The forbears of the name Cunnigham are thought to be of the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The name indicates that the first bearer lived at Cunningham in Ayrshire
. However, numerous branches of the Cunningham family spread all over Scotland
. Two of the most prominent branches of the Cunningham Clan
, the Cunninghams of Corsehill and the Cunninghams of Caprington, trace their ancestry back to the medieval era.
Early Origins of the Cunnigham family
The surname Cunnigham was first found in Ayrshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland
, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire
. About the year 1050, it is said that Warnebald Cunningham saved King Malcolm Canmore by hiding him in the barn and covering him with hay concealing him from his pursuer the Pretender King, MacBeth. The grateful King Malcolm later bestowed on Warnebald the lands of Cunningham and the motto "Over Fork Over."
Early History of the Cunnigham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cunnigham research.Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1490, 1548, 1574, 1520, 1578, 1630, 1575, 1630, 1610, 1664, 1670, 1716 and are included under the topic Early Cunnigham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cunnigham Spelling Variations
Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations
in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Cunnigham has been spelled Cunningham, Cunninghame, Cunyngham, Cunnyngham, Cunnynghame, Cummingham and many more.
Early Notables of the Cunnigham family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
at this time was Cuthbert Cunningham, 3rd Earl of Glencairn; William Cunningham, 4th Earl of Glencairn (c.
1490-1548), a Scottish nobleman; Alexander Cunningham, 5th Earl of Glencairn (died 1574), Scottish nobleman and Protestant reformer; William Cunningham, 6th Earl of Glencairn (ca. 1520-1578); James Cunningham, 7th Earl of... Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cunnigham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cunnigham family to Ireland
Some of the Cunnigham family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 49 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cunnigham family to the New World and Oceana
Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence
broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan
societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The Cunnigham were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown: John Cunningham, his wife and son, who settled in Barbados in 1679.
Cunnigham Family Crest Products