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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish McKenna family come from? What is the Irish McKenna family crest and coat of arms? When did the McKenna family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McKenna family history?

The original Gaelic form of McKenna was Mac Cionaoith.


Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McKenna family name. Variations found include MacKenna, MacKennagh, MacKenney, MacKenny, MacKinna, MacKinnie and many more.

First found in County Monaghan (Irish: Muineachán) located in the Northern part of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Ulster, at Truagh where they were known as the Lords of Truagh.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKenna research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) covering the year 1544 is included under the topic Early McKenna History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early McKenna Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McKenna:

McKenna Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward McKenna, who landed in America in 1810
  • Bridget McKenna, aged 8, landed in New York, NY in 1834
  • John McKenna, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1834
  • Nancy McKenna, aged 10, landed in New York, NY in 1834
  • Peter McKenna, aged 11, arrived in New York, NY in 1834


  • Joseph McKenna (1843-1926), American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Malcolm Carnegie McKenna (1930-2008), American paleontologist
  • Mike McKenna (b. 1983), American professional NHL ice hockey goaltender
  • Francis Joseph "Frank" McKenna (b. 1948), Canadian businessman, Deputy Chairman of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Ambassador to the United States from 2005 to 2006 and Premier of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1997
  • Reginald McKenna (1863-1943), British banker and Liberal politician, Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Kevin James McKenna (b. 1980), Canadian professional soccer player
  • Peter McKenna (b. 1946), Australian rules footballer
  • Sean Barry McKenna (b. 1987), Scottish football striker
  • Paul Stephen McKenna (b. 1977), English footballer
  • Stephen McKenna (b. 1985), Scottish football midfielder



  • The MacKennas of Troagh by C. Eugene Swezey.
  • The American Descendants of James McCourt, John McKenny, Matthew Young and Allied Families by Martha F. McCourt.

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The McKenna Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McKenna Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 October 2014 at 16:13.

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