However, it was the grandsons of Niall Glúndub, himself a descendant of Niall Noigiallach, who lived in the tenth century and who would have been the first to use the surname. In the 14th century a branch of the Tyrone O’Neills had migrated to Antrim where they became known as the clan Aedh Buidhe (clan of the yellow-haired Hugh) or Clanaboy – from Aedh Buidhe O’Neill who had been slain in 1283. The Clanaboy clan chieftain styled himself the O’Neill Buidhe. His stronghold in county Antrim was Edenduffcarrick, subsequently Shane’s castle.
This ‘flight of the earls’, as it is known, marked the end of Gaelic Ulster, which was then anglicised. This first name has been popular in Ireland since earliest times. During the Viking invasions its popularity spread throughout the Norse world. passport academy charter school In Iceland it became Njal , and in France it became Nel . Here it was later Latinised to Nigellus (meaning ‘black’) which gave over to the variant Nigel. Of the very great antiquity of this distinguished name and family there can be no doubt.
Cornelius and Anne Jane O’Neill had a large family. Cornelius worked as a wheelwright and Anne Jane was renowned as a bush midwife. They had ten children and lived at Brewarrina for most of their lives. Anne Jane died in 1911 and after that Cornelius and his sons and daughters moved to Marrickville, Sydney and lived on Silver Street. Cornelius died in 1921 in his son’s house there. Descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages.The 5th century warlord known as Niall of the Nine Hostages established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated Ireland for six centuries.
In 1171, King Henry II of England came to Ireland to remove the authority of the English lords in Ireland. He met the leading Irish kings and received the pledge of fealty from them. During the Middle Ages, the O’Neills were active politically and militarily throughout Ireland, occasionally sending nobility to fight within Ireland and in campaigns in Europe. From 1312 to 1318, their kings were staunch supporters of King Robert the Bruce and his brother Edward Bruce. They sent troops and supported Edward in his attempt to become King of Ireland in 1315. In the 14th century Edward III of England called Tyrone “the Great O’Neill” and invited him to join a campaign against the Scots, and another O’Neill prince accompanied the English king on a crusade to the Holy Land.
While there have been many keepers over the years, at least one member of each generation of the O’Neill family kept the light while it was manually illuminated. The last keeper was Harry O’Neill who began his service in 1919. The heavy British fire caused many of his fellow soldiers to abandon their posts. But Lieutenant John O’Neill of the local militia stood fast, taking charge of one of the cannons himself. In a study of the Y chromosome – which is only passed down through the male line – scientists found a hotspot in NW Ireland where 21.5 percent carried Niall’s genetic fingerprint.
The significance of the red hand on the O’Neill family coat of arms is often debated, and there are many interpretations as to what it signifies. The most prominent myth recounts that two Mileasan chiefs wished to settle a land dispute with a boating contest. The first man to touch the shore with his right hand would be the winner and rightful king.