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

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

Gaelic, otherwise known as Early Modern Irish, was used in Ireland from around the year 1200 until the 18th century. It is from this language that we found the first references to the name Mooney as O Maonaigh. This is derived from the word maonach, meaning wealthy.


The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Mooney were encountered in the archives: Mooney, Moony, O'Mooney, Meeny, O'Meany, Meany, O'Meeny, O'Mainy, Meaney and many more.

First found in County Offaly (Irish: Uíbh Fháilí) originally the Kingdom of Uí Failghe, located in central Ireland in the Province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mooney research. Another 383 words(27 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mooney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Mooney family came to North America quite early:

Mooney Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Richd Mooney, who landed in Virginia in 1715

Mooney Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Nicholas Mooney, who landed in America in 1800
  • James Mooney, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1810
  • Bridget Mooney, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811
  • Martin Mooney, aged 40, landed in Maine in 1812
  • Cornelius Mooney, aged 43, arrived in Maryland in 1812


  • Paul Mooney (b. 1941), American comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor
  • Albert Mooney (1906-1986), American aircraft designer and founder of Mooney Airplane Company
  • Alex X. Mooney (b. 1946), American politician
  • Brian Mooney (b. 1966), American professional soccer player
  • James Mooney (1861-1921), American anthropologist
  • Melvin Mooney (1893-1968), American physicist and rheologist
  • James Noel "Jim" Mooney (1919-2008), American comic book artist best known for his work with DC Comics
  • Thomas Joseph "Tom" Mooney (1882-1942), American political activist and labor leader, generally believed to have been wrongfully convicted of the San Francisco Preparedness Day Bombing of 1916
  • Paul Mooney (b. 1941), stage name of Paul Gladney, American comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor
  • Joe Mooney (1911-1975), American jazz and pop accordionist and organist, active in the 1930s through the 1940s



  • Mooney-Garner Ancestry by George W. Mooney.
  • The Applings, the Mooneys, Through the Years, 1685-1976 by Esther Gambrell Deviney.

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  1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  2. 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).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  7. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  8. 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.
  9. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Mooney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mooney 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 15 October 2014 at 10:50.

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