O'Donovan Family

O'Donovan Family

O'Donovan (Irish: Ó Donnabháin ) or Donovan is an Irish surname, deriving from Donovan who was slain in 977 A.D. It is also written Dhonnabháin in certain grammatical contexts, and Donndubháin, being originally composed of the elements donn, meaning dark brown, dubh, meaning dark or black, and the diminutive suffix án. Ó derives from the earlier Ua, meaning grandson or descendant. Compare O'Donoghue and O'Sullivan, containing the same elements. The spelling of the name during the 16th and 17th centuries included Donevan, Donevane, Donovane, and other iterations. Pronunciation of the name in Ireland is closest to "Dunaven".

Arms have been granted or registered by at least ten separate O'Donovan individuals, in addition to the arms claimed by various septs of the O'Donovans. The armorial bearings, although distinct from each other, share a number of similar elements. The mottos associated with the various arms include: 'Adjuvante Deo in hostes' (Latin) - 'With the assistance of God against our enemies'.) 'Vir Super Hostem' (Latin - 'A man above his enemies') 'Giolla ar a-namhuid a-bu' (Gaelic - 'A man over his enemies forever') 'In Deo faciemus Virtutem (Latin - ' With God I shall have be valiant and virtuous') 'Croom a boo' (also, 'Croom abu') (Old Irish - 'Croom to victory') 'Imagines majorum as virtutem accendunt' (Latin - the images of our ancestor's lives inspire us to ever increasing valiancey and virtue')

The O'Donovans are descendants of the 10th century Donnubán mac Cathail, ruler of the regional or sub-provincial kingdom of Uí Fidgenti, as well as of his royal Norse relations from Limerick and Waterford, believed to belong to the Uí Ímair. From his accession to the kingship in 962 to the death of Amlaíb Ua Donnubáin in 1201, the family operated as a semi-independent to sometimes fully independent regional ruling house within the larger provincial kingdom of Munster. In the 13th century the O'Donovans surrendered principal sovereignty to the Kingdom of Desmond and later Carbery, after playing a role in the formation of the latter principality. However, the leading dynasts of the family became semi-sovereign princes or flatha underneath the MacCarthy Reagh dynasty in Carbery, or perhaps even local petty kings. Nearly five centuries later and eighty years after the fall of the Gaelic order, the O'Donovans were one of the few families of Carbery and Munster still allowed by the authorities to be of royal extraction. Today the head of the family is still counted among the leading Gaelic nobility of Ireland.

Read more about O'Donovan FamilyTwo Carberys: Ui Chairpre Near Limerick, and Carbery in Cork., Later History, Pedigree Matters, Territory in Carbery, DNA, John O'Donovan, William Joseph Donovan, O'Donovan Rossa, Other Notable O'Donovans, See Also

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O'Donovan Family - See Also
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