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

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

The surname derives from the Gaelic "O Catharnaigh," derived from the word "cearnach," meaning "warlike" or 'victorious'.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Carney, Kearney, O'Kearney, O'Carney and others.

First found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster and County Clare where O'Kearney, were chiefs of Avon-Ui-Cearney or O'Kearney's River, a district about Six-Mile-Bridge, in the baronies of Tulla and Bunratty.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kearney research. Another 466 words(33 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kearney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kearney Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • James Kearney, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Kearney Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Bryan Kearney, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1802
  • Ann Kearney, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1804
  • Michael Kearney, who came to New York in 1811
  • Francis Kearney, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Daniel Kearney, who came to Philadelphia in 1812


  • Denis Kearney (1847-1907), Irish-born, American political agitator, known mostly for his anti-Chinese influence in California
  • James Lee Kearney (b. 1943), American former NFL football safety
  • Hannah Kearney (b. 1986), American gold medalist mogul skier at the 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Richard Kearney (b. 1954), Irish philosopher
  • Peadar Kearney (1883-1942), Irish composer who wrote the lyrics to "Amhrán na bhFiann," the Irish national anthem in 1907
  • Robert "Rob" Kearney (b. 1986), Irish rugby union footballer
  • Tom Kearney (b. 1923), Irish fencer at the 1952 and 1960 Summer Olympics
  • John Kearney D.D. (1742-1813), Church of Ireland Bishop of Ossory from 1806 to 1813
  • Bob Kearney (b. 1956), Major League Baseball player
  • Stephen Peter Kearney ONZM (b. 1972), New Zealand professional rugby league football coach and former player



  • Midwest Families by Michael John Kearney.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sustine et abstine
Motto Translation: Sustain and abstain


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Kearney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kearney 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 8 March 2014 at 06:14.

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