The O'Neals/ O'Neill's

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Un'Neill

The name O’Neill comes from two separate Gaelic words. Firstly ‘Ua Niall’ which means ‘Descendent of Niall’ and also ‘Neill’ which means ‘champion’. The Beginning of my family comes from the Ui Neill dynasty. The man that had originally conquered the North section of Ireland. The O'Neill title was founded in the 10th century during the year 978. The prefix O', in Ireland means son of. So O'Neill means son of Neill. The family had been in power all over Ireland from 978 to 1374. During the period this was almost unheard of for a family to rule for so long and over such a vast area. Shane the Great was the last successful ruler and was eventually defeated by people from modern day Britain. Shane is where my blood-line comes from. He often crossed the Irish Sea and is said to be responsible for creating a Gaelic kingdom in Wales. As well as the Irish, it is likely that Scots with surnames MacNeil and MacLachlan are also descended from Niall. Ironically it was Niall’s nephew, Dathi, rather than one of his own sons who succeeded him as King. He is also believed to be responsible for bringing St Patrick to Ireland.