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

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

The original Gaelic form of Kenna was Mac Cionaoith.

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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 Kenna were encountered in the archives: 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.


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

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More information is included under the topic Early Kenna 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 Kenna:

Kenna Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • A R Kenna, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1813
  • Patrick Kenna, aged 40, arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Hugh Kenna, aged 30, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1834
  • Edward Martin Kenna, who arrived in Mississippi in 1840
  • Edward Kenna, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844


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  • Doug Kenna (b. 1924), American football player
  • John E. Kenna (1848-1893), West Virginia politician
  • Michael Kenna (1857-1946), Chicago politician
  • Colin Kenna (b. 1976), Irish boxer
  • Conor Kenna (b. 1984), Irish footballer
  • Jack Kenna (b. 1932), Gaelic footballer
  • Jeff Kenna (b. 1970), Irish footballer
  • Edward Kenna (b. 1919), Australian soldier awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII
  • Kathleen Kenna, Canadian journalist
  • Michael Kenna (b. 1953), British photographer

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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  2. 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).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  11. ...

The Kenna Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kenna 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 9 October 2012 at 12:12.

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