The ancestors of the first family to use the name Cunninham lived among the Dalriadan people of ancient Scotland
. The name Cunninham was given to someone who 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 Cunninham family
The surname Cunninham 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 Cunninham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cunninham research.Another 235 words (17 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 Cunninham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cunninham Spelling Variations
are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland
. Cunninham has been spelled Cunningham, Cunninghame, Cunyngham, Cunnyngham, Cunnynghame, Cummingham and many more.
Early Notables of the Cunninham 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 Cunninham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cunninham family to Ireland
Some of the Cunninham family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 85 words (6 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 Cunninham family to the New World and Oceana
These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence
was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Cunninham were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: John Cunningham, his wife and son, who settled in Barbados in 1679.