The roots of the Feenan surname in Ireland
are somewhat unclear; it seems that the name was both native Irish Gaelic, and Norman. The Gaelic name ó Fionnáin seems to be derived from Gaelic word "fionn," which means "fair," and has been Anglicized as "Finan" and "Fanning," both of which are Norman names that came to Ireland
in the 12th century. As a Norman name, Feenan is generally thought to be derived from the Norman personal name
Early Origins of the Feenan family
The surname Feenan was first found in Limerick
(Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland
, in the province of Munster
, where Fanningstoown, previously known as Ballyfanning can be found, as well as in neighboring Tipperary
where this Norman family settled at Ballingarry. One line of thinking is that they were originally from Fainent in Normandy
, and arrived in England
during the Norman Conquest
of 1066, and came to Ireland
in the 12th century. One notable bearer of the personal name
who lived several centuries prior to the introduction of hereditary surnames
was St. Finan who died in 661 AD, and achieved repute for his missionary work in England.
Early History of the Feenan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feenan research.Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1636 and 1651 are included under the topic Early Feenan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Feenan Spelling Variations
Medieval scribes and church officials spelt names simply the way they sounded, which explains the various name spelling variations
of the name Feenan that were encountered when researching that surname. The many spelling variations included: Feenan, Fanning, Fannin, Fanningley, Fannon, Finan, Finnan, O'Finan and many more.
Early Notables of the Feenan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Feenan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Feenan family to the New World and Oceana
A great number of Irish families
left their homeland in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, migrating to such far away lands as Australia
and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name Feenan: Edmund Fanning, who settled in New London, CT in 1653; Andrew Fanning, who settled in New England
in 1678; John Fanning, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766.
Feenan Family Crest Products