Donnell Family Genealogy Forum
I am a direct decendent of Heny Donnell, who arrived in Maine in 1631, for the first time, he was a Master fisherman, he purchased a boat thru the English crown, to make trips to the new world to catch,dry and bring back to England, where a 50/50 split of profit was the terms in basic, to make payment on his boat, commonly this took 4 to 5 years, Henry by 1635 was a freeman (in dept to no authority to do his own trade) this was a treasured status symbol of the time, anyways Henry could not write, but on documents on records of the villiage of york he signed his name HD, with the d frmed off the side of the H, after the statement, written by another "his mark" He died most likly in the Indian raid on wells maine, he lived out side of the village, and 1687 he was last recorded, and 1692 a disposition of his property was given in court. All this said, the Donnells of York are not of Scottish or Irish decent, the Name was until about WWI pronounced Dunnell, and researching the records, thru the Vicarage (church of england local parrish in Barnstable England, the place of origin of Henry Donnell). records kept at the church where many fold, much like a town hall, fisherman who traded in the new colonies, signed in whenever they returned, Henry is listed several times between 1631-1635, Why? simple, he was working! paying off his dept to the crown for the boat, which he later owned. Anyways there are no Dunnells or Donnells in Barnstable at that time, in fact phone book checks of today show none either, BUT! back then the old records show many Dunwells, which is a common name in souther england at the time, it means one who lives near a dark stream dunn=dark well or weil =deep stream, according to old english name dictionary. no scotsman or irishman, could become a master fisherman under the apprentice programs of the time, you had to be English born and of English parents, it is a very interesting system, but anyways the Donnells of today that are decendents of Henry wh oset up buisness on jewell island and york maine are not scottish or Irish, US immigration histories bares this simple fact out, no scottish or irish immigrants came over until the late 1600's and those to nova scotia area and northern maine. If you start researching decendents history from whee they came from, the history on this side starts to make sence. Yes other Donnells where mac donalds, and the donnells of the clan of Odonnells of ireland ( who where actually two french brothers , the canaugh brother) wh owhere the first calnsman of irelanf and started the oneil and odonnell rival clans. (history gets more amazing as you did). Other Donnells in the south or west, and even the many in the chicago area are mostly of scotch or Irish decent, there is more but 20 plus years of research on both sides of the big pond , and I feel very confident in the name origin.
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