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

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

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

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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.


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

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kerney Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • David Kerney, who arrived in Virginia in 1654

Kerney Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Anne Kerney, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Kerney Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Kerney, aged 27, landed in New York in 1812
  • Wm Kerney, aged 20, arrived in America in 1821
  • Michael Kerney, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Mary Kerney, who landed in New York in 1845

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  • Patrick Manning Kerney (b. 1976), retired American NFL football defensive end
  • Kelley Kerney, American novelist
  • Leopold H. Kerney, first Irish Minister Plenipotentiary to be appointed to Spain (1935 to 1946)


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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. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  3. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  8. 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).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Kerney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kerney 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 17 February 2012 at 08:45.

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