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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (The O’Donovan; Henry Winthrop O’Donovan, of Lissard, co. Cork, Chief of Clan Cathal, a Sept who in ancient times ruled over Ну Fidhgeinte, a territory extending along the banks of the River Maigue, co. Limerick, on which stood the Castle of Crom. Driven from their territory by the Fitzgeralds and De Burghos after the invasion of 1172, they settled in the Barony of Carbery, co. Cork, where the estates of the present chieftain are situate. Cathal, Chief of Ну Fidhgeinte, was slain by Callaghan Cashel, King of Munster, a.d. 964, and was s. by his son, Donovan, who ruled as Chief 977, from him the Sept took their tribe name; seventh in descent from Donovan was Сrom O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, slain 1254, leaving three sons:— 1) Cathal O’Donovan, O’Donovan, ancestor of the subsequent chieftains; 2) Aneslis O’Donovan, ancestor of O’Donovan, Mac Aneslis; 3) Loughlin O’Donovan, ancestor of The O’Donovan, of Clan Loughlin; from these three sons descend the whole family of O’Donovan and Donovan. Donel O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, ninth in descent from Crom O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, s. his father 1584, and had seven sons:—1) Donel, ancestor of the succeeding chieftains, whose male line became extinct, 1829, on the death of Richard O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, General in the Army; 2)Teige, ancestor of the present chieftain; 3)Morogh, ancestor of O’Donovan, of Malaga, in Spain; 4) Donough, ancestor of O’Donovan, of Cooldurragh; 5) Dermot; 6). Richard, ancestor of O’Donovan, of O’Donovan Street, Cork; 7) Keadagh, ancestor of O’Donovan, Clan Keady, from whom descend the branches of Lisheens and Ardahill). (O’Donovan Mac Anelsis; descended from Aneslis O’Donovan, second son of Crom O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, 1254, who possessed a territory about Macroom, co. Cork. The only known member of this branch is William O’Donovan Rickard, now resident in America). (O’Donovan, of Clan Loughlin; descended from Loughlin O’Donovan, third son of Crom O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, 1254; Donel Oge Na Cartan O’Donovan, Chief of Clan Loughlin, d. 1629, leaving two sons:—1) Mortogh McDonel Oge Na Cartan O’Donovan, ancestor of the present chief of this line, Jeremiah Alexander O’Donovan, and of Donovan, of Squinee, co. Cork; 2) Richard Na Cartan O’Donovan, whose grandson, Rickard Donovan, settled in the co. Wexford, and was ancestor of Donovan, of Ballymore, in that co. See Donovan, of Ballymore) Ar. issuing from the sinister side of the shield a cubit dexter arm vested gu. cuffed of the first, the hand grasping a skein or old Irish sword in pale, the blade entwined with a serpent all ppr. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a falcon alighting ar. tips of wings and tail sa. Motto—Vir super hostem, a translation of the ancient slogan, or call to war, of the Sept, viz., Giolla ar a-namhuid a-bu.
2) (Malaga, in the kingdom of Spain; allowed and pedigree registered by Hawkins, Ulster, 1771, to John O’Donovan, of that place, fourth in descent from Monaocn O’Donovan, Esq., of Castle Ire, co. Cork, third son of Donel O’Donovan, Ihe O’Donovan, 1584). Ar. a dexter arm couped below the elbow, lying fessways, vested gu. cuffed of the first, holding in the hand a sword in pale entwined with a serpent descending all ppr. Crest—An eagle alighting or.
3) (O’Donovan Street, in the city of Cork; descended from Richard O’Donovan, sixth son of Donel O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, 1584. This coat is taken from an ancient parchment pedigree which was in the possession of Philip O’Donovan, Esq., Lieut. R.N., of O’Donovan Street lemp. George IV.). Ar. issuing from the sinister side of the shield a cubit dexter arm naked, the hand grasping a sword in pale entwined with a lizard betw. three golden halls all ppr. Crest—A white falcon alighting. Motto—Crom a-boo.
4) (O’Donovan’s Cove, co. Cork; descended from Teige O’Donovan, of Gorteenithir, co. Cork, a near kinsman of Teige O’Donovan, The O’Donovan, temp. Henry VII.). Ar. issuing from the sinister side of the shield a cubit dexter arm vested gu. cuffed of the first, the hand grasping a skein, or old Irish sword in pale, entwined with a lizard all ppr. Crest and Motto, same as O’ Donovan.
5) (Ballymore, co. Wexford, a branch of the Clan Loughlin Sept of O‘Donovan, co. Cork; represented by Richard Donovan, Esq., of Ballymore, D.L.). Ar. issuing from the sinister side of the shield a cubit dexter arm vested gu. cuffed of the first, the hand grasping an old Irish sword, the blade entwined with a serpent all ppr. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a falcon alighting ar. tips of wings and tail sa. Mottoes—Adjuvante Deo in hostes, and Vir super hostem; the latter a translation of the slogan or war cry of the Sept, Giolla ar a-namhuid a-bu.
6) (Framfield Place, co. Sussex). Ar. an arm lying fesswise, couped at the elbow and holding a sword erect, entwined round the blade a serpent all ppr. Crest—A falcon, wings displ. ppr. Motto—Adjuvante Deo in hostes.
7) (granted to Sir Henry Donovan, Knt., of Tralee, co. Kerry). Ar. issuing from the sinister side of the shield a dexter cubit arm vested gu. cuffed az. the hand grasping an old Irish sword, the blade entwined with a serpent all ppr. in the dexter chief point a cross crosslet fitchee of the second. Crest—A falcon alighting ppr. in the beak a cross crosslet fitchee gu. Motto—Adjuvante Deo in hostes.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Donovan Coat of Arms and Family Crest

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Donovan Coat of Arms Meaning

See glossary for symbol meaning.

2 Comments

  • Ruby Collins says:

    I was wondering why there is a snake on the Donovan family crest, when there are not supposed to be any snakes in Ireland? My great great grandfather came from Ireland in the 1800’s with his family. Thank you.

    • Andrew says:

      Good question. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say it has some strong Christian symbolism behind it. And if not overtly Christian, archetypal. The snake has been a creature that’s haunted man for millennia. The snake has come to represent deception, Satan, that which is dangerous and we cannot (easily see), predator. Think Garden of Eden, the Jungle Book, the snake in Harry Potter — they’re all archetypal. The sword through the snake represents the slaying of deception.

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