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

Where did the Irish Ternes family come from? When did the Ternes family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ternes family history?

The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name Ternes is Mac Tighearnain, which is derived from the word tighearna, which means "lord."

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People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Ternes that are preserved in archival documents are Tiernan, Tierman, Ternan, Kiernan and others.

First found in County Cavan, at Tullyhunco where the "Annals of the Four Masters" show no fewer than 33 Tiernans. Almost all were Chiefs of Teallach Donnchadha. Despite their high ranking, their exploits were not well documented from 1250-1550. One must presume that they ruled with compassion and understanding and were amiable to their fellow man. The "Mac" prefix of the name is typically spelt "MacTernan" or "McTernan" and is usually found in the Cavan- Leitrim area of Ireland.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ternes research. Another 174 words(12 lines of text) covering the year 1800 is included under the topic Early Ternes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Ternes:

Ternes Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Christian Ternes, who arrived in North America in 1887

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  1. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  2. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  4. 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).
  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. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  10. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  11. ...


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