The Irish surname Donnelly is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Domhnaill meaning “descendant of Domhnall” This name is chiefly found in counties Derry and Tyrone in the northern province of Ulster. The territory of the Donnelly’s lay first in County Donegal, and later further eastwards, centered around the place called Ballydonnelly, County Tyrone, which was named by them. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Donnell O'Donnelly, which was dated 1603, recorded at the Battle of Kinsale, County Cork. The town of Donnelly River in Western Australia was named for Admiral Ross Donnelly a friend of the Governor at the time James Stirling.
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