About us…

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Photo by Angela Nelson Purkiss.

One of the original spellings of the Donovan surname was Dhonnabháin (dhonn, meaning dark brown or noble). The Dhonnabháin coat of arms was granted or registered at various times to various individuals and septs over the centuries.

odonovan

Armorial bearings, although distinct in each case, do share similar elements. The mottos associated with the various arms include Adjuvante Deo in hostes (Latin for With the assistance of God against our enemies), Vir Super Hostem (Latin for A man above his enemies), Giolla ar a-namhuid a-bu (Gaelic for A man over his enemies forever [we are getting stronger!]), In Deo faciemus Virtutem (Latin for With God I shall be valiant and virtuous […and now more spiritual!]), Croom a boo (also, Croom abu [and political]) (Old Irish for Croom: To victory), and finally, Imagines majorum as virtutem accendunt (Latin for The images of our ancestor’s lives inspire us to ever-increasing valiancy and virtue).

In the early 1840s, four Donovan brothers and their two sisters came from County Cork, Ireland.

They settled in the Garryowen area of Jackson County in Northeast Iowa.

They were Cornelius, Jeremiah, Richard, Dennis, Mrs. Henry Mahoney, and Mrs. Jack Culligan.

Richard Donovan was our ancestor.
This is our story.

“May love and laughter
light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!”

Photo credit: Castle Donovan, Drimoleague, County Cork, Ireland. Photo by Theresa Curtis.

7 thoughts on “About us…

  1. Hello, I am also a Donovan. My fathers Name is John T Donovan. His father was John Edward Donovan. I’ve not been able to find anything on this branch. We are from Cayuga county, little town called port Byron New york.

    1. Hi Ben, Our line settled mainly in Iowa in the mid-1800s. Have you done DNA testing? That may help you with your brick walls. Do you have a public ancestry tree online somewhere that we can compare names, places, and dates to?

    1. Hi Troy,
      Thanks for checking out DonovanTribe. I know next to nothing about Dennis or any of his descendants so of course it would be interesting to compare notes. If you’re interested please comment here or email me directly at angiepurkiss@gmail.com
      ~Angie

  2. My mom found a picture of my 2nd great aunt on your Facebook page and I just had to come check your website out. We are the descendants of Con Donovan. I knew there were other Donovan’s in the Garryowen area but no one in my family could tell me how they were related. Growing up from there though you just knew everybody was related somehow lol. Thanks for giving me the link for all of the Donovans now. 🙂

    1. So fun to find new family 🙂 who is your mom and 2nd great aunt? Also, which Con Donovan are you descended from? There are a few in the tree. Thanks for getting in touch. I hope we can learn a bit more about our common ties.

      What I can tell you about myself – My 3rd great grandparents were Richard Donovan and Honora O’Brien. Richard was born in 1815 in Co. Cork, arrived in Iowa during the 1840’s and married Honora in 1848 in Garryowen. Their son, Maurice, was my 2nd great-grandfather. He married Mary Ellen Shanahan in 1882 in Garryowen. Their son, John Joseph, was my great-grandfather. He married Loretta Carew in 1913 in South Garryowen. Their daughter, Bernadine, was my grandmother.

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