Thanks to Marsha O'Neill for this incredible copy of a 19th Century O'Neill Family Crest! Please feel free to download this for your own personal family use, please do not use for monetary gain. The history of this particular hand drawn family crest is also from Marsha, she reports, "that it was at New Hope Plantation in the mid 1800's and belonged to Judge James Thomas O'Neill. Also, down at the bottom where it says O'Neill you I can see in some places where it was penciled before it was painted over in black. The shield is painted in silver, not grey and you can see where it is heavier in some areas than others and the red hand is a very deep red. On the back of the crest someone wrote Miss Louise D. Barnwell wants this. This was my great-aunts daughter. Somehow it stayed in my fathers hands. In Pencil someone also wrote Red Hand of Eirin. It is very faded. Off to the right on the back of the crest someone also pasted in the upper right corner a news paper article the reads.
The only authoritative coat of arms depicting a red hand is that of the family of O'Neill of Ulster, and the correct motto is "Lamh Dearg Abu" or "The Red Hand to Victory".
As I said before I have no idea if this crest sat in the New Hope Plantation before the 1800's as all of those before me who could answer that are gone. I only remember the things that my father told me that had been passed down to him from his Aunt Isabel Bacon O'Neill Barnwell daughter of Judge James Thomas O'Neill. I found it strange that out of 8 children that Judge O'Neill passed the plantation on to his daughter instead of one of his sons. It appears from my records that the oldest son, along with family belongings were always to go to the oldest son. She according to my father was a very proud woman and was a true example of an O'Neill woman. I have a picture of her in her youth and she was very bit a picture of strength.
In talking with Bert O'Neall I do not have any idea why my family out of all of them went back to the original spelling of the name O'Neill. When Henry was born it was O'Neall and yet when Henry and Margaret came to Florida and received the Spanish Land Grant from the Spanish Government he listed his name as O'Neill. Could it possibly be because he no longer had to worry about the English? Was he trying to put a distance between him and his family or could it simply be because he was proud of the name O'Neill? Whatever the reasons were he did pass on to his children the stories of their heritage and who they were and where they came from."
Thanks Marsha for this amazing addition to our families history!!