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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. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  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. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  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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