due to changes in pronunciation or spelling over generations. Additionally, some individuals may choose to use the variation O'Hanley, which maintains the original prefix but alters the spelling of the surname. This variation could be a result of personal preference or a desire to differentiate oneself from others with similar names. Overall, these variations of the O'Handley family name demonstrate the fluidity and adaptability of surnames over time.

Find your family crest

Learn how to find your family crest.

Other resources: