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

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

All Irish surnames have a long, ancient Gaelic history behind them. The original Gaelic form of the name Kenneally is O Cinnfhaolaidh, which is derived from "ceann," which means "head," and "faol," which means "wolf."

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The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Kenneally revealed spelling variations, including Kinneally, Kinealy, Kinnelly, Kinnelley, Kinneley, Kinelly, Kinelley, Kenealy, O'Kinnealy, O'Kinnelly, O'Kinelly, O'Kinneley, O'Kennelly, O'Kenelly, Kennelly, Kenelly, Kennealy, Keneally, O'Kennealy, O'Kenneally, Quinelly, O'Quinelly, O'Quinelley, Kenneallagh, Keneallagh, Kenealagh, O'Kenealagh, O'Kenealagh, Kinneary, Kineary, O'Kinneary and many more.

First found in Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat as chiefs in the barony of Connello, from olden times up to the 12th century when they were dispersed by the Anglo Norman invasion by Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke in 1172.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kenneally research. Another 245 words(18 lines of text) covering the year 1800 is included under the topic Early Kenneally History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Kenneally:

Kenneally Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Kenneally, aged 40, who emigrated to the United States from Limerick, in 1893

Kenneally Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • James Kenneally, aged 24, who emigrated to America from Limerick, Ireland, in 1904
  • David Kenneally, aged 26, who landed in America from Waterford, in 1905
  • Elsie Kenneally, aged 19, who emigrated to the United States from Carrigavisteal, Ireland, in 1906
  • John Kenneally, aged 25, who landed in America from Youhal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Annie Kenneally, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States from Listowel, Ireland, in 1908


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  • George Vincent Kenneally Sr (1902-1968), American football offensive lineman
  • Brendan Kenneally (b. 1955), Irish politician
  • Billy Kenneally (1925-2009), an Irish politician
  • Pat Kenneally (b. 1968), retired Irish sportsperson
  • John Kenneally, Irish sportsperson (hurler)
  • Lance-Corporal John Patrick Kenneally (1921-2000), British soldier awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII
  • Dean Kenneally (b. 1967), Australian physiotherapist
  • James Joseph Kenneally (1879-1954), Australian politician, railwayman and unionist


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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. 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.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Kenneally Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kenneally 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 February 2012 at 10:15.

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